Tag Archives: N. Gregory Mankiw

White Paper, Great Economists and (really) Bad Science

In Denmark, where I come from, academic economists are often used in the media. Whenever there is a political debate on an economic issue or policy proposal, TV and newspapers call out for economists to get their views and analyses. The norm is that journalists try to cover most views on a given issue, and that the economists in question try to be as balanced as possible. Ideally, the economists act as a sort of independent “expert witnesses”. Of course, personal opinions will to some extent color what a given economist will focus on, but one line is never crossed: An academic economist never endorses a given politician or party … Continue reading

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The Taylor Plot: A European View

January this year, John Taylor posted a scatterplot on his blog. He plotted quarterly US unemployment against fixed investment as a fraction of GDP for 1990q1-2010q3, and found a very strong negative correlation (jpg ). In contrast, the relationship between government spending and unemployment tended to be positive, albeit not so strong. On the latter finding he notes that “the correlation is not due to any reverse causation from high unemployment to more government purchases”. Overall, he therefore concludes that “Encouraging the creation and expansion of businesses should be the focus on government efforts to reduce unemployment” and further: “The recent compromise agreement to prevent the increase in tax rates … Continue reading

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Brady replaces Woods in Principles

From N. Gregory Mankiw’s description of the new material in the new edition of his “Principles of Economics“: “Chapter 3 Tiger Woods changed to Tom Brady in in-text example.” This must be the final blow to Tiger Woods’ status as a respectable sports icon.

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Mankiw on Obama’s weak sports analogy

Most are aware that N. Gregory Mankiw is an outstanding economist and economics educator. So this post will merely be a recommendation of his recent article in the New York Times: “Emerging Markets as Partners, Not Rivals“. Inspired by Barack Obama’s recent State of the Union address, where the US president multiple times noted that the US should “win the future”, Mankiw obviously has felt a need to explain that economics is generally not a zero-sum game. As usual, he does an excellent job!

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The Inflation Fallacy and central banking debates in the US

Among my favorite contemporary academic economists is N. Gregory Mankiw. I have always found his academic writings very lucid and to the point. I was once again reminded of this today, when I stumbled over some debates about abolishing the Federal Reserve System. Opponents of central banking, mostly self-proclaimed followers of the “Austrian school”, view central banks as monopoly powers that undermine free markets and are inherently inflationary – implying a government-supported devaluation of the population’s wealth. In the United States, these opponents are having golden days, as they can blame the Fed for having not only caused the financial crisis, but also for engaging in irresponsible quantitative easing that … Continue reading

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