Tag: Unemployment

“Job Lock” from Employer-Based Health Benefits: What Should Government Do? »

Back in 1993, the economists Jonathan Gruber and Brigitte C. Madrian highlighted the problem of “job lock,” a consequence of employer-based health benefits. Job lock referred to the fact that the U.S. Internal Revenue Code does not tax employees’ health benefits if they are provided through employers’ group plans. However, if employers gave the...
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What Paul Krugman Can Learn from Milton Friedman »

Years ago, Milton Friedman was asked at a conference what he thought about different schools of economics (Chicago school, Austrian school, etc.) Friedman replied, “There are only two kinds of economics: good economics and bad economics.” I’m reminded of this by Krugman’s Monday column, in which he asserts that there is a Republican economic...
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A Chance to End the Great Recession »

It is elementary economics that subsidizing an activity encourages it to expand, while taxing an activity encourages it to shrink. Unemployment benefits subsidize unemployment and are paid for, sooner or later, by taxes on employment. The natural result is more unemployment and less employment. The current “Great Recession” has only been the second worst...
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Just Say No to Jobs for the Young and Unskilled »

As pictured here, Governor Jerry Brown has signed new minimum wage legislation that ups the minimum productivity to be employed in California to $9 per hour starting next year, and $10 per hour in 2016. Supervisors will also have to increase their productivity if they want to stay employed. The San Francisco Chronicle offers...
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All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Reading Higgs »

Further to Bob Higgs’s earlier post, Thinking Is Research, Too!, down in Texas, the Chairman of the Dallas Fed has the odd practice of looking beyond government stats and actually (gasp!) asking real people how they think the economy is going. From a profile of the President and CEO of the Dallas Fed, Richard...
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Thinking Is Research, Too! »

Bill Parker, an old friend of mine who died in 2000, was director of graduate studies in economics at Yale for thirteen years. He told me once about his struggles with his colleagues, who, he believed, were spending too much time on technique and not enough time on substance in teaching their courses. The...
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New Book Exposes the ‘Terrible 10′ Worst U.S. Economic Policy Mistakes »

Despite enjoying impressive economic growth over the past century, Americans have also been the victims of scores of stupid government mistakes that have made them poorer. For many the blunders led only to temporary setbacks, but for others the errors created life-altering disasters from which they never recovered. In the new book The Terrible...
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Robert William Fogel (July 1, 1926—June 11, 2013) »

Robert Fogel died a few days ago. He was a prominent figure in the academic economic history profession for five decades, virtually from the time he burst onto the scene with the publication of a polished-up version of his Johns Hopkins Ph.D. dissertation, Railroads and American Economic Growth, in 1964. This book was the...
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Labor Markets Are Still in Bad Shape »

The recent report that the standard (U-3) rate of unemployment fell to 7.7 percent last month seems to have stirred considerable joy in Mudville. But before we spend a lot of time shouting huzzahs, we might well bear in mind a few other data and, of course, recall that not so long ago, a...
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World War II Didn’t End the Great Depression »

The notion that the Second World War is responsible for ending the Great Depression has met growing skepticism among economic historians, thanks in no small part to the work of Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs. Beginning with an article that first appeared in the Journal of Economic History in 1992, Higgs has argued...
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