This is J. Bradford DeLong's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following J. Bradford DeLong's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
J. Bradford DeLong
Berkeley, CA
J. Bradford DeLong is an economist teaching at the University of California at Berkeley.
Interests: history, economic history, information age, political economy, grand strategy, international relations, material culture., information technology, economics
Recent Activity
Image
**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org)--[The Equitablog](http://equitablegrowth.org/blog)** * The Contractionary[?] Federal Reserve Policies of 2013-2014: Friday Focus for September 19, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Lunchtime Must-Read: James Pethokoukis: Is it time to retire the most important chart in the world? - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Lunchtime Must Read: Paul Krugman: Could Fighting Global Warming Be Cheap and Free? - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Lunchtime Must-Read: Reuters: U.S. House Speaker Boehner Bemoans Notion 'I Don't Have to Work' - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Lunchtime Must Read: Joe Romm: NOAA: Hottest August On Record - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Lunchtime Must-Read: Peterson Institute: Labor Market Slack: Assessing and Addressing in Real Time - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Afternoon Must-Read: Pedro da Costa: On Twitter: Fed Economic Projections: A Colorful Patchwork of Downward Revisions - Washington Center for Equitable Growth **Plus:** * Things to Read on the Afternoon of September 19, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth **Must- and Shall-Reads:** * **Dutch Book:** My Ten Commandments for Finance Twitter * **Sam Wang:** How Our Predictions Work * **Chris Giles et al.:** Pay Pressure: Economists from across the political spectrum offer... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
New Economist writes: New Economist: Has Barro solved the equity premium puzzle? : A new paper by Robert Barro to this year's Minnesota Workshop in Macroeconomic Theory attempts to answer the puzzle: Rare Events and the Equity Premium (PDF). Barro's paper builds upon a 1988 JME article by Thomas Rietz entitled "The equity premium: A solution" (sorry, no PDF available), which argued that the premium could be explained by infrequent but very large falls in consumption (i.e. wars, depressions or disasters), if the intertemporal elasticity of substitution of consumption is low. Or as Brad DeLong recently put it: Rietz's (1988) answer to the equity premium puzzle was this: a long, fat lower tail to the return distribution. A small probability of very bad things happening to stock returns could support both (a) a relatively small sample variance of returns, and (b) rational aversion to large-scale stock ownership large enough to produce the observed equity premium. The question that Rietz was unable to answer was: "What exactly are these very bad things?" Mehra & Prescott immediately dismissed the Rietz arguments in a 1988 JME article.... But Barro has resurrected Rietz, and added his own twist. Barro explained the origins of his... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**Len Moss as reported by his son:** 18 September 1944: Second parachute drop into Arnhem meets deadly reception: >Somehow, he managed to untangle the lines and get the parachute canopy deployed, just in time, but… >…he landed very awkwardly, stiff legged on the ground. >That really, really hurt! >Paratroopers were landing all around. It was chaos as heavy machine gun fire raked the area from concealed German positions in the woods. Men were being hit, wounded, killed. Gunfire exploded nearby, ripping into the ground, throwing up puffs of dirt. The air was alive with flying lead. The wind caught Moss’ parachute and took it while he was trying to struggle up and release himself. He was thrown off balance. His leg was weighed down by the heavy pack — he was suddenly being pulled in two directions at once as bullets tore through the canopy material. >Bill Kent landed nearby…in an awkward heap. Moss called for help but Kent had his own problems. Kent was trying to get up. Engulfed in his parachute like a ghost, he flapped around as the material had holes ripped in it by stray bullets. In desperation, Moss hit the upper body release buckle on... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**James Sims:** 19 September 1944: Arnhem becomes a desperate battle for survival: >After the failure of the ‘Grand Prix’ attack the Germans withdrew a short distance and began to mortar and shell our positions systematically for the first time. The very air seemed to wail and sigh with the number of projectiles passing through it. The enemy had also brought up some self-propelled artillery, heavy stuff, and against this we were virtually helpless. One by one the houses held by the paratroopers were set alight. There was nothing to fight the fires with, even if we had been able to. >The airborne soldiers kept on firing from the blazing buildings even with the roof fallen in; then they moved to the second floor, then to the first, and finally to the basement. Only when this was alight did they evacuate the building and take over another. As each hour passed we were driven into a smaller and smaller area. Casualties began to mount rapidly. Our food and water were practically gone, but worst of all the ammunition was running short. Soon we heard tank engines and thought at first they were ours; but they were German panzers cautiously probing their... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
Image
[**Over at Equitable Growth:**][1] Let's look at the five-year and ten-year U.S. break-even inflation rates--the inflation rates at which an investment in U.S. Treasury bonds held to maturity produces exactly the same return as an investment in U.S. Treasury inflation-protected securities of the same maturity: [**READ MOAR**][1] [1]: http://equitablegrowth.ms.techprogress.org/?p=6564 The most obvious feature of the graph is the liquidity squeeze of 2008--when people were dumping inflation-protected securities at ludicrous prices because they were thought to be less cash-like than Treasuries, and people wanted cash. It is not always the case that the inflation break-even tells us what Ms. Market's inflation expectations are; it is not always the case that the price of TIPS relative to Treasuries is set by a thick group of rational arbitrageurs focused on trying to profit from others' misperceptions of likely future inflation: The second thing to note is the relatively sharp drop in Ms. Market's inflation expectations since the mid-2000s: a delta of about -0.8%-points/year. Back in the mid-2000s we thought: * that the labor market was close to full employment; today we think it is still substantially below full employment; * that the cushion needed between the inflation target and zero to keep interest... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
Image
**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org)--[The Equitablog](http://equitablegrowth.org/blog)** * **Nick Bunker:** Flexible repayment options for debt: Is liquidity or solvency the issue? - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Evening Must-Read: Ezra Klein: Area Pundit Tom Frank Angry at Political Science for Proving Him Wrong - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Simon Wren-Lewis: Afternoon Must-Read: Keynes and the Macmillan committee - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Federal Reserve Statement Time! - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Afternoon Must-Read: Wall Street Journal Federal Reserve Statement Tracker - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Afternoon Must-Watch: Scott Gottlieb: Ebola - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Ignorant Night Thoughts on Regional Medical Cost Disparities: Wednesday Focus for September 17, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * I Am a Sad Puppy: No Apple iPhone 6s to Play with Until Friday - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Morning Must-Read: Matthew Yglesias: Failure to Nominate: The Federal Reserve and Obama's Biggest Economic Policy Mistake - Washington Center for Equitable Growth **Plus:** * Things to Read on the Morning of September 18, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth **Must- and Shall-Reads:** * **Ezra Klein:** Salon columnist Thomas Frank does not like political... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
Image
[**Over at Equitable Growth:**][2] What I think of as [the Louise Sheiner fact][1], as set out by David Cutler (paraphrasing from memory): >Q: How much of regional variation in real health-care (Medicare) costs is due to the fact that some regions have sicker populations than others? >A1 (micro): If we examine how much sicker people in different regions are, and multiply the difference in average sickness by how much extra treatment sicker people get on average, we get an incremental regional R2 ~ 0.1: an extra 10%-points of the regional real cost variation can be accounted for because some regions are sicker than others. >A2 (macro): If we just regress regional real costs on some plausible indicator of regional average sickness, we get an incremental regional R2 ~ 0.5: an extra 50%-points of the regional real cost variation can be accounted for because some regions are sicker than others. [**READ MOAR**][2] [1]: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/projects/bpea/fall%202014/fall2014bpea_sheiner.pdf (Louise Sheiner: 'Why the Geographic Variation in Health Care Spending Can’t Tell Us Much About the Efficiency or Quality of Our Health Care System') [2]: http://equitablegrowth.ms.techprogress.org/?p=6534 (Over at Equitable Growth) Clearly the facts are: (a) sick people in high-average-sickness regions are getting treated more than sick people... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
Image
**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org)--[The Equitablog](http://equitablegrowth.org/blog)** * **Nick Bunker:** How rising income inequality affects state tax revenue - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Morning Must-Read: Martin Wolf: The Creation of Weimar Russia - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Morning Must-Read: Andrew Flowers: Martin Wolf’s Grand Theory Of Global Financial Disorder - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Morning Must-Read: Mark Thoma: Can New Economic Thinking Solve the Next Crisis? - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Afternoon Must-Read: Bill Janeway: Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Morning Must-Read: Jonathan Chait: Have Nerds Betrayed the Left? - Washington Center for Equitable Growth **Plus:** * Things to Read on the Morning of September 17, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth **Must- and Shall-Reads:** * **Pew:** Data Visualization: The Distribution of Select Federal Tax Deductions and Credits Across the States * **Barclays:** The Rise of the Global Citizen? * **Jeff Goodell:** China, the Climate and the Fate of the Planet * **David Dayen:** Remember This Moment When the Next Financial Crisis Strikes. The SEC could have fixed our broken rating agencies. It whiffed * **Robin Harding:** Money Supply: A “considerable” challenge *On Twitter:* *... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
Image
**World War II Today:** 17 September 1944: Market Garden: Allied airborne attack into Holland: >Landing at Arnhem, the objective deepest into German occupied territory, were the British First Airborne Division. John Frost, commanding 2nd Parachute Battalion who were to spearhead the attack, was pleased to find that the landings had gone nearly as well as could be expected. He and the Parachute Regiment had come a long way since the Bruneval Raid in 1942. It was a warm Sunday afternoon and he reflected how the countryside and the neat Dutch houses were not so very different from the outskirts of Aldershot, home town of the British Army. He describes the early stages in the operation as the paratroopers collected together at their rendezvous point in a wood: >>It was by now about half-past two in the afternoon and quite hot. The sweat was pouring off the cheerful faces of the men as they filed past me into the wood. Wireless sets seemed to be the only casualties from the drop, among them the brigade set, but fortunately a spare was available. Just as I was beginning to feel that on the whole things could not be going better, the sound... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
Image
**World War II Today:* 16 September 1944: Peleliu: US Marines attack towards Bloody Nose Ridge: >It was already apparent that the landings on Peleliu were not going to be over within the four days originally anticipated. Despite the blasting that the entire island had received prior to the landings on the 15th most of the Japanese defenders had survived in their bunkers. Eugene B. Sledge, with the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines 1st Marine Division, was keeping notes of his experiences in his New Testament Bible. He was later to develop it into one of the classic memoirs of the war. After being selected for officer training he and many others had deliberately ‘flunked out’ so that they didn’t ‘miss the war’. So it was that he found himself as a Private in the middle of one of the bloodiest operations in the Pacific. After a sleepless night under shellfire they were all desperately thirsty, but men fell ill after drinking from a well. When water reached them in old oil drums it proved contaminated with rust and oil. That day it would reach 105 in the shade and, as Sledge points out, they were not in the shade. Their job... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
Image
The twenty-our year old Michael DeLong, Campaign Manager for Lianne Thompson in the Clatsop County, OR special election, reports last night: >I am pleased to report that Lianne Thompson was elected County Commissioner for Clatsop County, District 5, over Dale Barrett... 59% to... 40%. >We are very happy, and I am quite tired, so I am heading off to bed. I will be moving back to Portland in the next couple of days. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
**Rick Hasen:** Live Blogging #KSSEN Taylor v. Kobach: Analysis: >Oral argument in the Kansas Supreme Court has now completed in the case of Kobach v. Taylor, on the question whether Taylor’s name can be removed from the Kansas U.S. Senate ballot. The issue is especially important with incumbent Republican Senator Pat Roberts now trailing independent Greg Orman in recent polling and with the fate of the Senate potentially hanging in the balance. While it is always hazardous to predict outcomes from oral argument (because Justices sometimes ask rhetorical questions or minds change after argument), I think it is likely the Justices will quickly issue an order removing Taylor’s name from the ballot.... Much of the discussion at oral argument concerned other letters of withdrawal which the SOS had received.... The Justices seemed to get Kobach’s lawyer to admit that substantial compliance may sometimes be enough. With that concession, there is a relatively easy path to finding the letter substantially complied... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
Methinks you have forgotten how strong the Herb Stein current in the Republican Party was at the start of the 1980s--"Voodoo Economics" was not a Democratic line, initially: it was a George H.W. Bush line. And methinks you have forgotten how strong the Democratic currents were in the 1970s that viewed rent control as a magnificent success, and opposed pollution taxes *especially* if they worked. If the choice is between Herb Stein and Ira Magaziner, it is easy...
1 reply
**Jo Walton: "In dialogue with his century": >I was getting a book off the shelf last night and I came eye to eye with the hardcover of Patterson's biography of Heinlein: *Robert A Heinlein: In Dialogue With His Century*. >And I realised what a stupid title it is. >Especially for Heinlein, who seemed to write things that went straight from the nineteenth century to the future without pausing for the present: >>Twentieth Century: Cars, planes, electricity! >>Robert A. Heinlein: The nineteenth century is over! Soon we will be going to the stars! >>Twentieth Century: The depression, WWII! >>Robert A. Heinlein: To the stars! First we'll settle the solar system. Martians! >>Twentieth Century: Cold War. >>Robert A. Heinlein: Bomb shelters! >>Twentieth Century: Boop, be doop, be doop, be doodle-ooo, boop, be boop, be boop, be doodle-ooo, boop, be doop, be doop, be doodle-eye-doo! >>Robert A. Heinlein: The nineteenth century is over! Soon we can have sex with our mothers and our clones! Also, come on, hey, we haven't even got to the moon yet, and I want to have sex with Martians! >>Twentieth Century: Apollo XI. Done with space now. Boop be doop be doop... >>Robert A. Heinlein: The stars! >>Twentieth... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
14
Image
**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org)--[The Equitablog](http://equitablegrowth.org/blog)** * **Nick Bunker:** Does slower growth in the cost of health care help wage growth? - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Morning Must-Read: Jon Hilsenrath: Fed Chief Yellen Seeks Interest-Rate Consensus - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * The Best Example of Why I Have Long Thought that the Washington Post Is Long-Past Its Sell-by Date: Hoisted from the Internet From Six Years Ago - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Morning Must-Read: Dean Baker: Influencing the Debate from Outside the Mainstream: Keep it Simple - Washington Center for Equitable Growth * Morning Must-Read: Documents on Koch Intentions on FSU Econ Department Hiring - Washington Center for Equitable Growth **Plus:** * Things to Read on the Morning of September 15, 2014 - Washington Center for Equitable Growth **Must- and Shall-Reads:** * **Megan Geuss:** Why Apple Pay could succeed where others have had underwhelming results. Not because Apple is a huge and influential company, but because the timing is right * **Lance Taylor:** Structuralist Response to Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century * **Cardiff Garcia:** The Fed can take its time, if it wants to * **Wei Gu:** Almost Half of Wealthy Chinese Want to... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
Image
[**Over at Equitable Growth:**][1] As best as I have been able to determine, the thinking among the executives and editors of the *Washington Post* who commissioned and published this piece back in September 2008 was roughly: "We need to publish an economy-is-actually-in-good-shape piece so that the McCain campaign and the Republicans won't be made at us". Whether the piece was true, whether the numbers quoted in it were accurate or representative, or even whether the author had a conceptually and analytically interesting perspective did not enter their thinking at all. For none of those conditions were satisfied. I have been waiting ever since for somebody in the *Washington Post* to decide that they need to commission somebody to do a deep dive about how and why this piece got commissioned and published, and how they drifted so very very far away from the idea that a newspaper exists to inform its readers about the world. I suppose I am going to have to keep waiting, and when the last piece of newsprint spins through the *Washington Post* presses and the last update is posted to the *Washington Post* servers, it will still not have dared to come clean with its... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
Class meetings will consist of a mixture of lecture and discussion. When the course goes well, it is primarily discussion; when the course goes badly, it is primarily lecture. Because discussion will focus on the issues raised, resolved, and left unanswered by the assigned readings, readings should be completed before class. An informed contribution to the discussion will count--perhaps heavily--toward a student's grade. A research paper is also required. This paper should go beyond summarizing or synthesizing some subliterature of economic history: students should use the tools of economic theory and empirical analysis to pose and answer an historical question. The paper should have historical substance; this is not a requirement in applied economics or econometrics that can be satisfied by relabeling the variables in theoretical models taught elsewhere in the program or by mechanically applying modern statistical techniques to old data. More on the paper guidelines can be found below. There will also be a--cumulative, open book--final exam at the end of the course. The exam and the paper will carry equal weight, with class participation serving as a tie-breaker. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
<p>The paper required for Economics 210a is a research paper. That is, it should provide new information or evidence on a topic in economic history. It should not merely summarize an existing literature in the field. The writing and submission process requires that you meet two benchmarks: submit approximately ten pages' worth of a literature review and a statement of your hypotheses by Friday, December 9, 2005; and submit roughly 25 pages' worth of final paper will be due on the last day before spring vacation.</p> <p><em>Topic</em></p> <p>The paper may cover almost any topic in economic history. You are certainly not limited to the material covered in 210a. You may, for example, work on time periods or countries of particular interest to you. The only requirement is that the topic must genuinely involve the past. Comparisons of past and current events are certainly fine, but studies of developments solely after 1973 are not.</p> <p><em>Evidence</em></p> <p>As the readings on the syllabus make clear, historical evidence comes in a wide range of form and styles. It is often empirical, but not always. Sometimes the key evidence is just a list of goods traded or what policymakers said they were trying to accomplish.... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
<p>Economics 210a is required of Ph.D. students in Economics, and is taken in the first year of the graduate program. Graduate students in other degree programs may enroll subject to the availability of space and with the instructors' approval. The course is designed to introduce a selection of themes from the contemporary economic history literature. While themes are presented chronologically, the purpose of the course is not to present a narrative account of world economic history. Instead, emphasis is placed on the uses of economic theory and quantitative methods in history and on the insights that a knowledge of history can give to the practicing economist.</p> Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
SYLLABUS: Economics 210a: Fall-Winter 2005-2006: (First Half) University of California at Berkeley Barry Eichengreen (Evans 603, W 2-4, 2-0926, eichengr@econ.berkeley.edu Brad DeLong (Evans 601, W 11-12, 2-3, 3-4027, delong@econ.berkeley.edu Before the Course Begins: Introduction: The Past Is Another Country Robert M. Solow (1985), "Economic History and Economics," American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 75:2 (May), pp. 328-331 http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-8282%28198505%2975%3A2%3C328%3AEHAE%3E2.0.CO%3B2-2. October 19, 2005: Modes of Production The Agricultural Revolution and Its Consequences: Jared Diamond (1987), "The Invention of Agriculture: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race," Discover http://www.agron.iastate.edu/courses/agron342/diamondmistake.html. Joel Mokyr (1998), "Review of Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel" http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/Teaching_Folder/Econ_210b/Mokyr_on_Diamond.html. The Ancient Economy: M.I. Finley (1970), "Aristotle and Economic Analysis," Past and Present 47 (May), pp. 3-25 http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0031-2746%28197005%290%3A47%3C3%3AAAEA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-J. M. I. Finley (1965), "Technical Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World," Economic History Review, New Series, 18:1, pp. 29-45 http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0013-0117%281965%292%3A18%3A1%3C29%3ATIAEPI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-1. William Baumol (1990), "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy 98:5(1) (Oct), pp. 893-921 http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-3808%28199010%2998%3A5%3C893%3AEPUAD%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Z. J. Bradford DeLong (2003), "Thinking About Aristotle of Stagira and Moses Finley" http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2003_archives/000381.html. J. Bradford DeLong (1997), "The 'Embedded Economy' Thesis" http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/2003_archives/002483.html. October 26, 2005: Malthusian and Dark Ages Trade without Law: Avner Greif (1989), "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...
It is true that spending time in Berkeley tends to turn me even more neoliberal and into a (domestic) neoconservative. But it will be a miracle if the next three months largely in Kansas City do not turn me into a Trotskyist. "Awesome in its evilness", Jon Gruber says. And I cannot disagree...
1 reply