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Mark Thoma
Eugene, Oregon
Professor of Economics, University of Oregon
Recent Activity
The Cost of America’s Oligopoly Problem - ProMarket An innovative new study finds substantial, increasing deadweight losses resulting from oligopolistic behavior and points to the important role that startup acquisitions—particularly by large tech firms—played in driving this trend. Helicopter money... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2019 at Economist's View
How we make decisions depends on how uncertain we are - EurekAlert! A new Dartmouth study on how we use reward information for making choices shows how humans and monkeys adopt their decision-making strategies depending on the uncertainty of information... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2019 at Economist's View
Do Immigrants Threaten U.S. Public Safety? - Abstract: Opponents of immigration often claim that immigrants, particularly those who are unauthorized, are more likely than U.S. natives to commit crimes and that they pose a threat to public safety. There... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2019 at Economist's View
I have been traveling and got a bit distracted by shiny objects. Here are a few links (in no particular order): Whither Central Banking? - Lawrence H. Summers & Anna Stansbury In an environment of secular stagnation in the developed... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2019 at Economist's View
Irving Fisher Demolishes the Loanable-Funds Theory of Interest - Uneasy Money In some recent posts (here, here and here) I have discussed the inappropriate application of partial-equilibrium analysis (aka supply-demand analysis) when the conditions under which the ceteris paribus assumption... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2019 at Economist's View
Why Rate Cuts Don’t Help Much Anymore - Austan Goolsbee Now that it has finally happened, don’t expect the Federal Reserve’s long-awaited rate cut to make all that much of a difference for the economy. The Invention of Money -... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2019 at Economist's View
Why Critics of a More Relaxed Attitude on Public Debt Are Wrong - Blanchard and Ubide Both of us have recently developed arguments for a more relaxed attitude toward public debt and deficits (for example, this address by Blanchard at... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2019 at Economist's View
My one month old granddaughter Summer. Both of her parents were economics majors, as were all four of her grandparents. Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2019 at Economist's View
Why Is Inflation Low Globally? - FRBSF A hot economy eventually boosts inflation. Such is the simple wisdom of the Phillips curve. Yet inflation across developed countries has been remarkably weak since the 2008 global financial crisis, even though unemployment... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2019 at Economist's View
Thumbs Down to Facebook’s Cryptocurrency - Joseph E. Stiglitz Only a fool would trust Facebook with his or her financial wellbeing. But maybe that’s the point: with so much personal data on some 2.4 billion monthly active users, who knows... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at Economist's View
Opportunity cost, MMT and public spending - Crooked Timber ... In the “chartalist” reasoning underlyng MMT, the fact that governments can issue their own sovereign currency means that there is no need to “finance” public spending by taxation; rather taxation... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2019 at Economist's View
Notes on Excessive Wealth Disorder - Paul Krugman In a couple of days I’m going to be participating in an Economic Policy Institute conference on “excessive wealth disorder” — the problems and dangers created by extreme concentration of income and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2019 at Economist's View
The Decline of American Journalism Is an Antitrust Problem - ProMarket Weak antitrust enforcement set the stage for Facebook and Google to extract the fruits of publishers’ labor. We won’t be able to save journalism and solve our disinformation problem... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2019 at Economist's View
Is Labour’s fiscal policy rule neoliberal? - mainly macro That is the charge some on the left, particularly followers a movement called MMT, have laid against Labour's Fiscal Credibility Rule (FCR). MMT stands for nothing very informative, but it is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2019 at Economist's View
This time might not be different ~ Antonio Fatas Estimating the probability of a recession over a short horizon has so far proven to be a challenging task for economists. Each cycle looks slightly different from the previous one and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2019 at Economist's View
What to Do About China? - J. Bradford DeLong By attempting to "get tough" with China, US President Donald Trump's administration is highlighting the extent to which America's star has fallen this century. If the US ever wants to reclaim... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2019 at Economist's View
After Neoliberalism - Joseph E. Stiglitz For the past 40 years, the United States and other advanced economies have been pursuing a free-market agenda of low taxes, deregulation, and cuts to social programs. There can no longer be any doubt... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at Economist's View
Trump Tantrums the Dems Out of a Trap - Paul Krugman I gotta say, it was very clever of Nancy Pelosi to steal Donald Trump’s strawberries, pushing him over the edge into self-evident lunacy. As everyone knows, Trump stormed out... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at Economist's View
Raj Chetty’s plan to change how Harvard teaches economics - Vox Raj Chetty, a prominent faculty member whom Harvard recently poached back from Stanford, this spring unveiled “Economics 1152: Using Big Data to Solve Economic and Social Problems.” Taught with... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2019 at Economist's View
Robo-Apocalypse? Not in Your Lifetime - J. Bradford DeLong Not a week goes by without some new report, book, or commentary sounding the alarm about technological unemployment and the "future of work." Yet in considering the threat posed by automation... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2019 at Economist's View
Don’t Give Trump Too Much Credit for the Soaring Economy - Alan Blinder In recent weeks, any number of commentators have taken note of what might be called the “paradox of polling” under President Donald Trump. Specifically, the president gets... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2019 at Economist's View
There’s a revealing puzzle in the China tariffs - Larry Summers On Monday, China announced new tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. exports, and the United States threatened new tariffs on up to $300 billion of Chinese goods. These actions... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2019 at Economist's View
Evolution or revolution: An afterword - Blanchard and Summers The changes in macroeconomic thinking prompted by the Great Depression and the Great Inflation of the 1970s were much more dramatic than have yet occurred in response to the events of... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2019 at Economist's View
Trump Is Terrible for Rural America - Paul Krugman Economists, reports Politico, are fleeing the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service. Six of them resigned on a single day last month. The reason? They are feeling persecuted for publishing reports that... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2019 at Economist's View
An Industrial Policy for Good Jobs - Dani Rodrik & Charles Sabel So-called productive dualism is driving many contemporary ills in developed and developing countries alike: rising inequality and exclusion, loss of trust in governing elites, and growing electoral support... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2019 at Economist's View