More on US public debt

May 25, 2010

Here’s an impressive infographic by the Chicago Tribune, on the national debt of the United States, 1940-2010.

Found via Visualizing Economics.

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The socialist within

May 22, 2010

It’s Friday night in this side of the Western hemisphere, so, what the heck. I think you might find it funny. Here’s a bit of U. S. public debt history.

Does the average tea-party fan know better?

Found via The Big Picture.


Your weekly dosis of AMHE news

May 7, 2010

Disclaimer: Yes, we all know that both Ben and I have neglected this blog. It is time to catch up. But until we reach the lost momentum, you’ll have to live with our publishing choices. Now, on to some news, courtesy of the Mexican Economic History Association.

News

Newsletter, 1 de Mayo de 2010 de la AEHE [Spanish]

Boletim do Grupo de Pesquisa em História Econômica, História Quantitativa e Georreferenciada (abril de 2010) [Portuguese]

Courses

Escuela de Verano de Historia Económica (Montevideo, diciembre 2010) [Spanish]

Events

Conferencia de Douglas Irwin “Currencies and Crises: How Spain Missed  the Great Depression” (Madrid, 11 de mayo 2010) [Spanish, English]

Conferencia “Tariffs in history” (Madrid, 13 y 14 de mayo 2010) [Spanish, English]

Calls

Segunda Circular, XXII Jornadas de Historia Economica de la AAHE (Rio  Cuarto, 21 al 24 de septiembre de 2010) [Spanish]

Scholarships, prizes and job offers

Temporary Position Teaching the History of Economic Thought [English]

Doctoral scholarships at Leeds University [English]

Publications

Marcelo Rougier (dir.) Estudios sobre la industria argentina. Políticas de promoción y estrategias empresariales 2 [Spanish]

Papers

NEP-HIS 2010-05-02, 22 papers [English]


Caporale T. and Grier K. (2000) On why the sheriff still matters

December 19, 2009

Caporale, Tony and Kevin B. Grier (2000) Political Regime Change and the Real Interest Rate, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 32/3: 320-334.

Intro

A number of influential macroeconomic models, from Keynes to the monetarists, assume that real interest rates (i.e. discounted for inflation) change over time and are sensitive to their political environment, other words that they are policy variant. However this assumption has not been empirically tested, should this assumption be in fact contradicted, it would have important repercussions on these models’ viability. Moreover, the policy-variant hypothesis apparently conflicts with Eugene Fama’s conclusion that the mean of the real rate is essentially constant (p.322). The literature has found to match Fama’s views more closely with reality: real interest rates are “essentially constant over long periods of times but subject to infrequent mean shifts that are not related to policy regime changes”. Read the rest of this entry »


On cognitive functions interrupted (and the growth of two retail corporations in the US)

October 26, 2009

I haven’t been able to write much since the equivalent of a permanent shock affected my production function as well as its slope (break ups are always hard, being the dumpee is even worse, in the long run we are all dead).

I’m slowly regaining use of my cognitive functions. For I don’t want to leave Ben alone in this blog any longer, I thought of posting two maps showing the growth of two retail corporations in the US: Wal Mart (1962-2006) and Target (1962-2008).

This might interest fans of urban and regional economics (or not). Anyway, I promise that the quality of my contributions to this awesome blog will increase. Just have a little faith on me.


On the rise and decadence of Detroit (1950-2009)

September 27, 2009
Detroit, 1950-2009

Detroit, 1950-2009

Time Magazine has an interesting article by Daniel Okrent about Detroit’s fate. What was once known as America’s Arsenal of Democracy and became the fourth largest city in the United States, shows signs of accelerated decay. Unemployment rate is almost 30%, business is all but (almost) shutdown, and the town of Robocop has nothing but a gloomy future. What is relevant in Okrent’s piece is his discussion on the political economy of Detroit’s failure. Populist politicians, overconfident automobile companies and pampered unionized workers intertwined to make of this Michigan city a urban disaster. Check out the pics of Detroit’s remains by Sean Hemmerle. They’re quite scary.


Sylla R. (2008) How Alexander Hamilton founded America (singlehanded)

September 22, 2009

Sylla, Richard (2008) “The Political Economy of Early U.S. Financial Development”, in Political Institutions and Financial Development, ed. Stephen Haber, Douglass C. North and Barry R. Weingast. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 60-91.

Picture 1Picture 2Picture 3

In only seven years, from 1788 to 1795, the US underwent a dramatic financial revolution; starting from scratch and swiftly acquiring all the key components of a modern financial infrastructure. By the time the westward expansion and the industrial take-off were ready to swing into action, a strong financial system was there to back them (p.62). But what allowed the US to develop these instruments? Read the rest of this entry »