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US cities and productivity in the railroad era

There is increasing evidence that cities offer externalities that raise labour productivity. This column looks at the contribution of US cities to productivity growth at the turn of last century. The findings show that increased specialisation, promoted by improved transportation, was the key to productivity growth. Today’s policymakers should heed this lesson.

Primordial risk factors for HIV spread in Africa

HIV/AIDS is an endemic economic problem for significant parts of Africa. This column presents evidence suggesting that the demographic shock induced by the slave trade still shapes the contemporary family structures and sexual behaviour of many African countries. Show More Summary

Police State "Ministry of Truth" Hits Spain; Man Fined for Calling Police "Slackers" on Facebook

On July 1, the Spanish Government went to "Full Police State", with enactment of law forbidding dissent and unauthorized photos of law enforcement. Spain's officially a police state now. On July 1st, its much-protested "gag" law went into effect, instantly making criminals of those protesting the new law. Show More Summary

Rangebound Frictionless Market Leads To Abnormal Cycle Screen Performance

Cycle screening measures strengthened on Wednesday at a clip consistent with the gain in the market averages. The fact that there was no positive divergence in the aggregate measure before the rally started raised a sustainability question. These instances are relatively rare, and virtually always result in a retest of the low, a lower low,…

Continuing Education... Eric Hanushek on Education, Skills, and the Millenium Development Goals, by Amy Willis

If a nation sends all its children to school, can it count on greater economic growth? Does putting bottoms in seats generate human capital? This week, Russ welcomed back the Hoover Institution's Eric Hanushek. What did you think ofShow More Summary

Thursday: Q2 GDP and Revisions, Unemployment Claims

The GDP revisions will be especially important this year.Excerpts from a research piece by Michelle Meyer at Merrill Lynch: The moment of truth• The annual revision to GDP growth on July 30th will adjust estimates of growth over the past few years. Show More Summary

?Whole Foods earnings leave investors famished

The stock got hit hard after the grocery chain reported revenues and profits that both fell short of expectations

?Facebook posts strong growth, but not enough

It beat Wall Street expectations for profits and new users, but investors are selling on the news

How Many Salaried Workers in Your State Would Gain Overtime Protections under the New Proposed Threshold?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to pay covered workers 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for each hour of work per week beyond 40 hours.

Mark Ames of Pando Interviews Your Humble Blogger on Greece

I hope you'll enjoy this interview with Mark Ames: Naked Capitalism: "We are in the business of making trouble."

Fed Watch: FOMC Recap

Tim Duy: FOMC Recap, by Tim Duy: The July FOMC meeting yielded the widely expected outcome of no policy change. Very little change in the statement either - pulling out any useful information is about as easy as reading tea...

What Is 'Price Theory'?

Glen Weyl at Marginal Revolution: What Is “Price Theory”?:... I have an unusual relationship to “price theory”. As far as I know I am the only economist under 40, with the possible exception of my students, who openly identifies...

FOMC Press Release

Not much to say about this, policy is unchanged, and not as much guidance on what to expect going forward as some expected (i.e., to get people ready for a rate increase in September): Press Release, Release Date: July 29,...

Dylan Matthews Is Upset that Bernie Sanders Thinks that U.S. Citizens Should Live Better Than Chadians

I'm not kidding, this is what he criticized Senator Bernie Sanders for in a Vox piece today. He apparently views it as outrageous that Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, doesn't think that the United States...Show More Summary

Wealth Gap by Age: A Big Thing Not to Worry About

In a Wonkblog post, Ana Swanson complained that people are not sufficiently worried about the wealth gap by age. This should rate high on the list of items for people not to worry about. The basic reason is simple, for most people wealth...Show More Summary

Making the perfect the enemy of the good, Fed edition: James Saft

July 29 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve, it seems, is still waiting for the economic equivalent of perfection and risks squandering a good opportunity to begin normalizing interest rates. While this may be part of a well-intentioned effort to prepare the ground for investors and avoid a market shock when the increase finally comes, every […]

Noted for Your Evening Procrastination for July 29, 2015

Must- and Should-Reads: Martin Feldstein: [The U.S. Underestimates Growth](http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-u-s-underestimates-growth-1431989720) William Gale: [State income tax cuts: Still a bad idea](http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2015/07/28-state-income-tax-cuts-bad-idea-gale#.Vbj7N6dEldI.twitter)...Show More Summary

Why Americans Are Nostalgic About Manufacturing

[Over at Equitable Growth][1]: Last month the sharp and hard-working Jeff Spross wrote: Jeff Spross: [Why Americans Are so nostalgic About the Manufacturing Industry](http://theweek.com/articles/555969/why-americans-are-nostalgic-about-manufacturing-industry): "The U.S. Show More Summary

Liveblogging World War II: July 29, 1945: USS Indianapolis (CA-35)

Wikipedia: [USS Indianapolis (CA-35)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Indianapolis_(CA-35)#1945): >After major repairs and an overhaul, Indianapolis received orders to proceed to Tinian island, carrying parts and the enriched uranium...Show More Summary

"Selfie" Fashion Trends: Cheap Dresses and "Rentabag"; Mish Handbag Tips

Impact of the "Selfie"Are you into Facebook, Instagrams, and "Selfies" (taking lots of pictures of yourself and sharing them instantly)? I'm not but, but in my travels I see lots of it. The popularity of sending "selfies" has even influenced retail sales and women's fashion. Show More Summary

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