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Well-being in historical perspective: The experience of Latin America

How does Latin American well-being compare to the advanced nations? This column presents a new historical index of human development that allows for analyses of trends in Latin American development since 1870. The results unearth a number of puzzles that pit rising income against flagging developments in well-being.

Monnet’s chain reaction and the future of Europe

The idea that Europe’s challenges could be addressed with further integration dates back to the beginning of the European project. This column argues that partial integration might not necessarily lead to more integration. In particular,...Show More Summary

Cuts: the big bad wolf's howl is worse than his bite

My regular column is available to subscribers on This is an excerpt. Sometimes I think that when George Osborne looks in the mirror each morning, he thinks: ?Now how can I put the wind up the Labour party...

What You Mean "We", Scott Alexander?

(July 25, 2015 07:18 PM, by David Henderson) My co-blogger Bryan Caplan, as well as many other bloggers and friends, have recommended Scott Alexander's (that's not his real name) blog, slatestarcodex. I have had it on my feed for a number of months now and, like them, find... (0 COMMENTS)

Fed Staff Accidentally Posts Bearish Economic Forecast and Prediction Inflation Would Not Hit 2% by 2020; Upset Over Leaks? Why?

The Fed created quite a stir by inadvertently posting documents on its website. The documents revealed some expected things, as well as a few startling (but not to Mish readers) projections. Please consider Fed Inadvertently Publishes Staff Forecast for 2015 Rate Hike. Show More Summary

'The Old Man and the CPI'

Paul Krugman: The Old Man and the CPI: I don’t watch financial news, but CNBC was on in the gym, so I was treated to a long ad from Ron Paul, who wants you to buy his video explaining the...

'The Rise in Obesity'

From Vox EU (and in today's links), can economic factors explain the rise in obesity?: Changing economic factors and the rise in obesity: The dramatic increase in obesity has raised the question of whether economic incentives can explain this trend....

Survey of Long-Term Interest Rates

The conclusion of a long White House report on long-term interest rates: V. Conclusion Many factors play roles in the determination of long - term interest rates, including the rate of productivity growth, beliefs about future risks, consumer preferences,...

Weekend Reading: Patricia Crone: What Do We Actually Know about Mohammed?

Patricia Crone (2008): [What Do We Actually Know About Mohammed?]( >It is notoriously difficult to know anything for sure about the founder of a world religion. Just asShow More Summary

Weekend Reading: Lant Pritchett (2014): Can Rich Countries be Reliable Partners for National Development?

Lant Pritchett (2014): [Can Rich Countries be Reliable Partners for National Development?]( >"Time and time again I have seen NGOs and politicians in rich countries...Show More Summary

Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for July 25, 2015

Must- and Should-Reads: Must-Read: Mara P. Squicciarini and Nico Voigtländer: [Human Capital and Industrialization: Evidence from the Age of Enlightenment]( Must-Read: David Glasner: [Milton Friedman’s...Show More Summary

Must-Read: Nick Bunker's Weekend Reading

Must-Read: Nick Bunker: [Weekend Reading]( Matt Levine digs into the argument that index mutual funds reduce corporate competition and what this says about the role of the financial system. Show More Summary

Measuring unemployment

New claims for unemployment insurance this week came in at the lowest level in over 40 years. How much slack can there be left in the labor market? The most common measure of unemployment (known as U3) counts the number of people who are not currently working and are actively looking for a job. You’re […]

Weekend Reading: Scott Lemieux on the ACA Truthers...

"With this sentence, [Michael] Cannon is spitting out his own snake oil..." Scott Lemieux: [On Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannon]( "The ACA was, in fact, passed with somewhat less haste than a turtle crawling through a tar pit... Show More Summary

Thoughts on reading Silvio Gesell on money

I hadn't read Silvio Gesell. I only knew about him from Chapter 23 of Keynes' General Theory, from Miles Kimball's post on Gesell's plan for negative interest rates on money, and from the Wikipedia entry. But I'm halfway through writing...

The Sight of Central Bankers Naked in The Rain

Withholding tax collections have weakened in July, breaking down from the narrow range of 5-6% annual nominal growth they have been in through the second quarter.  The usual pattern in the past several years had been a cycle lasting 3-4 months. A cycle low is due now and the numbers have strengthened over the past…

The limits of nudging

A look at the Behavioural Insights Team's latest report

On welfare incentives

A loyal reader has chastised my defence of welfare benefits for ignoring incentive effects. This deserves a reply. The issue here is not about Osborne's welfare cuts, simply because these haven't, net, made much difference to incentives. On the one...

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