Friday, April 30, 2010

Euro-skepticism and state budget deficits

Today Paul Krugman writes about the ongoing crisis in the Euro area, and he makes a very good point about its origins not solely deriving from budget deficits. He reiterates his earlier statements about capital inflows into Spain, budget surpluses there, and rising prices in Spain, the last of which is difficult to undo with a common currency.

Something very similar could be said about California and Florida, I think. Especially in the former, the state budget is in complete disarray. But the run-up in real estate prices was largely independent of that and seems likely to have produced a similar problem with prices that are too high.

Monday, April 5, 2010

More on fiscal multipliers

Here's a recent interview with Robert Barro, and he speaks highly of recent work by Valerie Ramey. She finds that measuring the timing of announcements of government (military) spending and the timing of actual spending and activity is pretty important. When you do it right, she finds, the multiplier is at best unity.

Taxes and benefits over the life cycle

UM-Amherst's Nancy Folbre writes about taxes and benefits over the life cycle in the Times economix blog. She uses some data on age-specific taxes and benefits I allocated based on the 2004 NIPA tables and age profiles of utilization from the National Transfer Accounts project. She reports that it takes 17 years past age 21 for the average taxpayer to break even, by repaying governments for the net investments he or she received as a child and adolescent.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The cost of caring for injured soldiers

Katy Clark of PRI's The World reported on the IOM report on April 2 and interviewed me and several others about the costs of caring for wounded veterans. The podcast MP3 is available as a link off that page.

USA Today's Gregg Zoroya also wrote about the report back on Wednesday.