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Seldomly updated

The Minsky Conference Returns

Participants Lakshman Achuthan, Cofounder, Economic Cycle Research Institute Binyamin Appelbaum, Editorial Board Member, New York Times Robert Barbera, Director, J.H.U. Center for Financial Economics; Economics Department Fellow, The Johns Hopkins University Peter Coy, Economics Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek Charles Evans, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Jason Furman, Aetna Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and the Department of...

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Direct Job Creation in Greece

Michael Stephens | April 28, 2021 Senior Scholar Rania Antonopoulos recently participated in a webinar for the European Trade Union Institute, during which she discussed the rationale behind and experience with the implementation of the “Kinofelis” direct job creation program—a limited job guarantee for Greece. Watch her presentation below (accompanying slides are here). The Levy Institute’s previous Strategic Analysis for...

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The “Thing” with Job Guarantee Programs…

In a February 18th front page article in the business section of the New York Times, Eduardo Porter surveys the potential for a job guarantee program. After starting with the caveat issued by Republican politicians—why trust your life choices to bureaucrats?—the piece goes on to present opinions of various experts on employment programs. It is noteworthy that even among the specialists, not one has ever been involved in actual fieldwork or research in the various experiments with job...

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The IMF as Deficit Owl? What’s Wrong with This Argument?

It seems the IMF aviary has turned on the hawks and embraced the deficit owls. Has the IMF joined the policy shift to MMT? Yes, in part, but it appears to be a viral form of MMT: according to Vitor Gaspar, the IMF’s head of fiscal policy, “Nations’ first priority should be vaccination, while the reduction of public debt is now far down the list of urgent actions… the main role of fiscal policy in the immediate future should be to be stimulative, to help restore economic growth, reduce...

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Jiu-Jitsu Comes to the Stock Market

The core philosophy of this Japanese defensive art used by the weak against the stronger Samurai is to mobilize the opponent’s greater force to your own advantage. Many have criticized the run-up in the quotation of the GameStop shares as a violation of market principles or regulations. Far from it, it simply represents the fact that day traders may be dumb money, but they have understood how to apply jiu-jitsu. If the intent was simply to profit from trading the stock, no retail trader...

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Why “Output Gap” Is Inadequate

by Lekha Chakraborty and Amandeep Kaur[1] The macroeconomic uncertainty during the Covid-19 pandemic is hard to measure. Economists and policymakers use the “output gap” variable to capture “slack.” It is a deviation between potential output and actual output, which is a standard representation of a “cycle.” The potential output is an unobserved variable. There is an increasing concern about the way we measure potential output—decomposing the output into trends and cycles. This is...

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Increasing Diversity in Economics Is Not Only a Moral Obligation

November 3rd, 2019, I delivered remarks on the closing panel of The New School/UMASS Amherst Graduate workshop held in New York City. The panel theme was “Broadening the boundaries of political economy”. I have since graduated and successfully gone through the job market. I hope my remarks from last year can serve as encouragement for fellow female, black, African-American, Latinx, and ethnic minority economic students, as well as all students in the field who have ever felt...

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Quick Housekeeping Note

By James Kwak I’ve been asked if you can sign up for email notifications when I write stories on Medium. Apparently you can, but the option is a bit buried. (One of the nice things about Medium is the clean interface. One downside of that clean interface is that sometimes you have to go looking for things.) If you’re on my main page (jamesykwak.medium.com), you have to click on About at the top. Then you get to this page, and at the bottom there’s a link to an email...

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Quick Housekeeping Note

By James Kwak I’ve been asked if you can sign up for email notifications when I write stories on Medium. Apparently you can, but the option is a bit buried. (One of the nice things about Medium is the clean interface. One downside of that clean interface is that sometimes you have to go looking for things.) If you’re on my main page (jamesykwak.medium.com), you have to click on About at the top. Then you get to this page, and at the bottom there’s a link to an email...

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Moving On

By James Kwak I’ve decided not to post on The Baseline Scenario anymore. I’ve thought about this on and off during the several years that the site has been mostly dormant, but I never pulled the trigger, mainly because this blog still has thousands of email subscribers and an unknown number of followers on Facebook. But I obviously haven’t been into blogging for a long time now, and it feels weird to continue using a platform whose peak was in 2010 and 2011 (when we were regularly...

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