Non-experimental evidence

Angus Deaton recently said that all the attention that natural (and actual) experiments are getting is over blown. He claims experimental data has no special status in a hierarchy of evidence. I agree to the extent that I don’t think we should favor one form of evidence to the exclusion of other types of evidence […]

Even more zeros

There’s more experimental-like evidence that immigrants have little or no negative effect on native employment opportunities, if you need it. In 1962, 900,000 pied-noirs repatriated to France after fleeing Algeria following their loss in the country’s war of independence. These repatriates settled in the warmer departments of France with climates more similar to their former […]

А русских евреев принять на нашу работу?

Нет! ((Thanks Google Translate!)) An easy criticism of “experimental” data, like that from the Mariel boatlift, is it only applies to the particular situation under which the experiment was run. Immigrants may have had no effect on employment outcomes in the very special circumstances of Miami in the early 1980′s, but in other places and […]

¿Los cubanos del Mariel toman nuestros trabajos?

¡No! David Card’s famous paper studied the impact of the sudden arrival of 120,000 refugees to Miami in 1980. He estimates that the total labor supply in Miami suddenly increased by 7% and the Cuban work force increased by 20%. Because labor is one undifferentiated mass doing the same tasks, with the same skills, creating […]

The unemployed aren’t the only ones seeking jobs

Work with me here. In normal times, say 2004 through 2007, suppose 10% of the working population are looking for jobs while still employed (do you know of a better estimate?). This means about 13 to 14 million employed workers are “job seekers” in normal times. “Quits” are voluntary separations from jobs and folks do […]

Why a good “policy stance” might matter

I haven’t read John Taylor’s newest working paper yet, but its about the Fed’s start-stop policy stance under the ancien régime. The story he’s riffing on in that paper is pretty standard. There was high and variable inflation under the old monetary policy regime because the Fed didn’t fully accept its role in determining inflation. […]

Japanese unemployment

In November, Japanese unemployment was at 5.2%. Many folks are comparing the Fed’s action today to those of the Bank of Japan in the “lost decade” (e.g.). I can’t quite peg down the comparison being made by Sumner, but Yglesias articulated it most clearly: [Bernanke] knows that unemployment is a problem now and he believes […]

Best political economy indicator?

I don’t think it’s unemployment. The hire rate?

Super cool

Data analysis!

The data are available at and

Right on the front page. The price level has been accelerating (increasing at faster rates) since last fall: and output is increasing: and unemployment is not increasing: