R: solving a small system of equations fast

My google-fu failed me on this one, so for the next person googling “stupid fast library for solving a system of equations in R such that the trade off between speed and ‘robustness’ is way on the speed side”, you’re welcome. I’m on the final leg of my dissertation and I have some code that […]

A link everyone will find useful

I was at a practice job talk at a nearby university on Friday. As preface to my work ((I’ll post on it as soon as I get my job applications sent)), I pointed out that workers change careers many times, 3 or 4 times, over their lifetimes where career change is defined as an occupation […]

Macro Model Mart

John Taylor links to the Macro Model Data Base. You are no longer allowed to critique macro for ignoring your pet “obvious” mechanism without having checked this list of models.

Setting expectations

Evans and Honkapohja’s work on learning in macro is important. Watch this to get a sense for what they’re doing: But learning dynamics are not well understood empirically. Prof. Evans describes the dynamics under adaptive learning. Under rational expectations the economy would just pop to the good equilibrium. Under other learnings schemes the dynamics would […]

A DSGE primer


Economists: the King’s alchemists?

Delong: One of the embarrassing dirty little secrets of economics is that there is no such thing as economic theory properly so-called. There is simply no set of foundational bedrock principles on which one can base calculations that illuminate situations in the real world. Biologists know that every cell runs off instructions for protein synthesis […]

A little better

Here’s the cross-state plot of the effect of immigrants on native wages: This time you’ll notice that I plotted the changes in the proportion of immigrants against the change in wages (these are changes from the 1990 to 2000 censuses). In effect, I’m controlling for fixed features of states. This makes the effect size (a […]

Substitutability as default?

I’m jumping ahead of my own narrative, but why does it seem ingrained in people (including economists) that immigrants must be competing with native workers? Why is complementarity so much more unlikely in people’s priors? We don’t have this bias when it comes to new technologies. In fact, we have the opposite bias. Despite the […]

The computer thinks for us

Angus Deaton: Structural estimation is useful, not only for the estimates (whose credibility is often undercut by the panoply of supporting assumptions that are required to obtain them), but for understanding the empirical predictions of the theory. Do we do this with DSGEs? We try to replicate known patterns in the data, but I don’t […]

The positive nature of normative analysis

When you first take a grad level economics class, it occurs to you the discipline appears to be “social physics”. Where you thought the discipline was “a tool for understanding and social criticism and an instrument for intellectual enlightenment” you begin to suspect its “a tool for social engineering and an instrument for progressive politics”. […]