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Bradford DeLong

Bradford DeLong

J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

Articles by Bradford DeLong

Brad DeLong: Worthy reads on equitable growth, February 23–March 1, 2021

2 days ago

Worthy reads from Equitable Growth:

1. Across a remarkably large chunk of the United States, employers seem to think that keeping their contract with their workers is an optional thing. It is very disturbing and distressing to me that the norm that contracts are to be observed appears to of fallen to the wayside to such a substantial degree. Read Equitable Growth’s “Executive action to combat wage theft against U.S. workers,” which documents: “Wage theft against U.S. workers exacerbates the long-run problem of low and stagnant wages. When companies commit wage theft, they impoverish families and deprive workers of the just compensation for their hard work, robbing workers of the value they contribute to economic growth and exacerbating economic inequality. The odds that a

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Other Places to Go…

5 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]## https://braddelong.substack.com> [Brad DeLong](https://www.bradford-delong.com/about_brad_delong.html): his personal [weblog](https://xkcd.com/239/). Since 1999. [Comments (mostly) welcome.](https://www.bradford-delong.com/weblog-policies.html) Or email me at [email protected] with "delong-weblog" as the subject. [RSS feed.](https://www.bradford-delong.com/atom.xml) [Also on twitter @delong.](https://twitter.com/delong) —- . —-

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BRIEFLY NOTED: for 2021-02-25 Th

6 days ago

Very Briefly Noted:

Next: A Video Well Worth Your Watching:
Tony Freeth: The Antikythera Mechanism

A marvelous device, that if we could only understood why and how and why not a flood of such instruments following, we would understand a great deal of the world?

Six Paragraphs:
This, I think, gets it very right: even two weeks after your second vaccination dose, do not get together with all of your friends in a damp, hot basement and have a singing party—wait until the virus is genuinely scotched for that:

Emily Oster: Vaccines & Transmission Redux Redux: ‘What you shouldn’t do—and I think this is really the key to the continued caution in messaging—is get together with all your vaccinated friends in a damp, hot basement and have a singing party. If you have close contact with 1000

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READING: The Beginning of: John Q. Marquand (1937): Think Fast, Mr. Moto

7 days ago

John P. Marquand (1937): Think Fast, Mr. Moto: ‘It had not taken Wilson Hitchings long to realize that the firm of Hitchings Brothers had its definite place in the commercial aristocracy of the East, and that China had retained a respect for mercantile tradition which had disappeared from the Occidental world. There were still traditions of sailing days and of the pre-treaty days in the transactions of the Shanghai branch of Hitchings Brothers. The position of its office upon the Bund was enough to show it. The brass plate of HITCHINGS BROTHERS was polished each morning by the office coolies so that it glittered golden against the gray stone façade. Near by were the venerable plates of JARDINE MATHESON and of the HONG KONG AND SHANGHAI BANK. The plate of HITCHINGS BROTHERS had the same

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PODCAST: Hexapodia III: þe Minimum Wage, wiþ Arin Dube, Noah Smith, & Brad DeLong: Should We Be Fighting for $15?

7 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Listen in podcast app If moderate raises in the minimum wage do not cause unemployment, who can object to them—but why do they not cause higher unemployment, if they in fact do not? Share Subscribe now RSS URL: Reference: Arin Dube (2019): Impacts of Minimum Wages: Review of the International Evidence: Share Grasping Reality Newsletter, by Brad DeLong Leave a comment

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HOISTED FROM ÞE ARCHIVES: Regional & Distributional Policy in a World Where People Want to Ignore þe Value & Contribution of Knowledge- & Network-Based Increasing Returns

7 days ago

Pascal Lamy: “When the wise man points at the moon, the fool looks at the finger…”
Perhaps, in the end, the problem is that people want to pretend that they are filling a valuable role in the societal division of labor, and are receiving no more than they earn—than they contribute. But that is not the case. The value—the societal dividend—is in the accumulated knowledge of humanity and in the painfully constructed networks that make up our value chains.
A “contribution” theory of what a proper distribution of income might be can only be made coherent if there are constant returns to scale in the scarce, priced, owned factors of production. Only then can you divide the pile of resources by giving to each the marginal societal product of their work and of the resources that they own.

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BRIEFLY NOTED: for 2021-02-23 Tu

8 days ago

First:
There comes a point at which the dishonesty—perhaps "dishonesty" is not the right word—there comes a point at which the gaming of the system with a sociopathic disregard for the rights and expectations of your principal counterparties becomes so great that the only rational response is to say: this structure needs to be burned to the ground and a new structure in which the architects of the old have no place needs to be directed to fulfill the functions. I think Uber has reached that point:

John Bull: Schrodinger’s Cab Firm: Uber’s Existential Crisis: ‘ULL, the lawyers argued, didn’t employ any drivers. It was simply a brand umbrella… drew the judges’ attention to the careful wording within them that confirmed this…. Operators were granted access to UBV’s app. Not ULL’s app. On

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BRIEFLY NOTED: for 2021-02-22 Mo

9 days ago

Next: A Video Well Worth Your Watching:
New Historia: What Did Ancient Rome Really Look Like? 

Share Grasping Reality Newsletter, by Brad DeLong

Five Paragraphs:
1) Between 1425 and 1525, if you had to bet on which civilization would lead humanity’s progressive way forward over the next half-millennium, you might well have been strongly tempted to be on the Islamic ekumene. It was technologically on par with the others. When Mehmet II “the Conquerer” Osmanli—Sultan of what Europeans called the Ottoman Empire, or, more usually, “the Grand Turk”—besieged Constantinople in 1453, he did so with the most modern artillery park in the world. And Islamic civilization was much better organized. Mehmet’s military establishment—the galleys and the cannon and the janissaries and the

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Brad DeLong: Worthy reads on equitable growth, February 17-22, 2021

9 days ago

Worthy reads from Equitable Growth:

1. What economic policy levers can we pull to make advancing technologies complements to work or skills and capabilities rather than substitutes for them? We cannot count on large, oligopolistic firms to do this job. While they can, by the nature of their business and market position, capture a substantial amount of the net returns from worker-substitute technologies, they cannot do the same thing for worker-complement technologies. There we must rely on the public and the nonprofit sectors, and we need to start doing so at scale as soon as possible. Please Register for our event on Tuesday, September 23, “A Future for All Workers: Technology & Worker Power,” featuring a keynote from SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry … and which will

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Briefly Noted for 2021-02-17

14 days ago

First:
Mike Konczal’s Freedom from the Market is a book you should get and read right now:

Henry Farrell: Freedom from the Market: ‘Mike Konczal has a new book, Freedom from the Market … Polanyian—the stresses of the market lead to social rupture, which may in turn create the conditions for political mobilization. But Konczal doesn’t depict this as necessary or inevitable—people’s choices have consequences. He is also more precise than Polanyi in his understanding of how change happens—through social movements and the state…. Konczal not only employs Polanyi’s ideas, but the ideas of Polanyi’s friendly critics like Quinn Slobodian, to describe how modern Hayekians have sought to “encase” the market order in institutions and practices that are hard to overturn.
Property rights aren’t

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Brad DeLong: Worthy reads on equitable growth, February 9-16, 2021

15 days ago

Worthy reads from Equitable Growth:

1. If you haven’t read this, read it. If you have read it, re-read it now. My grandfather used to lament, to the end of his days, that his discipline had turned from “Public Administration” to “Political Science” over his lifetime. Political science, he thought, was a swamp of opinion and ideology that produced very little of value. In contrast there was a great deal that was know about Public Administration, and a great deal to study, and the tools to study it to learn more. Read Amanda Fischer and Alix Gould-Werth, “Broken Plumbing: How systems for delivering economic relief in response to the coronavirus recession failed the U.S. economy,” in which they write: “Four delivery systems [were] tasked with providing relief during the coronavirus

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For President’s Day: A Republic, If We Can Keep It

16 days ago

No, Alexander Hamilton was not a president. But he should have been:

Alexander Hamilton (1787): America as "Grand Experiment": Federalist #9: It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy…. From the disorders… advocates of despotism have drawn arguments… against the forms of republican government… [and] decried all free government as inconsistent with the order of society…. I trust America will be the broad and solid foundation of other edifices… which will be… permanent monuments of their errors.

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EG: A Valentine’s Day love letter to the Unemployment Insurance program – Equitable Growth

17 days ago

EG: Alix Gould-Worth: A Valentine’s Day love letter to the Unemployment Insurance program – Equitable Growth: "UI’s social insurance structure is part of its allure. Both means-tested and social insurance programs are vital to the health and well-being of the U.S. population. But research shows that claimants feel less stigma when applying for and receiving benefits from social insurance programs than means-tested programs. And typically, social insurance programs enjoy support that protects them from being dismantled by overeager budget cutters.
But what makes UI different from all other social insurance programs? Why does it hold a special place in my heart? Let me count the reasons…

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Briefly Noted for 2021-02-11

20 days ago

Very Briefly Noted:

Next: A Video Well Worth Your Watching:
Alan Krueger, Richard Blundell, &Arindrajit Dube (2016): RES Plenary Session: Minimum Wages :

Share Grasping Reality Newsletter, by Brad DeLong

Seven Paragraphs:
Back in 1993, the expanded EITC for childless workers was one of the last things the Clinton Treasury threw out of the wolf-pursued troika as we dashed through the snow in the race to get the Clinton reconciliation bill across the finish line. “We will fix it next year”, we promised ourselves then. Nobody ever has:

Cynthia Miller & Lawrence F. Katz: Biden Wants to Boost the EITC for Workers without Dependent Children—What Does the Research Say?: ‘Many commentators have expressed the hope that the inequalities exposed by the pandemic will lead to renewed efforts

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Damned-Soul Republican Staffers

20 days ago

First, why do people do this?:
What Fresh Hell Do Republican Staffers Live in?:
Tweeting out that the COVID threat has been overhyped by Democrats while your boss lies dying in the hospital from COVID—this is a form of performance art that I never imagined would appear, even in this Fallen Sublunary Sphere. Yet first Republican presidential candidate Herman 9-9-9 Cain, and not Republican House member Ron White:

Patricia Kayden: ’Just before he died, Republican Rep [Ron White] sent out these tweets: "Democrats are choosing teachers unions and special interests over the well-being of our students. The CDC says schools can safely re-open if proper precautions are taken. What are we waiting for?…

Reporter Robinson: ’So this man was on his deathbed in a hospital and his staffers were

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Briefly Noted: for 2021-02-10 We

21 days ago

In which I survey things that whizzed by…
Very Briefly Noted:

Next: A Video Well Worth Your Watching:
The intellectual and technological capability of Classical Greek civilization, as shown in the (reconstructed) design of the Antikythera Mechanism:

M. Wright & M. Vicentini: Virtual Reconstruction of the Antikythera Mechanism

Seven Paragraphs:
Erik Loomis: The Bankruptcy of Right Populism: ‘Daniel Luban has a good piece in Dissent about the total bankruptcy of so-called “right populism”…. ’To no great surprise… instead of an infrastructure bill, there was a massive corporate tax cut; instead of a family leave plan, there was a failed attempt to strip healthcare from tens of millions of people…. a familiar cast of industry shills set to work dismantling labor rights and

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SubStack Navel-Gazing

21 days ago

In which I turn my gaze inward…
why the weblogging Renaissance under the guise of SubStacking?:
What Does SubStack Say That Its Mission Is?:

Hamish McKenzie: Welcome, Facebook and Twitter. Seriously: [When] we started Substack… we were concerned about… the attention economy…. Our addiction to social media is having negative effects on both individual and collective thought… doomscrolling… rage-monsters… conspiracy theory-addled mob[s]… poisoned information supply…. We have set out to show that platforms that put writers and readers in charge are just better. Substack… a calm space that encourages reflection… free of advertising or any other distraction… no addiction-maximizing feeds, autoplaying videos, or retweetable quote-retweets to suck you into a psychological space you never

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The Harvard Administration’s 35-Year Tolerance & Shielding of Sexual Harasser Jorge Dominguez; & Briefly Noted: 2021-02-08

23 days ago

I confess that I am so effing naïve.
Jorge Dominguez’s harassment of Terry Karl came to light in 1983: he told her "come across or your tenure case is toast.
I assumed that things thereafter would be under control. It was true that the Crimson wrote that “some professors said they were unhappy Rosovsky did not tell the department members what actions he took against Dominguez and complained that the reported punishment was too light. ‘There’s some feeling that the fact that there was supposed to be no publicity and the fact that he is still here are an inadequate deterrent for the future and an inadequate punishment for this case’, one professor said…” Nevertheless, I assumed that Dean Rosovsky or President Bok or both had told Dominguez, over a martini or two, that if any woman ever

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DeLongTODAY: Nudging Ourselves Toward Full Employment…

23 days ago

So can we trust the Federal Reserve? One thing seems certain about Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell: he will not make his "temper tantrum" mistake again. He and his open-market committee will not prematurely withdraw monetary stimulus before he sees the whites of rising inflation’s eyes.
Does that mean that he will hesitate to withdraw monetary stimulus and impose monetary austerity if we do reach a situation in which inflation control is rightly the highest priority of the Federal Reserve? Will Jay Powell, if faced with a return of the 1970s, turn into the equivalent of an Arthur Burns or a G. William Miller and, either out of a sense of loyalty to his political patrons, or out of fear of losing the Federal Reserve’s independence through policies Congress judges as excessively

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Brad DeLong: Worthy reads on equitable growth, February 2–8, 2021

23 days ago

Worthy reads from Equitable Growth:

1. Ultimately—no, not ultimately, but rather immediately—whose property the law will protect is a political decision made in the interests of those whom the government listens to, in the triple senses of protecting it from theft or expropriation, protecting it from damage, and protecting it from devaluation. If you don’t have a political voice, whatever property you do accumulate is likely to be evanescent and to be worth little. Read David Mitchell, Austin Clemens, and Shanteal Lake, “The consequences of political inequality and voter suppression for U.S. economic inequality and growth,” in which they write: “Those who enjoy market power are, not coincidentally, often the same citizens who enjoy outsized political influence, creating a

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Briefly Noted: 2021-02-05

26 days ago

Schuman may well be right. But he also may well be wrong here:
Michael Schuman: The Undoing of China’s Economic Miracle: ‘Regulators squelched… [Jack] Ma’s fintech giant, Ant Group, a mere two days before its November debut on the Shanghai and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges… widespread concern that Chinese authorities were punishing Ma for criticizing their oversight of the finance industry….  Jerome Cohen… “a new central campaign to curb the political and economic power of major private entrepreneurs who refuse to follow the central Party line in every respect.”… Though Xi has occasionally implemented market reforms… [but] overall… has shown a preference for the very visible hand of the state… financial aid to a wide range of high-tech industries, including microchips and electric

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Briefly Noted: 2021-02-01 Mo

February 2, 2021

But first:
Subscribe now
 
And:
One Video That Is Very Much Worth Watching:
40 minutes: JaydenX: Shooting and Storming Of The US Capitol In Washington DC

Seven Paragraphs-Plus for Dinnertime:
Matt Yglesias: Vaccines Are Better than You Think: ‘None of the people in the Pfizer/Moderna treatment groups died or even fell seriously ill and had to be hospitalized…. These days they vaccinate kids against chickenpox, so kids mostly don’t get chicken pox. But even more remarkable, when they do get chickenpox these days it’s a “sick for a few days” kind of thing not “miss weeks of school while suffering in agony.” This is a really big deal with regard to the lower efficacy we are expecting from the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. A vaccine that’s only 70 percent effective at

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Brad DeLong: Worthy reads on equitable growth, January 26–February 1, 2021

February 1, 2021

Worthy reads from Equitable Growth:

1. The coronavirus recession continues to be a disaster for low-paid workers in jobs requiring personal contact. How permanent will this be? Human smiles and social intelligence are a powerful way people can add value. But there is an ongoing shift substituting information technology for human guidance in retail. Is this trend going to accelerate because of the pandemic? Read Kate Bahn and Carmen Sanchez Cumming, “U.S. retail sector’s recession experiences highlight continuing labor market travails,” in which they write: “Public health measures require limiting in-person services, and as a result, many industries saw sharp declines in employment … We examine … the retail industry … [which] in December 2020 … employed 410,000 fewer workers than

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Briefly Noted: 2021-01-31 Su

February 1, 2021

It is curious that—so far at least—this from the extremely sharp McKay Coppins has turned out to be wrong: McKay Coppins: ‘People who spent years coddling the president will recast themselves as voices of conscience, or whitewash their relationship with Trump… LINK:
The Republicans are all doubling down on Trump, even though he is now out of office, and off of Twitter. He has all but disappeared from the general public sphere. Is he still ruling the fever swamps? And do the Republicans not recognize that there is anything else?
Plus Two Videos Well Worth Watching:

Roosevelt & Churchill: Christmas, 1941

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Governor Schwarzenegger’s Message Following This Week’s Attack on the Capitol

Seven Paragraphs-Plus for Dinnertime:
Anna Akhmatova: From ‘Requiem’ : ‘During

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From Yesterday: DeLongTODAY: GameStonk

January 30, 2021

From
On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out one word—GameStonk!!—with two exclamation points, and with a link to a board on the internet discussion site Reddit, a board that describes itself as: “WallStreetBets: Like 4chan found a Bloomberg terminal”. The word “GameStonk” is a mashup of “stonk”, a misspelling of “stock”, and “GameStop”—the Dallas-headquartered U.S. bricks-and-mortar videogame retailer with 5000 stores, $1 million of annual revenue per store, and currently $200 million a year of losses. The misspelling of “stock” means that Musk wants his readers to know that he is adopting a pose of enthusiasm and excitement: the pose is that he must communicate, and cannot be bothered to spellcheck anything before he sends his words out to the internet.

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Hayek & Einstein…

January 29, 2021

Chasing down an intellectual rabbit hole at Wednesday lunchtime…

I was browsing through Friedrich von Hayek’s The Fatal Conceit—although it is not clear to me how much of this very late (1988) Hayek is Hayek, and how much is “editor” William Warren Bartley. Why? Because Hayek is playing a larger part in my history of the Long 20th Century, Slouching Towards Utopia?, as it moves toward finality, and I am concerned that I be fair to him. And I ran across his claim that the “socialists” felt:

an urgent need to construct a new, rationally revised and justified morality which… will not be a crippling burden, be alienating, oppressive, or`unjust’, or be associated with trade. Moreover, this is only part of the great task that these new lawgivers—socialists such as Einstein, Monod and

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W.H. Auden: Spain

January 29, 2021

Yesterday all the past. The language of sizeSpreading to China along the trade-routes; the diffusionOf the counting-frame and the cromlech;Yesterday the shadow-reckoning in the sunny climates.
Yesterday the assessment of insurance by cards,The divination of water; yesterday the inventionOf cartwheels and clocks, the taming ofHorses. Yesterday the bustling world of the navigators.
Yesterday the abolition of fairies and giants,the fortress like a motionless eagle eyeing the valley,the chapel built in the forest;Yesterday the carving of angels and alarming gargoyles;
The trial of heretics among the columns of stone;Yesterday the theological feuds in the tavernsAnd the miraculous cure at the fountain;Yesterday the Sabbath of witches; but to-day the struggle
Yesterday the installation of

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I Am Wondering If I Want to Move This Party Over to SubStack for Real…

January 28, 2021

There seems to be no fundamental reason to do so. But it does seem that there may be community-discovery and network reasons to do so. So yesterday I threw a bunch of things up at SubStack: http://braddelong.substack.com:

Taking þe Temperature of Twitter: 2021-01-27 We: Twitter has always been absolute s— at aggregation tools. & that is one of the things that makes it so effective at keeping people inside its walled garden. Aggregation tools allow you to step back, evaluate, and assess. So I am going to see if I can use SubStack to try to do that. I always see myself on Twitter as a pig digging for truffles. Here’s what I have found… LINK: https://braddelong.substack.com/p/taking-e-temperature-of-twitter-2021-ae4
Briefly Noted: 2021-01-27 We: What I have been reading this morning

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Brad DeLong: Worthy reads on equitable growth, January 20–25, 2021

January 25, 2021

Worthy reads from Equitable Growth:

1. In previous decades, our claims to understand the relationship between the structure of the U.S. economy on the one hand and possibilities for equitable growth on the other have been a combination of guesses and platitudes. Now, finally, we are closing in on some real knowledge. The combination of the empirical turn in economics and the availability of massive new data sets collected by our information technology systems makes the promise for research progress very bright indeed. And Equitable Growth is on it. Read Christian Edlagan and Maria Monroe, “Understanding the role of market structure in equitable growth,” in which they write: How does market organization and firm behavior affect economic growth and its distribution? In this

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