Monday , November 18 2019
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David Flynn: Barter is Evil

Barter is Evil is an economics blog where the author, Professor David Flynn (University of North Dakota) encourages the exchange of ideas on economics, economic history and statistics. His blog places an emphasis on the North Dakota economy, which provides us with great insight on the impact of the oil industry boom there.

Radio discussion: Tax changes

JT informed me that we will be discussing taxes and tax changes at the federal level tomorrow. Yay! So I thought by way of a bit of backdrop we would look at just a few pieces of information. Nothing new here or deep insights or pictures, just a starting point for the discussion. Start with federal tax revenues and outlays. This is not a pretty picture. The one interesting think to point out with this graph is that you really can almost draw a straight line between the beginning...

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ND County Clusters by Income Source

One of the most frequent questions I get regarding the nature of the regional economies within North Dakota focuses on proper comparisons. The question boils down to a search for comparable peers, and while there are jokes to be made regarding nobody compares it is an excellent question. So I start this process with a simple cluster analysis (k-means) looking only at the annual percentage change in farm and non-farm income from 2016 to 2017. The interesting constraint on this looks...

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Cluster Analysis and Hockey

The sports business analytics class is going to learn cluster analysis tomorrow, specifically k-means cluster analysis. The lectures lately discussed some methods of data analysis, ways to go about adjusting the data and some basic linear fit. It seemed a logical extension to go further and look at clustering. While we look at a few types of data for tomorrow we will look at salary and points. We will look at these in levels as well as differences from the five year average for...

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A different age group in ND

So I often write about retired and young populations in North Dakota, but thought I would switch it up a bit this week. In particular, I am looking at the age group nearer to retirement, those aged 45 to 64. Why this grouping? Well those above 64 are at or very near retirement age and face relatively easy decisions in terms of finance constraints and other factors. Those younger have a great deal of national attention. The younger age groups rightly receive a great deal of...

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ND Taxable Sales & Purchases, Q1 2019

Taxable sales is a common and key metric reported for economic performance and it seems appropriate to look beyond the confines of Grand Forks for a time to examine the situation in the state as a whole. To start, let’s ask question to which we already know the answer: what are the big contributing counties to taxable sales and purchases in the state. The answer, as I said, is pretty well known already. The six largest contributors are pretty obvious with Cass and Williams as the...

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Public Banking: Bank of North Dakota Assets

I’ve given lots of interviews related to public banking over the last week. People are looking to North Dakota to gauge the likely outcomes in California. This is flawed for many reason but perhaps the biggest is that North Dakota does not have a law like California. North Dakota created THE Bank of North Dakota, not a law allowing various municipalities to create public owned banks. That is what the California legislation allows. There are lots of reasons to question the wisdom...

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Caller observation: Minimum Wage

There is a frequent caller to the radio station, and in anticipation of his call tomorrow I thought I would put up a chart of the minimum wage. This caller focuses on various aspects of the minimum wage, but a key feature is the declining value of the minimum wage. I provide both the real and nominal minimum wages in the following graph. So even with the increases in the minimum wage over time, inflation eroded the value of the minus wage as you would expect. The value of the...

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Quoted in Vox article

David Economist and economic historian with an interest in population analysis and demographic methods. Especially interested in natural disasters and disruptions to economic activity and changes in population dynamics, as well as fiscal and monetary policy with forecasting implications. Husband, father, Cubs fan. View all posts by David

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Labor Force Growth and Streaks

I was looking at labor force data again and thinking about the consecutive months of increase in North Dakota. I went back to 2001 for the data and found that North Dakota enjoyed a streak of 53 consecutive months labor force increase from August of 2009 to December of 2013. Now this is just a simple increase, not a percentage change or any type of scaling, so an increase of one represents an increase, though it may seem trivial. During the oil boom the increase was typically larger,...

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ND July Unemployment Rate

Those that read this blog regularly or listen to my appearances on the Jarrod Thomas Show know that I do not find unemployment to be a very informative metric for North Dakota. A primary reason for this is that North Dakota is clearly a labor constrained state. Countless pieces of data over many years makes this abundantly clear. The supposed lack of labor market adjustment to this persistent outcome is a whole different story for another day. The latest data for unemployment...

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