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Scott Sumner: December 2017

An Author Archive by Month (17 entries)
Stephen Williamson and John Cochrane have an interesting discussion of the effects of a corporate income tax. This comment by Cochrane is interesting: So how do you deduct investment and leave something left over to tax? It rests on two... MORE

Here's Reuters: Some Bank of Japan board members have called for a debate about raising interest rates or lowering purchases of exchange-traded funds in response to the improving outlook, a summary of opinions expressed at last week's policy meeting showed.... MORE

Much ado about very little

Regulation
Scott Sumner
It's been interesting to read the commentary of the left and the right regarding President Trump's first year. While they disagree on whether Trump has improved the country, they do seem to agree that his economic policy changes have been... MORE

When people ask me whether QE is effective, I know I'm facing an uphill climb. The question is actually pretty meaningless--like asking whether a shovel is effective. For what purpose? If the question refers to actual real world QE programs,... MORE

I wish you a very neoliberal Christmas

Free Markets
Scott Sumner
The world is full of problems, and always will be. Thus there are almost an infinite number of causes that I might advocate. I've decided that my time is most effectively used if I focus on two goals, promoting market... MORE

Is Portugal's drug policy a success?

Economics of Crime
Scott Sumner
This story seems almost too good to be true: Decades ago, the United States and Portugal both struggled with illicit drugs and took decisive action - in diametrically opposite directions. The US cracked down vigorously, spending billions of dollars incarcerating... MORE

Don't forget about opportunity cost

Cost-benefit Analysis
Scott Sumner
This story in the usually reliable FT caught my eye: It is central London's first new moated building since the medieval era. The new US embassy in Nine Elms is a paradox, a heavily defended delicate glass box. Its architect... MORE

A penny for your thoughts

Money
Scott Sumner
Tyler Cowen links to a recent study of Canadian grocery store pricing (the first three lines are Tyler): There is the danger that prices will be rounded up more than down. A 19-year-old Canadian, Christina Cheung, has done a study... MORE

If corporations are greedy, why don't corporations also pass corporate income taxes on to consumers? Why do most people seem to believe the opposite? It's disappointing that so many people uncritically accept the claim that taxes on corporations are... MORE

Three big natural experiments

Politics and Economics
Scott Sumner
Natural experiments in economics don't occur very often, at least not big ones of the sort that interest macroeconomists like me. But today we had not one but three big natural experiments. One is already concluded; the other two will... MORE

Tyler Cowen has an excellent new video out that looks at four schools of thought in business cycle theory, with application to the Great Recession. I agree with most of the specifics in the video, but differ in how to... MORE

For the past nine years I've been promoting market monetarist ideas in the blogosphere. How important is NGDP targeting to the MM agenda? Much less important than many people assume. Kurt Schuler left the following comment in response to my... MORE

What's my core message?

Money
Scott Sumner
I am currently working on the final chapter of a book manuscript, tentatively entitled "The Money Illusion: Market Monetarism and the Great Recession." I am trying to identify my core message. What is the essence of my critique of mainstream... MORE

MRU has a video entitled "When the Fed Does Too Much". That led me to wonder, "too much what"? Too much discretion? Too much regulation? Too expansionary a policy? So I decided to watch the video. By conventional standards the... MORE

Misconceptions about taxes

Tax Reform
Scott Sumner
In various comment sections, and also in the media, I am seeing lots of misconceptions about taxes. For instance, lots of people wonder why I focus so much on efficiency, and not on "who pays what". I recall once chatting... MORE

House bill >>>>>>>>> Senate bill

Tax Reform
Scott Sumner
Let's hope the House wins at least a few battles in committee, because the Senate tax bill has a number of disappointing features: Keeps mortgage interest deduction as is: The Senate bill would still let you claim a deduction for... MORE

All hail Goushi Kataoka!

Monetary Policy
Scott Sumner
Who's the world's best central banker? I'm not sure, but this guy is certainly a front-runner for the title: Bank of Japan board member Goushi Kataoka said the central bank must expand stimulus further to achieve its price target early,... MORE

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