Author Archives: Menzie Chinn

Shooting Statistical Delusions

Reader PeakTrader writes:

Mass shootings peaked when Bill Clinton assualted women in the ‘90s.

When such assertions are made, it is usually useful to refer to data. I do not see a peak in 1992-2000. I see a peak right now.


Figure 1: Mass shooting count. February observation for data through 2/14. Light green shading denotes Clinton administration. Orange shading denotes 2017 onward. Source: Mother Jones, news accounts for 2/14, and author’s calculations.


Figure 2: Mass shooting fatalities (red), and injured (pink). February observation for data through 2/14. Light green shading denotes Clinton administration. Orange shading denotes 2017 onward. Source: Mother Jones, news accounts for 2/14, and author’s calculations.

Cumulative Mass Shooting Casualties as of 2/14/2018



Figure 1: Cumulative sum of mass shooting casualties, beginning in 1982M08; deaths inflicted by non-Muslims (dark red), wounded inflicted by non-Muslims (pink), deaths inflicted by Muslims (dark blue), wounded inflicted by Muslims (light blue). February observation for data through 2/14. Source: Mother Jones, news accounts for 2/14, and author’s calculations. Tabulations of religion of perpetrator by author.

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A Fisherian Decomposition of the Recent Interest Rate Increase

How much of the increase in the 10 year constant maturity Treasury yield is from higher real rates, and from higher expected inflation?


Source: Federal Reserve Board via FRED.

Recalling the Fisherian identity:
  it = rt + πet

One can take the total differential:

  Δit = Δrt + Δπet

Hence, of the 0.49 percentage point change from December 15 to February 7 in ten year Treasury yields, 0.27 percentage points is accounted for by a real interest rate increase, and 0.22 percentage point by inflation expectations boost (abstracting from liquidity premia, etc.).

Over the five year horizon, of the 0.41 percentage point change, 0.28 percentage points is accounted for by the real rate change, and 0.21 percentage point from higher expected inflation.

All about why nominal rates are rising, in interview with Marketplace (Stan Collender comments too). We talk about the standard things — tax cuts, spending increases, Fed QE unwinding and rate increases, and (my contribution) the deceleration of foreign central bank Treasury purchases (graphical depiction here on page 6). Discussion of the last point with respect to China here.

California in Recession? (Part III)

Back in mid-December, Political Calculations asked if California was in recession. Data released by the Philadelphia Fed suggests the answer is no.


Figure 1: Coincident index for California (blue), and implied index value for June 2018 using leading index (light blue arrow, blue dot) against log scale. NBER defined national recession dates shaded gray. Red arrow at date of Political Calculations post. Source: Philadelphia Fed [1], [2], and author’s calculations.

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