Addendum to “More Fantastical Pseudo Economics”

For a last bit of “Year in Review”, yet more “Facts are Stupid Things”. Patrick R. Sullivan asserts that the economy boomed once the government reduced its spending in the wake of World War II. I am going to take a “boom” as a rapid increase in economic activity. Here is a time series depiction of real GDP’s evolution, using the Valerie Ramey (UCSD) series from her 2011 QJE paper (ungated working paper version here).

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A Quick Note on Different Views of Potential GDP

Reader Steven Kopits writes “potential GDP model is also a binding constraint model”, so GDP “…is subject to some sort of natural speed limit which cannot be exceeded”. This assertion is so amazingly absolutist in nature, and represents such a misunderstanding of how macroeconomists typically think of potential, that I am moved to observe that if this were so, output would never exceed potential GDP in our frameworks. Now, let’s consider the relevant depiction implied by the CBO estimates (using a production function approach [1]).

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Guest Contribution: “Transparency and the Global Transmission of Financial Shocks”

Today we are fortunate to have a guest contribution written by Luis Brandão-Marques, Senior Economist, Gaston Gelos, Chief of the Global Financial Stability Analysis Division, and Natalia Melgar, Economist, all at the IMF. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management.


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