• Incentive Alignment: Pete Rose and Public Policy

    by  • 2015/06/24 • 0 Comments

    There are few things I care about less than the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame now. On a personal level I am bitter about the way the voters treated Ron Santo. Also, I am just flabbergasted at the treatment of the steroid-era players. The voters are embarrassed, pure and simple. It is a...

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    Agriculture v. Mining in ND, Round Two

    by  • 2015/06/10 • 0 Comments

    The subtitle of this post could be bludgeoning the reader with numbers, but oh well. As I mentioned in last week’s post (available here) there was a scheduled update to the detailed data on state-level real GDP this week. With any update like this there are many different dimensions to consider. The first aspect to...

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    Whatever Happened to Coal?

    by  • 2015/06/06 • 2 Comments

    In the last several years the majority of attention regarding energy production in North Dakota focused on oil and gas. The increased contribution of energy (oil and gas in particular) to GDP growth was significant as I showed before. The other day I watched a train with at least fifty cars full of coal go...

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    Agriculture v. Mining, North Dakota Edition

    by  • 2015/06/05 • 1 Comment

    I imagine the different sectors of economic activity in any state argue about their relative importance. Lately the contest in North Dakota has been about the relative importance of agriculture and mining. My personal opinion is that if the data support an actual argument of this point than you are fortunate enough. These debates...

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    Labor Force Movements in North Dakota

    by  • 2015/06/04 • 0 Comments

    Most recent discussion of oil markets focused on prices and the volatility of price movements. These are surely very important, and the driver of almost everything else happening in energy markets. Looking at North Dakota here is the percentage change in labor force (year-over-year) for North Dakota as a whole and for the four...

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    Of sports and scandals

    by  • 2015/05/27 • 0 Comments

    The news of arrests and the booming scandal in world soccer was not a surprise today. FIFA is not an organization known for transparency and good governance. This led me to consider the situation in other sporting leagues, and I think they are all prone to scandal. I am not talking about the silliness...

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    Property Tax Valuations & Businesses

    by  • 2015/05/14 • 0 Comments

    The issue of property tax valuations is a familiar one to most people in North Dakota. I came across this article about the situation in Michigan through a tweet. It is about a month old but it raises some interesting questions. The focus of the debate in North Dakota, as far as I ever heard,...

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    More Pension Discussion

    by  • 2015/05/13 • 0 Comments

    This is something of a followup to the discussions from the radio last week. I did some looking at the “Comprehensive Annual Financial Report” from the North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office to see what I could find related to the position of the pensions in North Dakota. For those not aware, pensions are...

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    Summer Plans: Teaching Population & Pensions

    by  • 2015/05/07 • 0 Comments

    With the semester drawing to a close and the summer session getting ready to start soon my thoughts turned towards population issues. (I teach a population analysis class in the summer for the graduate students.) One of topic coming up in that class on a regular basis is pensions, particularly the math behind pensions....

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    Projecting North Dakota Oil Prices

    by  • 2015/04/30 • 0 Comments

    So I told my forecasting students I would post what I taught them today. I project monthly ND oil prices forward to the end of 2016. The following graph is the result of this process. I estimated the relationship between the North Dakota oil prices and WTI crude prices and then used that relationship...

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    What’s that in the sky?

    by  • 2015/04/17 • 0 Comments

    JT and I talked about the issue of economic development in Grand Forks on the Jarrod Thomas Show today. Let me preface my remarks with a recognition that economic development is a difficult process, whether we are talking about managing it, reacting to it, hoping for it, or whatever. Development can inherently alter relationships...

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    Apple Watch: Discussions with my students

    by  • 2015/04/10 • 0 Comments

    My students and I had a good laugh this week about the Apple watch commentary in the press. A great deal of the discussion originated from this Bloomberg article. The general notion from the article is that you will “want one, but not need one.” This got a pretty serious discussion going about a few...

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