• Deeper than price alone

    by  • 2014/09/23 • 0 Comments

    A proper investigation of issues in housing requires a look beyond the price. As I mentioned, price can be indicative of an issue, but is not the source or cause of the issue. In the same way your sore throat may be caused by a sinus infection, if you fail to look for the...

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    Home Price Calculations

    by  • 2014/09/23 • 0 Comments

    The recent GF Herald article about housing prices brings to the forefront an issue with housing price calculations. The Herald used index numbers based on sales, which is problematic. What was the composition of sales in a given month? If there were only high value homes there could be sample issues. Also, when you...

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    What price clarity?

    by  • 2014/09/22 • 0 Comments

    As a topic, the economics of housing in North Dakota creates a significant amount of debate. This debate lacks consistency, ground rules, and facts. Most of the discussion takes place under the umbrella term of “affordable housing.” On numerous occasions I indicated the inadequacy of this term. The first problem is that it seems assumed...

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    How about some fire scarecrow?

    by  • 2014/09/22 • 0 Comments

    We reached that level finally. The straw man of a housing price issue in Grand Forks (and North Dakota for that matter)pushed us all into the merry old land of Oz. The article in the Grand Forks Herald (September 21, 2014 “A price problem?) is the latest effort in a litany of faulty economic reasoning....

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    Behavior & Incentives

    by  • 2014/09/10 • 2 Comments

    Domestic abuse in the NFL seems to be the story that will not end. There are just too many plot twists or turns apparently. I have very little to say on the matter except I did discuss it with students so here is what I told them. First, I am amazed on the shock...

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    Thinking about Fiscal Matters

    by  • 2014/09/04 • 0 Comments

    Thinking about fiscal policy dominates my time lately. Mostly my concern is with parsing the data in such a way to make sense of the various arguments out there about the proper course for fiscal policy. Recall that I doubt that anyone is willing to reduce spending by enough to balance the budget. So if...

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    There’s No Accounting For Healthcare

    by  • 2014/08/27 • 0 Comments

    At least that is the case for the healthcare obligations of most states and local areas, though Robert Pozen points out that this is likely to change soon (available here). This is something I discussed when Detroit went through bankruptcy proceedings. Pension and healthcare obligations of the city made a contribution to the bankruptcy,...

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    Taxes & Migration

    by  • 2014/08/27 • 0 Comments

    A recent report out by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (available as a pdf here) looks at the connection between state tax rates and migration between states. Or maybe it does not. They find little connection between changes in state tax rates and the migration between states. I am not surprised by...

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    The “Real” Fed Funds Rate

    by  • 2014/08/22 • 0 Comments

    This is a little more macro/money than much of the stuff I post here but it seems to be something people miss sometimes. The Federal Reserve drastically lowered rates in response to the unfolding financial crisis in 2008 and later. Those rates remain low today, essentially set between 0.0 and 0.25%. Despite this range...

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    North Dakota Oil Prices & Production

    by  • 2014/08/20 • 0 Comments

    I have not looked at oil production time series for North Dakota in a while so I thought it time to take a look. Oil production, in fact most commodity production, and certainly extractive production, has an interesting cost structure. There are significant fixed cost elements to cover in order to generate profit. Notice in the...

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    North Dakota Labor Data ~ July 2014 Edition

    by  • 2014/08/19 • 0 Comments

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data on employment and unemployment from the Current Employment Statistics survey. North Dakota was number one in the country with a 4.4% increase in total nonfarm employment from year ago levels. That is 12 consecutive months where the year-over-year percent change was at or above 3%, and...

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    North Dakota Home Prices & Markets

    by  • 2014/08/18 • 4 Comments

    Housing remains a frequent topic of discussion for people in North Dakota. Most of the discussion falls under the heading of “affordability”, a suitably vague term essentially guaranteeing little to no progress on the issue, if it is a problem at all. What is the affordability issue? My suspicion is that people are thinking of...

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