• Tis the Season

    by  • 2014/11/26 • 0 Comments

    Well, it is the season for many things, but right now it seems it is the season for complaints regarding Christmas shopping and the fact that many stores now open on Thanksgiving. Full disclosure, I do not go shopping at “Black Friday” sales, and I have no plans to shop on Thursday either, but that...

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    The role for economic history

    by  • 2014/11/10 • 0 Comments

    Trained as an economic historian one would obviously think I would endorse a strong role for economic history. Well, I do. However, Simon Ville made a similar argument in a fantastic essay at the World Economic Forum Forum blog (link). I frequently tell people that economic history is context, the background to the economic processes...

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    Oil price drops and North Dakota

    by  • 2014/11/08 • 0 Comments

    While there is no specific mention of North Dakota, this article from Bloomberg.com mentions the idling of rigs due to oil price drops. The price drop is one thing, the duration of the drop is another. The longer price declines last, the more likely marginal plays will be idled as the article mentions. What...

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    A further look at oil and employment in North Dakota

    by  • 2014/11/06 • 0 Comments

    So yesterday I looked at how the oil patch core counties (Dunn, McKenzie, Mountrail, Williams) are responsible for over 50% of the employment increase in North Dakota in the last year (posting). I thought I would look at those particular counties again and compare to the state overall. I looked at the percentage change...

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    Oil and employment in North Dakota

    by  • 2014/11/06 • 0 Comments

    What is the importance of the oil industry to employment in North Dakota? This is a really good question, and one that is not necessarily the easiest to answer. In the last year this same question generated all kinds of arguments about the relative importance of agriculture versus oil in the North Dakota economy....

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    Limiting Bank Size

    by  • 2014/11/05 • 0 Comments

    I would file this under the heading, we need to be seen doing something. The Fed has come up with a limit to the size of banks based on the amount of liabilities of the firm (WSJ story). This is where the combination of free market ideas and risk mitigation come into conflict. One...

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    Housing Affordability

    by  • 2014/10/28 • 2 Comments

    I borrowed the National Association of Realtors Housing Affordability Index calculation (formula available here) to look at Burleigh, Cass, and Grand Forks county housing data. The NAR published by metro area and year, but the latest release does not include Grand Forks. I assume that is a data availability issue. I use different data...

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    Median Income Comparison

    by  • 2014/10/21 • 4 Comments

    You can tell it is an election year. There are all kinds of polls being done (my household answered more than a few) about all types of issues. I heard some discussion (and if I can remember where I will post any available link) about how is North Dakota doing, as in an attitudinal...

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    More on Labor Force

    by  • 2014/10/14 • 0 Comments

    Just time for a brief post right now. Obviously the major driver of the situation in western North Dakota is oil, oil prices to be precise. So what exactly is that relationship like? Here is a graph of Williston labor force and oil prices: The oil prices are for West Texas Intermediate Crude. There...

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    Fun with numbers

    by  • 2014/10/13 • 3 Comments

    People think stats is a boring topic in general, and I do not understand those people at all. Here is an example: This is the frequency of scoring by time of the game for the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team in 2013-14 regular season games, both home and away. Why? Well, because...

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    Labor Force Projections in ND

    by  • 2014/10/08 • 2 Comments

    Last week I was part of a business roundtable for Congressman Kevin Cramer. There were several topics discussed but I presented some information about the labor force in the North Dakota metropolitan and micropolitan areas. I calculated three-year and one year monthly growth rates and then projected out the labor force based on those...

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