• 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,...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    Update on Up in Smoke

    by  • 2014/08/13 • 0 Comments

    So J.T. and I discussed my post on tobacco bonds while I was on the radio today. One of the things that amazed him, and me too, was the notion the rate of smoking fell more than assumed. So, doing what I do, I went online and got some data, this time from the...

    Read more →

    All that tobacco money up in smoke

    by  • 2014/08/13 • 0 Comments

    The Washington Post had an excellent piece on states and how they handled their tobacco settlement dollars (available here). It is a longer article but well worth the read given that it is one of the first analyses of what states are doing with the money from this settlement. The answer for many: squandering it....

    Read more →

    Market Outcomes & Opinions

    by  • 2014/08/01 • 0 Comments

    I get a significant number of questions about markets and market interventions when I am on the radio. Part of this is due to the economic circumstances in North Dakota where significant growth is creating social tensions and frictions. Another key ingredient is the financial resources available to the state. Tax collections continue to...

    Read more →

    Papa was a Rolling Stone…

    by  • 2014/07/24 • 3 Comments

    The subtitle for this post could be why we need to resist the “temptation” to meddle with housing markets in North Dakota. There are times and places for interventions, but you need clear standards for action, clear goals, and clear exit strategies. There has been a suggestion that we should adopt a rent control policy...

    Read more →

    North Dakota: Migration in & Migration out

    by  • 2014/07/24 • 0 Comments

    North Dakota’s economic performance and success is not news anymore. Well, alright, its news, but most people know about it. I have given interviews to media outlets around the country and the world about it, as have many others. So it is not a secret. So if there was an economic motive to migration,...

    Read more →

    Housing: Here, There & Everywhere

    by  • 2014/07/10 • 0 Comments

    Housing issues of all sorts are a hot topic nationally, not just in Grand Forks or North Dakota. I thought we could look at price levels for three different geographic regions. The first is the Grand Forks metro area since that is one of the topics most frequently mentioned in my appearances on the...

    Read more →