Alan Krueger

Richard Florida has an interesting post on the Atlantic’s “Cities” Web site playing with some new state-level data from Pew about economic mobility.

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Richard Florida has an interesting post on the Atlantic’s “Cities” Web site playing with some new state-level data from Pew about economic mobility.

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What’s the surest sign that the economic crisis is finally lifting and normalcy is in sight? We’re back to arguing about how the middle class is doing over the long sweep of history since the 1980s: Have they been dragged down by stagnating wages, high-end inequality, economic insecurity, and a greater chance that economic mobility will take them downward than up? Or is the middle class doing OK? This debate had been in hibernation for the last three years, while everyone except the top 1 percent took a beating.

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1.) Scott Winship of Brookings and Miles Corak of the University of Ottawa had a back-and-forth about whether White House chief economist Alan Krueger's "Great Gatsby" scatter diagram (see Page 8) successfully links income inequality to immobility. If you want to follow this, here's the sequence: Krueger Winship Corak Winship Corak The debate is pretty technical. Winship concludes by saying his criticism of the "Great Gatsby" chart wasn't "the main criticism I had with Krueger's speech," which smells to me like retreat. On the Freakonomics blog, Justin Wolfers calls it for Corak.

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I was surprised by how little coverage White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger got for his speech yesterday about income inequality (text, video). It was the second major White House speech on income inequality, the first of course being President Obama's widely covered Dec. 6 speech in Osawatomie, Kansas (which I wrote about here).

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President Obama spoke today about economic inequality and the plight of the middle class more forcefully than he ever has before. He gave the speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, site of Theodore Roosevelt's "New Nationalism" speech in 1910.

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&c

 -- Some more highlights from Alan Krueger's academic career. -- Christopher Hitchens asks: "Does the Texas governor believe his idiotic religious rhetoric, or is he just pandering for votes?" I ask: why not both? -- Alan Krueger's co-author on their most famous paper: "I've subsequently stayed away from the minimum wage literature for a number of reasons. First, it cost me a lot of friends." -- Inside the mind of Dick Cheney.

President Obama has nominated Alan Krueger as head of the Council of Economic Edvisors. Krueger gained fame in 1992 for a study showing that raising the minimum wage did not necessarily cost jobs. Economic models suggest that a minimum wage hike raises the cost of labor for businesses and, necessarily, decreases demand as a result.

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Moneyball

Geithner and Summers go to tennis camp.

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Free Larry Summers

On a typical day, Larry Summers, the top White House economic adviser, sits in his office overlooking the Rose Garden and receives a near-endless succession of aides working on a stunning variety of issues. In a single, several-hour bloc, Summers might have meetings on housing, the auto industry, health care, technology policy, and the financial crisis, all of which he’s exploring in subatomic detail.

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