Income Trends

There are many ideas out there about how earnings, real and expected, affect spending.  Milton Friedman’s 1957 Permanent Income Hypothesis is probably the most famous.  In its strictest form, it implies that changes in current income, such as a raise or inheritance, shouldn’t change consumption at all. That’s an awfully strong statement.  In 1989, John […]

Pensions – Public and Private

There’s a thoughtful discussion on On Point today about how to handle guaranteed pensions in the face of economic volatility: They touch on pensions’ contributions towards budget deficits, how some public employees game their respective systems, and how public salaries differ from private salaries.  It’s worth a listen if you’re interested in the issue.

The Minimum Wage, give or take…

A lot goes into choosing an appropriate minimum wage level.  Like most questions of government intervention in markets, it comes down to efficiency and equity.  But even if everybody agreed on a balance between the two, there is still no guarantee that the intentions behind the law will match reality. In the interest of providing […]