Saturday, 20 December 2014
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    Mighty Bitcoin

    Selgin’s Bitdollar anda simple step toward sound money

    December 17, 2014
    Over at the Free Banking Blog, George Selgin replied to some recent criticisms that appeared in the Economic Policy Journal (here and here.) The criticism is aimed at what Selgin calls the “Bitdollar,” which is the idea of a tamper-proof-Bitcoin-type protocol that automatically adjusts the supply of base dollars in a way that a measure of nominal income keeps […]
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    “The Yellen tug of war”

    December 16, 2014
    This week, Ralph Benko published a piece in Forbes that outlined what I would consider two fundamental problems with Janet Yellen’s Federal Reserve: its willingness to experiment and its growing politicization. As Benko states in the opening of his piece, economic mobility depends on when and how quickly the Fed decides to tighten or raise […]
    Dollar Background

    Money and productivity

    December 15, 2014
    Traditionally, economists talk about things being produced using some combinations of land, labor, and capital, where capital is taken to mean tools, machines, buildings, and so on. Productivity— productive efficiency—improves when the same output can be obtained with less of at least one of these inputs. Some economists include “money” in the production function as […]
    Bitcoin

    The political economy of Bitcoin

    December 10, 2014
    I have a new paper with Joshua Hendrickson and co-blogger Thomas Hogan titled The Political Economy of Bitcoin. Here’s the abstract: The recent proliferation of bitcoin has been a boon for users but might pose problems for governments. Indeed, some governments have already taken steps to ban or discourage the use of bitcoin. In a […]
    Federal Reserve Building Washington

    Economic performance and the Federal Reserve

    December 8, 2014
    Many economists argue the Fed can improve economic performance by moderating booms and busts in the economy. Indeed, some studies propose that the volatility of GDP growth has declined under the Fed, especially during the “Great Moderation” from the mid-1980s to the present day. My recent paper “Has the Fed Improved U.S. Economic Performance?”, soon […]
    Massachusetts Institute Of Technology

    The MIT Bitcoin Project

    December 3, 2014
    The MIT Bitcoin Project plans to give $100 worth of bitcoin to every undergrad at MIT. Ignoring any overhead, the program will cost a little less than half a million dollars. Why would they do that? Payment vehicles like bitcoin are subject to what economists call network effects. That means individuals are concerned not only […]
    Coins On Scales

    Does monetary equilibrium equal NGDP targeting?

    December 1, 2014
    In the last recent years, the idea of NGDP Targeting as a better, if not the optimal, target for central banks has received special attention. Surely the idea is not new, but the recent increase in interest is hard to deny. The idea is that the central bank should not target an interest rate, like […]
    Financial Service Flat Illustration Concept

    Unconventional monetary policy: not all assets are created equal

    November 26, 2014
    In a recent post, I considered whether the Fed’s massive expansion of the monetary base is unconventional. It is certainly unprecedented. Nonetheless, I concluded that it was business as usual: the Fed expanded the base as it always has, by purchasing assets. Today, I will explore one of the ways in which recent Fed policy […]