Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wrap Up for May 2017

The very fact that workers aren't keen on returning to construction work (which is not well suited for employment stability to begin with), highlights a long awaited opportunity for building construction innovation. Perhaps the situation would be different, if we were talking about automating jobs which people actually wanted. Apparently, the hard labour required for manual home building would scarcely be missed as a job option. Why are we waiting for the cost of living benefits, boosts to discretionary income, and the total factor productivity gains, that mass manufacture could bring to housing components and related infrastructure?

"...regions that are susceptible to automation are those that already have a high share of low-wage jobs."

Miles Kimball notes in a recent talk, how fifty years have passed with essentially no improvements in building construction. Even though housing bears the additional scarcity costs of today's productive agglomeration, lack of innovation contributes to this now approximate 41%, of budget allocation.

RIP William Baumol, one of the "greats":
Dietz Vollrath highlights an early paper from William Baumol, along with further musings on the cost disease.

Outside of information technology, American society has become less hospitable to innovation. Timothy Taylor provides highlights of a recent article from Edmund Phelps.

Strategies for managing density could use some improvement, given existing infrastructure burdens:

David Beckworth and Scott Sumner remember Allan Meltzer

"The Fall of the Labor Share and the Rise of Superstar Firms"

Brookings takes a closer look at declining labour force participation

How much has the job market for college grads improved since the Great Recession?

More Democrat physicians may be running for office in the near future

Labour force participation rate for men 25-54, by county

Noncompete clauses are unexpectedly becoming more problematic Additional sources below:
Non-Compete Contracts: Economic Effects and Policy Implications

Some of these people should not be having such a difficult time getting work.

Senate Republicans disagree on the future trajectory of Medicaid

How much has labour force participation changed, state to state?

"America's Schools are Built for Tomorrow's Followers"

David Beckworth recently highlighted several articles which I also want to note here:
"Current Growth, Inflation and Price Level Developments in the U.S." - James Bullard
"It's Time for the Bloated Fed to Go On a Diet" - George Selgin
"What Can We Learn from the FOMC's Debate" - Peter Ireland

"Workers are capturing more than their share of the spoils from a growing economy. And that, as it happens, is the reverse of a decades-long trend."

To what degree is selfishness actually a problem?

"There is no such thing as decreasing returns to scale" - Miles Kimball

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