Economic Roundup

Economic Roundup

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A May 17 World Bank study found new empirical evidence that political and economic freedom strongly promote economic growth.

On May 16, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke gave a speech on the critical role of research and development in economic growth.

A May 16 National Bureau of Economic Research working paper found that means-tested welfare programs reduce the poverty rate from 29 percent to 13.5 percent. Over time, these programs have shifted away from those with low incomes toward the elderly and disabled.

On May 16, the Journal of Economic Perspectives published an article which says that manufacturing productivity is overstated because of the way foreign inputs are measured.

On May 13, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis published a study of income mobility.

Also on May 13, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published an analysis of consumer spending by singles and married couples.

On May 12, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on the endangered middle class.

Also on May 12, University of Wisconsin economist Menzie Chinn posted a commentary saying that economic fundamentals are not likely to cause a serious decline in the dollar; that would only occur if there is a drastic policy mistake, such as defaulting on the debt due to failure to raise the debt limit.

A May 10 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics examined the impact of rising grain prices on the prices of goods made with grain.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.