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You've got questions, Dylan Matthews blah blah blah.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 28, 2010; 11:05 AM ET
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I thought you closed Journolist, so where are you going to get answers from now? Here's a question: do you think that an actual Journolist member leaked Weigel's email, or was it a non-member who somehow got access to Journolist?

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 28, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Here's one about today's Supreme Court ruling. How do these numbers compare:

Reported cases of (on a yearly basis or other time scale):

Guns being used to commit a crime
Guns being used to stop a crime
(for example, a police report that someone was robbed at gun point or a report that a robber was scared away when a crime victim pulled out a gun)

The number of times a victim is shot during a crime or as a crime
The number of times a criminal is shot in defense as he or she is committing a crime

The number of accidental shootings

The number of accidental deaths

Posted by: zperez | June 28, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I realize the subtitle of this blog is "Economic and Domestic Policy, and Lots of It" but I've got a decidedly un-economic, un-domestic, but still wonky question.

The Department of Defense surely has periodically done some estimates on how big (in terms of troops) and long a war they can fight using the military they've got at a given time, and at what point they'd need to (a) call up the reserves, and (b) call on the politicians to reinstitute a draft.

In particular, I've long been curious as to what DoD's doctrine was on this question in the period after the post-Cold War drawdown, and before the Iraq war, say 1995-2002.

If our brilliant researcher can come up with some documents shedding some light on this, I'd be deeply appreciative.

Posted by: rt42 | June 28, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

What is the net marginal cost to the federal government per each unemployed person (lost tax revenue, unemployment insurance etc.)? How does that compare to the net cost of various government programs that conservatives talk about cutting, like earmarks?

Posted by: byelin | June 28, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Back during the GWB years and the push to privatize Social Security, I did a bit of a thought experiment. What if Social Security was changed so companies no longer had to contribute their portion of Social Security, but Social Security was collected on all individual income with no cap? From what I found, it seemed like this would easily solve any "problem" with the funding of Social Security. Finding data for this was difficult and I wasn't sure of the veracity of some of the data so I kind of chalked it up to "too good to be true" and forgot about it. Given Dylan's copious sources and intelligence and rugged good looks, maybe he can look into if this simple solution would actually work. This would obviously be a big win for business but not for the rich. It would be interesting to see if big business would win over big money considering big money owns big business.

Posted by: jpeg | June 28, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

This report was published by Heritage in 2002:

The methodology is seemingly quite faulty and causation does not seem to be proven whatsoever.

Therefore, I would like to know to what extent a tax cut can increase government revenues. Are certain tax decreases(perhaps capital gains) more likely to yield revenue increases while others (perhaps income tax) would decrease revenues?

So basically, how can one show that revenues increase or decrease with a tax cut?

Posted by: em440 | June 28, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Hospital Utilization w/r/t increases in technology.

How does an 'upgrade' in medical technology affect utilization of one hospital vs. another? That is to say, if there are two hospitals, A and B, within X miles of each other, and A upgrades their CT machine, how much does demand shift from B to A?

How does the change in utilization differ from 'major' upgrades (e.g., DI-wide upgrades) to 'minor' upgrades (e.g., upgrading from a 32-slice CT to a 64-slice)?

Posted by: MikeMiesen | June 28, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Is it true that many important US economic indicators (private debt, public debt, income inequality, share of income, number of two-salaried households, size of financial system as a share of GDP, etc.) began to turn a wrong corner starting in the early 1980s?

Posted by: matt297 | June 28, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

States are in all kinds of trouble right now, having difficulties balancing their budgets, cutting education and infrastructure spending and so on. I'm curious to see what states did during the Great Depression? Did they go bankrupt? Raise taxes? Get rescued by the Federal government? Or something else? Do the actions then provide any guidance about what we should be doing now?

Posted by: meander510 | June 28, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

People keep talking about the advantages of the stability of the Canadian banking system, without discussing the opportunity costs of this stability.
Do Canada's banks do a better job of providing capital to business, or providing other financial services? How do their costs to the economy compare? In short, is there any way to compare (services provided)/(costs incurred) for the financial sectors in these two countries?

Posted by: adonsig | June 28, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

What's the comparison between dollars spent - or not earned - on corporate tax breaks/giveaways in comparison to federal funding for college education?

Posted by: IKEdwards | June 28, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

If a chicken and a half laid an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many eggs can one chicken lay in one day?

Posted by: Lomillialor | June 28, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

OK, here's my real question:

When gas prices skyrocketed after Bush took office, grocery prices soon followed. How come grocery prices did not drop when gas prices suddenly plummeted during the 2008 election cycle? Today grocery prices remain high though gas prices are still low compared to the early and mid aughts.

Posted by: Lomillialor | June 28, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Could you explain the mechanism by which higher deficit spending could lead to higher interest rates?

The anti-stimulus crowd says more deficit spending will lead to an increase in interest rates. Pro-stimulus folks point to the current low rate of inflation, excess capacity, and unemployment and argue that inflation is not likely.

Missing from this discussion is an explanation for economic neophytes like myself as to how the two are connected at all. Passing mention is often made to the bond market and "crowding out", but no one I've read has really explained how it works. It's just presumed to be common knowledge. A clear explanation would be helpful!

Posted by: MattMilholland | June 28, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Since CA (and the Senate) seems totally dysfunctional and unable to honestly discuss raising revenues via taxes or procedurally incapable of doing so, was the "top two" initiative in CA aimed at addressing this?

I've heard this was done in other states but later revoked -- why? Did it produce more moderate candidates? Does it have more of a chance of succeeding in CA since its got a more robust initiative process?

It doesn't seem like revenue-raising was the stated goals of supporters, but it does seem like a way out of the current political/procedural standstill between the parties in CA.

Second Question:
Was there another period in US history in which two parties housed two different ideologies? It's been often repeated that it's difficult for the Dems and Republicans to work together since all the NE liberals left the GOP and all the Southern conservatives left the GOP. Was there another time in US history where each party was so easily defined by ideology? What changed this?

Posted by: Chris_ | June 28, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Yet another question: do countries with more lax immigration laws experience more growth (since I *believe* most small businesses are started by immigrants), or do such countries experience more unemployment (because more people for less jobs) and social costs?

It's difficult to reconcile proponents pointing to places like Japan's low growth/aging population/restrictive immigration policy with opponents pointing to border states' supposed problems with crime/unemployment/etc....

Posted by: Chris_ | June 28, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Klein referred to a spreadsheet from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in his Sunday post. I wonder if you could post that spreadsheet or outline in more detail some of the proposals and how it would help our current situation. Thanks

Posted by: ismith260 | June 28, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

To the extent that the expected growth of entitlement spending over the next two decades will be the result of the baby boomer population bubble, will that self-correct to much extent when the bubble starts to, you know, pop?

Doesn't an improvement in the ratio of workers to retirees HAVE to help reduce the growth of that spending?

Posted by: Porchland | June 29, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

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