Why Is Infant Mortality Higher in the United States than in Europe?

(By Kenny Louie from Vancouver, Canada - Hah!, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24336411) This is the question three economists recently asked in a recently published paper from the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.  The answers they found disturbed me, and should bother anyone who pays attention to how badly well-being is distributed in the United … [Read more...]

Until we meet again, Alcuin Library

Next Monday, Alcuin Library at St. John's University closes until January.  It will be called the Alcuin Library Learning Commons when it reopens, and between now and then it will undergo extensive renovations. I stopped by Alcuin this morning to take one last look around the building (and, to see if there are any books in HC section that I might want before the books go into storage.) I even … [Read more...]

Growing at a snail’s pace: a first look at 2016’s GDP numbers

The first estimates of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) for 2016 arrived this morning.  The headline number: real GDP grew about 0.5% from January through March.  That’s pretty slow, especially compared to the 2015 annual rate of 2.4 percent. The picture above shows real GDP relative to its potential.  Potential GDP measures the amount of final goods and services the US economy could produce … [Read more...]