Here’s a new blog (or, at least, new to me) by econ professor Brandon Dupont. It looks terrific! It’ll be on my regular reading list.
Bryan Caplan beat me to it – and it’s a good thing, because Bryan says more eloquently and concisely what I would have said in response to this post by Tyler. I have a PowerPoint presentation that serves as the basis for a talk that I sometimes give. In that presentation, I look at changes in average household size in the U.S. between 1976 and 2006 (just prior to the onset of the Great Recession). The number of members of the average-sized household was 2.56 in 2006; it was 2.86 in 1976. In other words, 10.5 percent fewer people lived in the average-sized American household in 2006 than in 1976. This fact means that any percentage change in the inflation-adjusted income of the average-sized household in the U.S. must – to get a more accurate picture of what happened to income per person – be adjusted to reflect changes in the number of people per average household. Although a 0.3-person drop in the size of such a household seems small, look again. One common estimate of the inflation-adjusted change in average household income in the U.S. from 1976 to 2006 is that that income rose by a paltry 18 percent. But when you calculate instead what we might call inflation-adjusted per-household-person income, that 18-percent rise during that 30-year span becomes a 32-percent rise (again, in inflation-adjusted per-household-person income). 32-percent growth is still no great shakes over three decades, but it is significantly higher than 18 percent. And it is the result of just one not only sensible, but necessary, adjustment to the data.
Conn Carroll reviews John Lott’s new book. (Because I was then a student at UVA Law, I remember well when Lillian BeVier was nominated in 1991 for a judgeship on the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.)