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By / 8.16.2017

Yesterday, President Trump accused online retailer Amazon of “doing great harm to tax paying retailers” and “many jobs being lost.” Unfortunately, this is another fact-free claim by the president. New research by PPI economist Michael Mandel shows that ecommerce is actually expanding retail jobs. Mandel wrote last month, “According to the latest BLS employment report, employment at brick-and-mortar […]

By / 8.4.2017

When I was a kid, my parents bought a house in a middle class neighborhood of an economically diverse city. My brother, who is a year older than me, embarked upon his schooling in our local public elementary school – an adventure that lasted one year. His teacher struggled to control the class, fights broke […]

By / 8.3.2017

It’s been well-documented that economic dynamism for many years has been concentrated geographically–in a few tech hubs like SF and NY, in the largest urban areas where young people flock, in coastal states. This geographical concentration appears to have been a major force underlying the 2016 election, where areas left behind by economic prosperity were […]

By / 7.31.2017

In an earlier post, I estimated that the expansion of ecommerce since 2007 is saving American households 64 million hours per week in shopping time.  What impact does this have on measured productivity? This is not an easy question. Unpaid shopping hours are part of  “household production,” which is generally excluded from official calculations of […]

By / 7.29.2017

We think of the United States as a low-inflation economy, with an overall price increase of 36% since 2000, or less than 2% a year.  But the fact is, the inflation  performance of different industries has varied greatly since 2000.  For example, the price of construction has gone up more than 100% since 2000, as […]

By / 7.24.2017

Which one is not like the others? Since 2000, American households have been hit by price increases which far exceed their ability to pay. Necessities like housing and food have skyrocketed in prices. Child care is 81% more expensive, passenger fares for foreign travel are up 63%, financial fees are higher by 41%. Even beer, […]

By / 7.24.2017

Under Chancellor Antwan Wilson, the children of current and former public officials will no longer receive preferential placement in the District’s infamously competitive school enrollment system. The move follows a report from the D.C. Inspector General that former Chancellor Kaya Henderson had allowed the children of several top public officials to bypass the My School […]

By / 7.14.2017

When I was in high school, I had a teacher everyone loved: Mr. C. Mr. C told us stories about traveling, he talked about baseball, and he let us sit with our friends and socialize. We completed worksheets; we earned As in the class. We were happy, and our parents were happy with our grades. […]

By / 7.10.2017

I have consistently argued that ecommerce is boosting employment by creating jobs at fulfillment centers. For example, over the past year, ecommerce jobs have risen by 61,000, while brick-and-mortar retail has fallen by only 7,000. That sounds like a counter-intuitive result, given that ecommerce is supposedly more productive than brick-and-mortar retail. But the increase in […]

By / 7.10.2017

When I was young, oh so many years ago, my parents would take me shopping at Korvette’s, a chain of discount department stores originally based in New York City. But alas, Korvette’s went bankrupt in 1980, just one of hundreds of names on Wikipedia’s long list of defunct department stores. Then, of course, Wikipedia has an equally […]