Archive for the ‘Economic Perspective’ Category

New estimates of the value of time

Our time is a limited resource, and so we implicitly place a value on it. Often we pay to save time: for example, on toll roads, on flying instead of driving, and on paying for yard maintenance. But do we have any idea about what value people put on their time? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.

Progress in deleveraging

In recent years households have been working hard to reduce their debt. Most economists say this effort is essential to provide a sound footing for an economic recovery. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden takes a look at how have we done and how much more debt reduction is needed.

The essential economic question

Why does the discipline of economics exist? Hear what N.C. State University economist Mike Walden tells beginning students as he explains the essential economic question.

A consumption tax

One of the most frequently discussed public policies are those related to taxes and changes to the tax code. Some say the tax code needs to do more to promote saving, and, therefore, there are big fans of relying more on the sales tax. But critics say the sales tax hits lower-income households harder. Is there a resolution between these two viewpoints? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden weighs in.

Dueling income measures

Income is a major factor we use to judge economic progress, but are there alternative income measures and do they all show the same trends? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden answers.

Problems in unemployment insurance

Unemployment insurance is a government program that pays unemployed workers a monthly benefit, but with the recession and high unemployment running so long, the program faces problems. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains.

Freezing federal spending

Concern about the federal deficit and the debt is widespread. One simple proposal often offered to reduce the deficit is just to freeze federal spending at current levels. The idea is that as federal revenues rise the annual deficit, and ultimately the total debt, will fall. Is there any issue with this proposal? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden responds.

Costs and benefits of homeowning

Home sales have improved. But they’re still 25 percent under pre-recessionary levels. The percentage of households renting is up. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden says people are evaluating the buy-a-home versus rent decision differently today.

An energy game-changer

Energy will continue to be an issue in both the country and the world in coming decades. Is there some energy source or technology on the horizon that might quickly change the energy market? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden says yes — and it’s natural gas.

Measuring indebtedness

There has been much concern about the levels of debt held by households, but how exactly do we measure this debt? Are there alternative methods? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden answers.

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