We all have heard the phrase: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” (for its origin, see the entry in Wikipedia). This phrase is a damned lie. You cannot lie with statistics if they are properly done; that is, if you show both the data and the method you u
I am in Oslo, attending an Evolution Institute-organized workshop led by my EI colleagues Jerry Lieberman and David Sloan Wilson. We are in Norway because this country is well known for a very high quality of life. In fact, during the last decade Norway has reliably occupied the numbe
The previous blog in this series showed that a simple three-factorial model can reproduce very faithfully the long-term dynamics of real wages. The model not only explains why the real wages stopped growing in the late 1970s, but also (surprisingly) the ups and downs since 1980. Furth
Previous blogs in this series asked why real wages stopped growing in the 1970s and whether long-term trend in labor demand and supply can help us answer this question. In this blog I turn to ‘extra-economic’ (non-market) factors, which are even harder to quantify than economic ones.
In the previous blog I asked why real wages stopped growing in the 1970s. A host of explanations has been discussed by economists and political commentators (although they tend to focus on the related issues of income and income inequality). David Leonhard, for example, listed 14 poss
Something happened in the 1970s. Take a look at this graphic: During most of the 20th century—until the 1970s—wages of American workers grew much faster than inflation. In the half-century after 1927 real wages of unskilled labor increased by a factor of 3.5, while wages of manufactur