Friday, August 08, 2003

OK, is Brad DeLong a complete nitwit? Or am I missing the humor here?
Ah. I thought--from GDP and aggregate hours data--that we would have a 4% per year productivity growth quarter in the spring of 2003. I was wrong: we had a 5.7% per year productivity growth quarter. It is amazing that nonfarm business hours worked can fall--and fall at a 2.2% annual rate--in a quarter in which nonfarm business output can rise at a rate of 3.4% per year. If only we had demand rising fast enough to employ more rather than fewer people, the performance of the American economy would be truly amazing.
Can't the esteemed economist look a little deeper into these numbers and come up with something more profound than "truly amazing"? Sheesh, if a lowly Political Scientist (there, I've come out of the closet) like the General can see this as work speed-up rather than a "real" productivity increase, why can't a guy who writes Macro textbooks??


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