Real Wages/Income

Thanks to those few who replied to my request for stuff on calculating real wages. Here's what I've got so far:

Paul Krugman, “Viagra and the Wealth of Nations,”

Arnold Kling, “How Much Worse Off Are We?,” TCS, July 2004

Amartya Sen, “The Welfare Basis of Real Income Comparisons”, Journal of Economic Literature,1979 (available through JSTOR)

Jack Triplett, “Hedonic Indexes and Statistical Agencies, Revisted,” paper presented to the BLS, June 2000. [PDF]

And a bunch of other possibly relevant stuff from Triplett here.

Bureau of Labor Statistics FAQ about the Consumer Price Index.

Krugman gets very close to what I'm thinking about, but the end of his piece skirts the real issue about the extent to which economics relies on implicit psychological and moral theories. I'm still looking for something that's more deeply reflective about the philosophical dimensions of this issue. I'll let you know if I find anything, and please let me know if you know of anything.

[Update: More Citations]

William D. Nordhous, “Do Real Output and Real Wage Measures Capture Reality? The History of Lighting Suggests Not

The Boskin Commission Report, “Toward a More Accurate Measure of the Cost of Living,” Report to the Senate Finance Committee, 1996.

Robert Gordon, “The Boskin Commission Report and Its Aftermath,” NBER Working Paper 7759

Thanks so far to Tyler Cowen, Ryan Seals, Erin Shellman and Alex Taborrok.

  • Greg N.

    “It turns out people won’t pay you for interesting ideas unless you show up at a certain place and at a certain time to express them verbally in an entertaining format, or unless you write them down.”

    So THAT’S the secret. I knew I’d been missing something all these years.

  • April

    I love this post – and agree completely with your conclusion. It depends on where you are in the balance between creative and ability to concentrate. I’m like you, heaps of creativity and hardly any of the latter. So stimulants are a huge benefit to me.

    It does seem to me that there is some sort of institutional failure – because there are so many initiatives and organizations that fail or at least don’t accomplish very much for lack of good ideas. And yet there are various sources of good ideas around, with a surplus of such ideas built up…but they don’t get transferred….

  • $54123764

    I beg to differ. Caffeine assists me in organizing my life, and hence increases my ability to record and expand upon the insights I do have. Essentially, I am willing to concede that there is some decrease in insight, but I propose that the increased organization factor provided by stimulants enables a greater total capitalization on generated insights.

  • About 25 years ago I read a quote on one of those 365-inspirational-sayings-a-year calendars, something like, “To have ideas is to gather flowers. To think is to weave them into garlands.” This made a big impression on me. Ideas are great but sometimes we have to put in the hard work too. Writing the ideas down is a start but not always enough either. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to find others to weave the ideas into garlands for us.

  • Andre Dotseth

    I’m neausated and life is a shit sandwich. I can’t remember what time they started selling beer today but I had to bum money off my dad to make a credit card payment. I think I ought to get a job. I didn’t go to the beach today. I had to start coffee for my AA meeting. Thank God somebody brought in a cheese cake. I think I’ll feed my cats the leftover chicken and take a chance on the spegetti in the fridge myself. I need to burn some incense from India so I don’t have to change the litterbox until garbage day. I need new vacuum cleaner bags and toliet bowl cleaner and a lemon juice ball. I’ll wait for the syrup and the bbq sauce to go on sale… forgot the gas and cigarettes. Who has time for an aha moment Coffee instead of diet pepsi… aha don’t have to carry the fricken bottles out to the car. I’m not going to be outdoors anyway.

    God. I had a rough day today. Garbage laundry and dishes. Damn drugs neaseate me. Girlfriend went off em She’ll probably go nuts and end up in the hospital next week…. Aha told ya so.

  • HH

    This comment deserves a Boaz-esque, “Oooohh-kaaay…”

  • Is the title in reference to the Simpson’s episode that had Bart drinking “Malk” which was fortified with Vitamin R?

  • I saw http://www.willwilkinson.net/flybottle/2008/07/23/vitamin-r/ and wanted to mention a useful site: http://www.FreePatentsOnline.com

    It provides free patent searching, free PDF downloading, allows annoting documents and sharing them, and free alerts for new documents.

    If you have a spot, a link to let your users know abou the site would be great.

  • huykl;o

    this page is so UGLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wish I found this site 6 months ago! Just what I am after. Thank You!

  • Juliana F.

    Hard work means more perseverance. How to focus on doing it? We should be mentally and physically active to perform certain tasks and have it done in deadlines. Nowadays, even in the field of financial intuitions, we can witness and avail of the modern electronic transfer of money or funds in which the easier way of accessing our bank accounts in wherever places we are. The borrower’s obligation to pay should never fail the expectation of the lender so that he will be trusted the second time he apply for it. Why is it that some of the borrowers do not even like to payback? The borrower’s obligation to pay should never fail the expectation of the lender so that he will be trusted the second time he apply for it. Why is it that some of the borrowers do not even like to payback? Often time’s consumers are offset by the widely publicized annual percentage rates. These percentage rates may be true but are not explained appropriately to the consumer base. For example 361% interest rates are enough to scare anybody away and make them scoff at the idea of anything charging that much. To accrue the interest rates professed by those trying to discredit the industry, an individual would have to let his or her loan lapse for an entire period of one year. To explain payday loans in layman terms that we can all understand and calculate easily, if you pulled a payday loan for $100 dollars on a two week term, you would end up paying back somewhere in between $115 and $130 dollars or about 15 to 30% of the borrowed amount. Click here to read more on payday loans.

  • Juliana F.

    Hard work means more perseverance. How to focus on doing it? We should be mentally and physically active to perform certain tasks and have it done in deadlines. Nowadays, even in the field of financial intuitions, we can witness and avail of the modern electronic transfer of money or funds in which the easier way of accessing our bank accounts in wherever places we are. The borrower’s obligation to pay should never fail the expectation of the lender so that he will be trusted the second time he apply for it. Why is it that some of the borrowers do not even like to payback? The borrower’s obligation to pay should never fail the expectation of the lender so that he will be trusted the second time he apply for it. Why is it that some of the borrowers do not even like to payback? Often time’s consumers are offset by the widely publicized annual percentage rates. These percentage rates may be true but are not explained appropriately to the consumer base. For example 361% interest rates are enough to scare anybody away and make them scoff at the idea of anything charging that much. To accrue the interest rates professed by those trying to discredit the industry, an individual would have to let his or her loan lapse for an entire period of one year. To explain payday loans in layman terms that we can all understand and calculate easily, if you pulled a payday loan for $100 dollars on a two week term, you would end up paying back somewhere in between $115 and $130 dollars or about 15 to 30% of the borrowed amount. Click here to read more on payday loans.

  • Lycas7x

    Hi this is Andre. Wow I could’ve had a V8. I think what I was trying to say is my life is so routine I need the coffee to survive. I don’t like lugging in the two Leter bottles from the car. Its too hot in the summer for coffee and any kind of consentration… We just survive moment to moment and do whats in front of us and try to pay our bills, and run to the beach for a little R&R if we are lucky. Lifes to short.

  • Wish I found this site 6 months ago! Just what I am after. Thank You!