Sunday, February 12, 2006

Around the blogosphere

Randy Crane of UCLA has launched his urban planning research blog. Randy may be more optimistic about urban planning than I am but he is always smart and thorough. Good luck, Randy.

Econbrowser includes an interesting discussion of oil prices, consumer spending and the housing boom. Revenues from home refinancing enabled consumers to keep spending in spite of higher oil prices. A nice coincidence of home and oil price movements.

Becker-Posner go through the standard discussion of traffic congestion externalities and the argument for time-of-day pricing. Yet, they only consider commuting when the problem has most to do with the growth in nonwork traffic (more income, more cars, more nonwork errands on the highways). In fact time-of-day pricing is likely to be more potent because so many non-work trips occur during the peak hours.

Cafe Hayek includes an antidote to widespread fretting over trade deficits. Capital imports can be wealth creating -- and after 30 years of trade deficits offset by capital imports that seems to be what has happened.