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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 15 reviews
on May 28, 2015
You'll need an Econ 101 background to fully appreciate Mulligan's mathematical model, but the book contains a lot of important information accessible to the non-mathematically inclined. Mulligan looks carefully at the employment of different groups since 2009. It turns out that people who weren't eligible for welfare worked about the same number of hours or even more since the Collapse of 2008. Americans who could get various kinds of welfare benefits, as long as they didn't earn much, responded by working less or not working at all.

One thing that distinguishes this book from more conventional literature is that Mulligan looks at means-tested debt relief, including mortgage relief. It turns out that the government set things up so that lower-income Americans with mortgages could save $1.31 for every $1 by which they cut their earnings from wages. I.e., people who worked less actually had more spending power.

The book also provides a good survey of more standard economic research, e.g., the extent to which a higher minimum wage will cut employment and the extent to which people respond to extra welfare benefits by cutting their working hours. Very relevant right now to the political discussion around increasing minimum wages to $15/hour.
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on August 19, 2013
Possibly the most important economics book of the decade but an incredibly difficult read. If you don't have a graduate degree in economics, as I do, you'll find it the toughest read of your life. Equation on top of equation, dense prose, obtuse diagrams, confusing tables; all the necessary ingredients to drive the average reader insane. But the content is wonderful! With vast detail and brilliant analysis, the author demonstrates how the government turned a bad recession into an unemployment nightmare. That's on top of the Goldman Sachs Demopublicans bailing out Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. Furthermore, these results strongly support the growing fear that Obamacare will be another unemployment disaster. If you believe it's an accident that Obamacare's employer provisions have been suspended for the coming election year, I have a bridge to sell you.
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While the focus of most discussions following the crisis has (correctly, in my opinion) be centered in the financial markets, too little attention has been paid to how the policy responses affect incentives in labor supply. The general presumption seems to be that labor market frictions explain all that is going on in this market. Although we need not agree with the whole analysis, as usual, Casey Mulligan comes up with a different angle that should not be dismissed, but closely scrutinized.
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on February 9, 2013
As a guess, the book contains maybe 100 formulas, including a couple apparently using calculus, about 50 graphs and maybe 25 tables. This is not an accessible book for the common folk or even people with PhDs in other fields. Think of it as a journal article that is too long for a peer-reviewed journal. You have been warned.
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on February 19, 2014
Excellent and original. As a fellow economist I devoured the book and its content. Real, accurate and easy to read. Totally explains the labor changes due to tech, etc
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