Finally, the Journal Citation Reports has published the impact factors for ISI indexed journals. As in a similar post one year ago, I discuss the impact factors for macroeconomic journals. I presented the impact factors for both 2012 and 2013 (that is, published in 2013 and 2014, respectively).
In a previous blog post, I discussed the data issues in Piketty’s work. While some of the points made regarding the accuracy of the data might be valid, it appears that there are more fundamental issues we should be focusing on.
Piketty’s work on inequality has attracted a lot of attention, leading to both criticism and praise. On one hand, the book was received with enthusiasm, and there quite a few causes for this reception. Probably, the main cause for the success of this work comes from the growing inequality in United States. On top of this, there has a significant increase in the perception of inequality by the general public, policy makers and academics (see the debate on the top 1%, which might as well be a discussion on the top 0.01%).
The effect of gold on hedge funds
Is It Time to Invest in Gold?
Several well-known hedge fund managers still hold gold in high esteem, despite its fluctuating prices—in fact, gold has been added to many portfolios during the third quarter of 2013. Gold is also a part of South Africa’s thriving hedge fund industry, which reached a new high ($3.97 billion/ R40 billion) according to last year’s surveys. This is could be due to the vocal support of billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, who reaffirmed his belief in the precious metal as an effective inflation hedge. It was in 2012 when he told investors that by the time inflation occurs gold will be seeing a movement, so there’s no better time than the present to build a gold position.
Major concerns were raised with respect to the prospect of the exit strategy from Quantitative Easing. However, most of these concerns were related to US and the other developed economies which implemented this monetary policy. Less attention has been given the impact on emerging economies.
Traditional Keynesian models, like the IS-LM one, were discarded as they lack micro-foundations. They were also subject to the Lucas critique (in the sense that one cannot properly estimate a macroeconomic model if the parameters respond to changes in monetary/fiscal policy).
While it appears that Quantitative Easing has reached its limits and the FED intends to implement a strategy of gradual exit, there is less clear what available options exist for stimulating the economy.
The recent statements by Eugene Fama, Nobel Laureate in Economics (by the way, the actual title is Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel), on the fact that Quantitative Easing is neutral have puzzled many. According to him, “QE doesn’t do much”. When analyzed from the perspective of current debates in macroeconomics, this view is rather hard to be categorized, since no serious approach I know of really thinks about QE in these terms.
While much of the debate has centered on growth prospects of the US economy in the aftermath of the crisis, a slightly overlooked issue is how the potential output has been affected by the crisis.
The monetary policy has been preferred to fiscal policy to fight the recession, at least for United States. While Quantitative Easing has been recurrently applied in many episodes, from QE1 to the more recent QE4, there has been less attention paid to the possible uses of fiscal policy.