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Monday, November 20, 2017

Kindle Version of SFC Models Book Available...

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have a Kindle edition of the SFC models textbook available. However, the ebook edition is a "textbook" version of the book -- effectively the same thing as a PDF with fixed pages. Not all Kindle readers will support this format (particularly older ones). I believe that the Kindle store will not sell you the book if your reader does not support it, but I suggest caution. I just glanced at the book on my iPad, and it looked OK (which is unsurprising, since an iPad is set up to render PDF files).

I will be out curling tonight, and so I will not be able to give the book a more careful look-over until tomorrow. Unless you insist on being an early adopter, I would suggest waiting a few days before purchasing, in case I decide to make some fixes. (I had a hard time testing what the live version of the ebook would look like on a tablet; I had to buy the book to see what the final result is.)

Since this edition is a direct representation of the paperback edition, it has features that might be unusual for those who have gotten used to reflowing PDFs, such as blank pages. (Chapters always start on the right-hand page in printed books.)

I am unable to use fixed-format pages for my non-Amazon ebook distributor, and so I cannot use the same trick to distribute outside of Amazon. I am still attempting to find a solution for that.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

On Using NAIRU To Analyse A Job Guarantee

Professor Simon Wren-Lewis wrote "Some thoughts about the Job Guarantee," in which he makes an attempt to analyse a Job Guarantee using the NAIRU concept. The analysis suffers from the well-known defects of NAIRU.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How Not To Defend DSGE Macro

I used to be quite animated in my dislike for Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) models, but my attitude has shifted: I have declared victory and gone home. At present, I only have a somewhat disinterested academic pursuit on one topic: are DSGE models actually mathematical models? Whether or not that is the case does not really affect the question of whether they are useful. The recent attempt at a defence by Christiano, Eichenbaum, and Trabandt confirmed my attitude; it was such a spectacular intellectual failure that it is not worth taking seriously.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"An Introduction to SFC Models Using Python" Paperback Edition Published

My latest book: An Introduction to SFC Models Using Python is now available as a paperback edition. It is currently available at (some) Amazon book stores, and will show up at other online booksellers (such as Barnes and Noble) over the coming days. Many bookstores would be able to find the book via a special order.

Book Description

Stock-Flow Consistent (SFC) models are a preferred way to present economic models in the post-Keynesian tradition. This book gives an overview of the sfc_models package, which implements SFC models in Python. The approach is novel, in that the user only specifies the high-level parameters of the economic model, and the framework generates and solves the implied equations. The framework is open source, and is aimed at both researchers and those with less experience with economic models. This book explains to researchers how to extend the sfc_models framework to implement advanced models. For those who are new to SFC models, the book explains some of the basic principles behind these models, and it is possible for the reader to run example code (which is packaged with the software online) to examine the model output.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Difficulty In Defining The Real Yield

The concept of the real interest rate is relatively old, and often associated with the work of Irving Fisher (the Fisher Equation). We decompose observed nominal interest rates into two components: inflation compensation, and a real rate of interest. I prefer to avoid using the term real yield, as the standard definitions cannot be easily related to real world data, and there are at least five definitions that have been used in practice. In the context of index-linked bonds ("linkers") using the Canadian pricing model, I prefer to call the quoted yield the "indexed yield," and not the "real yield" (which appears to be the market convention).

Python SFC Models Book Finished, But...

The good news is that I received the printed proof of my book earlier than I expected, and my first pass examination indicated that it is good to go.

The bad news is that I was hoping to figure out the technical problems with the ebook editions, and those problems are only half finished. I will try some fixes on my own this weekend, but I may end up having to deal with technical support in order to get the ebook out.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Defining Market Efficiency Properly

The concept of market efficiency has attracted a considerable amount of debate over the decades. The issue is that the definition is problematic; efficiency is more an attribute of the investors in the market, rather than the market itself. If we turn the focus to the role of investors, most of the mysteries associated with the concept evaporate.