Economic Analysis

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ARTICLES

HICKS: Hoosier employers experienced a fantastic year

Last December, I forecasted the state to see 57,000 new jobs through 2014, with a drop of the unemployment rate to the low- to mid-sixes. This would’ve been good news, but the reality was better.
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HICKS: Need to work on Christmas? You’re valuable

Wages are set by something like auction markets. In these markets, the willingness to pay a certain wage is balanced by workers’ inclination to sell their services. Rare skills in high demand get paid more than common skills.
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HICKS: Politics is driving the minimum wage push

Wages are largely determined by labor markets. So, if the minimum wage is set above the market wage, some workers will lose jobs while some will be better paid. There is no disagreement by anyone with a modest understanding of the matter, but low-paid jobs are not the issue.
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Hicks: Falling oil prices teach many economic lessons

The sharp drop in crude oil prices has caught many economists by surprise, me included.
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Hicks: Worries abound during forecasting season

If everything goes as forecasted, 2015 will be the best year of economic performance since 2007. This is a low bar if ever there were one.
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Hicks: Economist's 'truthiness' unmasks Obamacare

Jonathan Gruber’s micro-simulation economic model is highly sought after because it replicates the version used by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. Thus, it can be used to outwit that organization’s candid assessment of the effects of a policy proposal.
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Hicks: Gimmicks won't solve middle-class dilemma

If excessive government spending and artificially inflated wages offered actual help for America’s dwindling middle class, then east-central Indiana would’ve seen unbridled prosperity over the past half century instead of decline.
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Hicks: Pence was right to reject federal pre-K funding

Given my strong support for early childhood education programs, you might suppose I think Gov. Pence mistaken in his decision to forgo some $85 million in federal support for early childhood education. I do not. Accepting this money would have been easy, popular and wrong.
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Hicks: The links among Ebola, soda, school lunches

The U.S. government’s response to the Ebola virus is a case study on some of the central problems of our times.
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Hicks: Futures of high-skill, low-skill workers diverging

In recent years, average wages have stagnated. Wages for some workers declined while wages for others rose. Understanding why is important for any policy discussion.
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