Economic Analysis

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ARTICLES

HICKS: Bill for Rockport gasification plant is job killer

Rockport was not a privately feasible operation in 2005, so the state offered a number of energy purchase agreements to support its construction. Suffice it to say that what was a marginally bad idea in 2005 is a profoundly bad idea in 2015.
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HICKS: Minimum wage arguments make little sense

It is important to understand what is going on with the minimum wage, especially since a group of Hoosier lawmakers is proposing a 39-percent increase this year. I think both sides are talking past each other.
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Hicks: Wages won't make a comeback for a long time

Wage stagnation has been a central element since the Great Recession.
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HICKS: Cheap petrol might lead to full-blown recovery

Because of the gasoline-price drop, businesses might be more profitable and might be able to use the extra revenue to hire more workers or make other investments. If they pass their profits on to owners, this will mean more money for retirees and other stockholders.
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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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