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Articles by Bryson, Blanchflower

Expectations data indicate the US is entering recession about now

October 21, 2021

Economic downturns are not as unpredictable as we once thought. There is mounting evidence that the expectations of consumers, workers and employers predict economic downturns, sometimes 12 to 18 months ahead. But we live in exceptional times. The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath have sown doubt and uncertainty among consumers and producers and may do so for some time to come. So what’s the economic prognosis? this column argues that expectations data for the US suggest the country is entering recession about now.

With the mass rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations and the attendant decline in COVID-related deaths in most advanced economies, and with many economic indices turning positive, it looks like most economies are on the road to recovery although the

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How the economics of walking about helps predict unemployment

August 24, 2021

Predicting economic downturns and rising unemployment is notoriously difficult.  Economists usually characterise recessions as random shocks which, by construction, cannot be predicted.  This is a mistake. 
Several economists such as Nouriel Roubini did in fact spot the recession coming but were ignored.1 The recession started in the US housing market in 2006 and spread, just as the Great Depression did (Blanchflower 2008).  Early warning signs of the impending Great Recession were apparent in business and consumer surveys and purchasing manager indices (PMIs) with similar stories from around the globe, but only a very few policymakers were willing to take them at face value that they signaled an imminent recession.  
The early literature on the causes of unemployment emphasised

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