Unexpectedly Intriguing!
September 27, 2006

Early in our history, Political Calculations became part of Bill Parke's Economics Roundtable where, thanks to the miracle of RSS feeds, we're able to keep up with commentary and analysis from many of academia's top economists.

But, more than that, these same folks have inspired a number of tools here at Political Calculations! Now, you too can analyze the economy like a pro:

Investing
Subcategory Title Description
Recession Reckoning the Odds of Recession Hands down, our most popular tool and post ever. Our tool is based on 2006 research published by the Federal Reserve that determines the probability of the U.S. economy going into recession sometime in the next 12 months using current bond market and interest rate data.
Recession Visualizing the Probability of Recession We went one step further from our recession odds reckoning tool and found a neat way to visualize whether or not the probability of a recession occurring in the next 12 months is better or less than 50%.
GDP Forecasting GDP Using the "Climbing Limo" Method What if, instead of relying on official government economic forecasts, you had a tool that produced a more accurate projection of U.S. economic growth some 60% of the time?
Monetary Policy Targeting the Federal Funds Rate Do you know that interest rate everyone gets worked up about whenever the Federal Reserve makes a decision about where to set it? Our tool takes a method developed by Harvard's Greg Mankiw that might help you gain insight into how the Fed does it!
Tax Policy Consumption vs. Income Taxes Did you know that income taxes discourage both work and savings while consumption taxes encourage them? Our tool does Professor Mankiw's back-of-the-envelope math to show why!
Bankruptcy Predicting Bankruptcy The Altman Z-score is one of the most popular tools you can use to predict if a publicly-traded company is heading down the tubes. Our tool will help you see if a company you're thinking about investing in is at risk.
Decisions The Cost of Risk vs. Benefit Economist Arnold Kling inspired this tool with his original post showing the math for determining whether or not a medical test might be beneficial enough to be worth its cost. Of course, being who we are, we recognized that the same math applies to whether or not the grand prize in the lottery is worth buying a ticket!
Data Modeling Average Wages in the U.S. We project the future average wage in the U.S. with our tool based on historical data from the Social Security National Average Wage Index.
Data Modeling Projecting U.S. Median Housing Prices What will the median price of a house in the U.S. be in 2010? In 2050? Our tool can help you find the answers!
Fiscal Policy Minimum Wage and Small Business What effect will an increase in the minimum wage have on your small business? Our tool gets to the bottom line!

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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

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