Numerous stories and sources document the growth of the North Dakota economy over the last decade. The North Dakota economy grew by leaps and bounds over this time, and economic development started in many industries and in many counties. Recently, somebody asked me about the contribution of oil over the last several years. This question is in contrast to the often asked question regarding which industry is most important in the North Dakota economy currently.

Continue reading What if oil did not happen in ND?

Read more

There are few things I care about less than the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame now. On a personal level I am bitter about the way the voters treated Ron Santo. Also, I am just flabbergasted at the treatment of the steroid-era players. The voters are embarrassed, pure and simple. It is a really personal issue for them and as a result I lack much of the respect I had for them in my youth. The amazing thing is if they remembered how to be journalists at any point in the 1980s or 1990s maybe they would have discovered information about the situation in a timely manner. But they didn’t. Instead they were too busy thumbing their nose at the football writers telling them that baseball did not have a P.E.D. problem like their sport. They also have a ridiculously convoluted voting system that creates a separate standard as well. It is not good enough to just be in the Hall, it is now important to be a first-ballot selection. This creates a completely different set of standards that matters mostly to the voters and few others. So let’s be clear about this, at a very real level I do not care if Pete Rose gets into the Hall of Fame or not.

Continue reading Incentive Alignment: Pete Rose and Public Policy

Read more

The subtitle of this post could be bludgeoning the reader with numbers, but oh well.

As I mentioned in last week’s post (available here) there was a scheduled update to the detailed data on state-level real GDP this week. With any update like this there are many different dimensions to consider. The first aspect to consider is the release of new data. New data provides us an updated look at the state of the economy and (hopefully) a better sense of the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly. In these releases there are also updates to the older data. More complete information is available as time passes so we get a better look at what happened in the recent past.

Continue reading Agriculture v. Mining in ND, Round Two

Read more

In the last several years the majority of attention regarding energy production in North Dakota focused on oil and gas. The increased contribution of energy (oil and gas in particular) to GDP growth was significant as I showed before. The other day I watched a train with at least fifty cars full of coal go by and I wondered what happened with coal production over the last few years.

Continue reading Whatever Happened to Coal?

Read more