Matt Nolan

Matt Nolan is an economist with the forecasting team at Wellington-based Infometrics. He enjoys writing on a broad range of economic issues; however his focus is on the household sector including the labour market and consumer spending. Within Infometrics, he is responsible for forecasting the outlook for consumer spending and the labour market, and giving clients an idea of the risks around these forecasts – and what they mean for their bottom line.

Expectations formation, inflation, and a role of inflation targeting - The Dismal Science

Nov 07, 2012

Ever since the Lucas Critique forced economists to recognise that we could not use data for policy in a purely theory free way, the concept of expectations, and how expectations are formed has become important.  The growing interest in behavioural and neuroeconomics are all in part a response to this realisation, and a clearer understanding [...]

Careful what you wish for - The Dismal Science

Nov 04, 2012

In a recent column Bernard Hickey suggested the following: Taxpayers still face the risk of seeing bank losses socialised in future while today’s profits are privatised. A more honest solution would be for the Government and the Reserve Bank to openly state that a bailout would not occur. Term depositers would demand a higher return [...]

Political scientists caused World War II - The Dismal Science

Oct 21, 2012

I keep being told that economists caused the financial crisis.  Sometimes I get blamed as well, but I usually have the excuse that I was in New Zealand when the housing market started to fall apart in the US. As a result, I’ve been trying to think of similar statements.  A discipline that aims to [...]

A book I have just preordered - The Dismal Science

Oct 16, 2012

Via Economist’s View comes this excellent post by Economic Principals. That the world economy received a “shock” when US government policy reversed itself in September 2008 and permitted Lehman Brothers to fail: what kind of an explanation is that?  Meanwhile, the shadow banking industry, a vast collection of financial intermediaries that included money market funds, [...]

An excellent primer on NGDP targeting - The Dismal Science

Oct 11, 2012

Via Scott Sumner comes the following primer on NGDP targeting. Its a cool little explanation of the benefits, and the functioning of monetary policy – specifically through expectations.  I also appreciated that Hayek was mentioned – Hayek was a fan of the nominal income rule, a fact many people don’t realise given belief that NGDP [...]