There are a lot of great economics blogs that are not on our blogroll. For example, there is David Altig’s Macroblog, which I had not heard of until today, when Altig was paired with Alex Tabarrok (of Marginal Revolution in the latest WSJ Celebrity Death Match, this one concerning saving.

Other bloggers that I have stumbled upon recently include William Polley and Brad Setser.

I think that my tendency is to underplay macroeconomic issues, which is why these folks are not on my radar.

In the WSJ piece, Altig writes

The Thaler-Benartzi “Save More Tomorrow” results are intriguing, and about as close to a free lunch as it gets. If more information and better options are all it takes to turn us into a collective of willingly thrifty little ants, I’d say we are nearly home free.

But do you think that is really the issue? Have Americans become less informed and more constrained over the past twenty years? The really dramatic break in the pattern of the private saving sure gives the whiff of a smoking gun.

But where is it?

Basically, when the measured saving rate falls, you have two choices. You can say that behavior changed, or you can say that measured savings changed in some systematic way relative to “true” saving.

It seems to me that if we’re going to explain the drop in measured saving as being due to an increase in stock market wealth in the ’80’s and ’90’s, then it sort of begs the question why measured saving did not surge after the dotcom crash.

For Discussion. Has personal wealth recovered from the stock market crash of 2000-2001?