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MINSKY Dynamic Modeling     |       TSL/IDEA Data Store     |       Effective Unemployment Rates     |       Debt Charts     |       Videos

MINSKY Dynamic Economic Modeling

Named in honor of Hyman Minsky, this is a computer program that enables a complex monetary system to be modeled with relative ease. The program implements the tabular approach to modelling financial flows and combines this with the “flowchart” paradigm developed by engineers to model phys­i­cal processes, and imple­mented in numer­ous software pro­grams It will be both a ped­a­gogic tool to make dynamic mon­e­tary mod­el­ling easy and attrac­tive to new stu­dents, and a pow­er­ful research tool that will enable the con­struc­tion of real­is­tic, mon­e­tary mod­els of capitalism.

"Minsky," a Macroeconomic Modeling Software Platform

Free open-source computer program for building and simulating dynamic, monetary economic models, models without equilibrium and with a financial sector. A vital tool for a new approach to economics. Similar to Mathcad, Mathematica, Mathlab and other mathematical modeling/ simulation tools, but optimized for accounting-based, flow-of-funds analysis.

DOWNLOAD FROM SOURCEFORGE

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The road map includes expansion of core open-source features, plus companion programs (e.g. proprietary “Big Data” visualization toolset). Version 1.0 currently free available online. Major development is underway.

The designer of Minsky, Dr. Steve Keen, put into mathematical form the economic approach of the rebel American economist Hyman Minsky, and the program Minsky  was named in his honor.  Minsky was designed to make a different approach to economic modeling possible: one in which banks, debt and money are indispensable, and in which the economy is always changing.

Minsky now fulfills its basic promise—to be able to build dynamic models in general, and in particular to build monetary models of the economy. There are still some rough edges at this level since less than 3000 hours of programming has gone into its development so far, but we’re confident that it is relatively bug-free and will work as intended right now—though we hope to add much more polish and far more modeling power in future releases.

Work needs to be done to refine the user interface, then we intend to enable it to represent an economy as a number of industrial sectors, each of which buys inputs from and sells output to the others. Then we will add the ability to model international trade and financial flows between different national economies.  We have already done proof-of-concept modeling of multi-sectoral monetary models in Mathcad and Mathematica, so we know this can be done.  Simultaneously we will add the capability to import economic data and to derive system parameters from data using nonlinear parameter estimation techniques.

Minsky was January's SourceForge project of the month. Please download the program for free via SourceForge. Use it and look for the Minsky user's forum coming here soon.

SourceForge

SourceForge

IDEA’s Time Series Language (TSL) is a script-based tool for retrieving data from different online sources in real time and combining them using spread sheet style expressions.  This is a major new tool for practicing economists and students in analyzing debt, growth and employment. Although TSL could deliver any desired data manipulation, the scripting language is being kept deliberately simple. Anybody who can use a spreadsheet will be expert in a few minutes.

Demonstration of TSL

IDEA’s Time Series Language (TSL) is a script-based tool for retrieving data from different online sources in real time and combining them using spread sheet style expressions.  This is a major new tool for practicing economists and students in analyzing debt, growth and employment. Although TSL could deliver any desired data manipulation, the scripting language is being kept deliberately simple. Anybody who can use a spreadsheet will be expert in a few minutes. TSL includes support for multidimensional data sets (as well as ordinary series), so groups of related time series (e.g. debt for a each of the countries in the OECD) can be manipulated and displayed as easily as one. Data can be displayed as charts and/or spreadsheets or made available through our own API to other data projects. TSL is being developed as a tool in its own right, but the tool will provide the main user interface to IDEA’s own economic data base.

Access

The TSL/Data Store is available at http://www.tsldatacenter.org. A group of data aficionados has already formed to maintain and populate the database. If you would like to join, let us know (with TSL in the subject line) at impact@ideaeconomics.org.

 

The general conversation about the employment situation is a babble of confusion because the chief statistic – the unemployment rate – is no longer descriptive. We explain why and how a simple and methodologically robust treatment can connect the participation rate and the unemployment rate to a single number that is descriptive. (See the complete discussion here.)

September 2015 IDEA effective unemployment rates:

Headline back up to 8.9

All-In (U-6) down to 13.8

US labor force participation in July stuck to a low not seen since 1977 at 62.4. Low participation is the primary driver of low rates. The headline effective unemployment rate is stuck at 8.9 percent, an improvement of a meager 0.2 since October 2014. The all-in U-6 effective rate for February has dropped to 14.0. These readings are 3.8 and 3.8 points above the official BLS measures. The modest improvement that can be cited over the past three quarters is a shift of 0.7 from part-time to full-time.

These are still recession levels of unemployment and the higher effective numbers more accurately reflect the experience of workers and would-be workers in the US economy. They also better explain the absence of wage pressure as seen in other data.

Effective Headline: 8.9 (v. 5.1)                       Effective All-In (U-6): 13.8 (v. 10.0)

[See the discussion on the blog "Response to Nate in Seattle" for a discussion of unemployment metrics.]

The apparent confusion over labor market conditions among policy-makers, particularly at the Federal Reserve Board, is entirely unnecessary. The unemployment rate and labor force participation rate, under reasonable assumptions, measure the same phenomenon -- unemployment. The IDEA effective unemployment disentangles the difficulties with measurements and produces a number that can be compared with pre-crisis unemployment rates.  

See the full discussion at: IDEA Effective US Unemployment Rates

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