1. Atif Mian and Amir Sufi present new evidence that overstatement of income on mortgage forms helped drive the housing bubble. As you can see in the graph below, the very poorest zip codes had, in 2005, the greatest difference between income reported to the IRS and the income reported on mortgage applications. They had the greatest growth in subprime lending. Matt Klein has more here. As a disclosure, I worked as a research assistant for Mian last summer, but I was not involved in this project.
3. Via Hal Varian, a really great and much-needed introduction on identifying causality in economics. Useful for people who want to understand how good economic research works.
4. Devi Lockwood, a friend of mine, has been maintaining a blog as she travels the world to write and collect stories of interactions with the environment, especially on water and climate change.
5. Neil Irwin on how the rapid appreciation of dollar is creating an economic shock in developing economies.