Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What Tattoos Tell Us About the Economy

By Peter Orszag

Tattoos have long since become commonplace in the U.S.: Forty percent of households now include someone with one, according to a recent survey, up from 21 percent in 1999. Apart from their fashionability, does this tell us anything about America?

Consider what we know about people who get tattoos: They're not evenly distributed across the population, but tend to be found in families with relatively less education. Fifty percent of people with a high school diploma or less live in the same household with a tattooed person (or have one themselves), compared with 22 percent of those who have attended graduate school. A more detailed survey from 2004 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found similar results: Forty percent of those without a high school diploma had a tattoo, while just 14 percent of people with a college or graduate degree did. (The numbers are lower because this study examined individuals, rather than households, and because it was done 10 years ago.)

The 2004 survey also showed that tattoos were much more likely to be found among younger adults and among people with three or more days of jail time, with military service, or with any experience with recreational drugs. In general, these findings fit the expected pattern -- that tattoos are most popular with people who are less educated and who engage in riskier behavior.

But do the tattoos in turn affect people's lives and behavior?

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. him and his cronies have tattooed the public....with criminal behavior

    Richmond Fed’s Lacker And The Fed’s Mortgage Favoritism (Not Helping Mortgage Purchase Applications, Only Investors)

    The Richmond Fed’s Jeffrey Lacker penned an interesting op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Fed’s Mortgage Favoritism.”

    The by-line is “When the central bank buys private assets, it distorts markets and undermines its claim to independence.”

    A balance sheet has two sides, though, and it is the asset side that can be problematic. When the Fed buys Treasury securities, any interest-rate effects will flow evenly to all private borrowers, since all credit markets are ultimately linked to the risk-free yields on Treasurys. But when the central bank buys private assets, it can tilt the playing field toward some borrowers at the expense of others, affecting the allocation of credit.