Tagged: General

Should change the way we teach economics? - The Dismal Science

Paul Walker Aug 27, 2014

This is a question that Professor, and Nobel Prize winner, Alvin Roth was asked by a reporter from Brazil. The questions and Roth's answers follow:1) Should the content of economics degrees change? Why? Why not?I guess you mean should we change what we teach young economists, and of course the only answer is “of course!” What we teach young … Read More

Two interesting looking recent working papers - The Dismal Science

Paul Walker Aug 26, 2014

First a paper on Thomas Piketty's recent book:The Rise and Fall of General Laws of CapitalismDaron Acemogluy James A. RobinsonzAbstractThomas Piketty's recent book, Capital in the Twenty First Century, follows in the tradition of the great classical economists, Malthus, Ricardo and Marx, in formulating "general laws" to diagnose and predict the dynamics of inequality. We argue that all … Read More

The damage done by subsidies - The Dismal Science

Paul Walker Aug 15, 2014

From the Economist magazine comes this piece on China'a subsidies to ship building. In 2006 China enacted a “Long and Medium-Term Plan” [read subsidies to shipyards] to enlarge its shipping industry by 2015.Yet economists’ views on subsidies have hardened over time. China’s policy provides subsidies both for the construction of ships themselves and for the building … Read More

Does immigration hurt natives? - The Dismal Science

Paul Walker Aug 12, 2014

Immigration continues to be a hotly debated topic in many countries, including New Zealand. A number of New Zealand politicians express somewhat negative, shall we say, views on the matter, in much the same way as they do on foreign investment in this country. These politicians play on fears that immigration takes jobs away from natives and imposes significant costs … Read More

The basic income and the welfare state - The Dismal Science

Paul Walker Aug 10, 2014

Cato Unbound is hosting a month-long debate on “The Basic Income and the Welfare State.” The lead essay, “The Pragmatic Libertarian Case for a Basic Income Guaranteei” by Matt Zwolinski, is up now. In it, Zwolinski argues that libertarians should regard a BIG as significantly better, on libertarian grounds, than the current welfare state. It is … Read More

Presidents and the U.S. economy - The Dismal Science

Paul Walker Aug 06, 2014

There is a new NBER working paper out on Presidents and the U.S. Economy: An Econometric Exploration by Alan S. Blinder and Mark W. Watson. The abstract reds:The U.S. economy has grown faster—and scored higher on many other macroeconomic metrics—when the President of the United States is a Democrat rather than a Republican. For many measures, … Read More

Urbanisation makes the world more unequal - The Dismal Science

Paul Walker Jul 29, 2014

A recent article, by Kristian Behrens and Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, at VoxEU.org deals with the above issue and argues that large cities are more unequal than the nations that host them. The article contends that this is because large cities disproportionately reward talented superstars and disproportionately 'fail' the least talented. Cities should thus be the primary focus of policies … Read More

Housing affordability - The Dismal Science

Paul Walker Jul 28, 2014

Paul Cheshire - Professor Emeritus of Economic Geography at LSE, and twice visitor to the econ department at Canterbury - asks, What lies behind Britain’s crisis of housing affordability? His answer is that it is nothing to do with foreign speculators but decades of planning policies that constrain the supply of houses and land and turn them into … Read More