More in Global Economy


6 days

Workplace Wellness Policies: Disappointing Evidence

The idea behind workplace wellness policies is straightforward. Many workers could use a nudge toward adopting healthier lives, including diet and exercise. Employer are paying for health insurance anyway, and also experiencing costs of lower productivity and sick days for their employees. If a workplace wellness program can improve health, it could be a win for both workers and employers. However, a couple of recent studies from this year suggest that such programs don't pay off.

10 days

Leveraged Loans – History Rhyming?

·        Despite three Federal Reserve rate cuts, leveraged loan credit quality is rapidly declining. ·        Covenant-lite issues now account for more than 80% of US$ issues. ·        CLO managers, among others, may need to sell, but few buyers are evident.

11 days

Why Has China's Trade Surplus Gone Away?

China's trade surpluses exploded in size after 2001, when China joined the World Trade Organization and its exports soared. But those trade surpluses peaked back before the Great Recession and have dwindled since then to near-zero. Indeed, the IMF predicts that China is likely to have small trade deficits in the next few years. What happened? Pragyan Deb, Albe Gjonbalaj, and Swarnali A. Hannan tell the story in "The Drivers, Implications and Outlook for China’s Shrinking Current Account Surplus" (IMF Working Paper WP/19/244, November 8, 2019).

18 days

Enhancing Federal Tax Collections by $100 Billion Annually

Maybe instead of arguing over whether or how much to raise tax rates on those with high incomes, we could start by making more of an effort to enforce the actual existing tax laws? Natasha Sarin and Lawrence H. Summers explore what's possible in  "Shrinking the Tax Gap: Approaches and Revenue Potential" (Tax Notes, November 18, 2019).

19 days

China's Belt and Road Initiative: Could It All Come Crashing Down?

Brad Parks at the Center for Global Development managed to find a nice way of boiling down the ways that China's Belt and Road Initiative could possibly become a failure and a burden in a short thought experiment ("Chinese Leadership and the Future of BRI: What Key Decisions Lie Ahead?" July 24, 2019). Here's how he describes one possible future a decade from now (I added a couple of paragraph breaks):

23 days

Will China Disrupt The Monetary System With A Cryptocurrency?

A state-owned cryptocurrency is, in itself, a contradiction in terms. The main reason why citizens want to use cryptocurrencies or gold is precisely to avoid the government or central bank monopoly of money.

24 days

Is Opposition to Immigration Primarily Economic or Cultural?

It's clear that there is a considerable hostility to immigration, both in the United States and across much of Europe. Is that opposition rooted primarily in economic factors or in cultural factors? What kind of evidence could help answer the question?