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2 days

China Now Has a Trade Deficit

A large share of the concern over China's effect on the world economy starts with large Chinese trade surpluses. But in the first few months of 2018, China's trade balance was negative (using the standard broad measure of the current account balance). That is, China had a trade deficit, not a trade surplus. For example, the Economist magazine reports: "China’s vanished current-account surplus will change the world economy" (May 17, 2018).  The South China Morning Post reports: "China’s first current account deficit for 17 years ‘could signal fundamental shift" (May 4, 2018).

3 days

The Challenges of Measuring Discrimination Against LGBTI Individuals

It seems quite clear (at least to me) that there is often discriminatory feeling against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people. One can also observe a range of survey evidence and outcomes for people in these categories in terms of family life (including marriage and parenthood), education, health, and economic outcomes. But for economists, at least, drawing a firm connection from discrimination to outcomes can be tough. Marie-Anne Valfort has written "LGBTI in OECD Countries: A Review," which appears in the OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers No. 198  (June 22, 2017).

3 days

Index Funds vs. Hedge Funds: Buffett's Bet, 10 Years Later

Warren Buffett is of course as the golden-touch investor who is chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Each year he writes a letter to his shareholders, and along with an update on just what the firm did the previous year, he often discusses some broader point. In the last couple of years, Buffett's annual letter has harked back to a revealing bet he made 10 years in December 2007.

3 days

Some Economic Effects of US Import Restraints

With all the controversies over the US imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium, it's perhaps useful to consider an overview of what import restraints the US economy already has in place, and what effects they have had. Every three or four years, the US International Trade Commission publishes a report called: "The Economic Effects of Significant U.S. Import Restraints." The  Ninth Update came out in September 2017.  The report notes: 

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