More in Global Economy


29 days

The Rise of Global Trade in Services

Our mental images of "global trade" are usually about goods: cars and steel, computers and textiles, oil and home appliances, and so on. But in the next few decades, most of the action in terms of increasing global trade is likely to be in services, not goods. More and more of the effects of trade on jobs is going to involve services, too. However, most of us are not used to thinking about countries import and export across national borders transportation services, financial services, tourism, construction, health care and education services, or many others. The 2019 World Trade Report from the World Trade Organization focuses on the theme, "The future of services trade." Here are some tidbits from the report (citations and references to figures omitted):

1 month

Fragility: What the US Money-Market Squeeze Means for the Future

·        Last month’s squeeze in overnight domestic US$ funding rattled markets ·        The Fed responded rapidly but the problem has been growing for some time ·        Market fragility stems from problems in the transmission mechanism

1 month

Video Clips are Revolutionising Economics Classes

I know a number of economics faculty who have been incorporating video clips into their classes. Sometimes it's part of a lecture presentation. Sometimes it's for students to watch before class. For intro students in particular, it can be a useful practice because it gives them a sense that they are being introduced to a universe of economists, not just to one professor and a textbook. The faculty member can also react to the video clip, and in this way offer students some encouragement to react and to comment as well--in a way that students might not feel comfortable reacting if they need to confront their own professor.

1 month

When Friedrich Hayek Opposed the Nobel Prize in Economics

As the pedants among us never tire of pointing out, the so-called "Nobel Prize in economics" is not literally a "Nobel prize." It was not established by the original bequest from Alfred Nobel, but instead was first given in 1969, with the prize money provided by a grant from Sweden's central bank as part of the 300th anniversary of the founding of the bank. Thus, the award is officially "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel." (Justin Fox gives a nice brief overview of the history here.) Although I am pedantic in many matters, this doesn't happen to be one of them, so I will continue following the conventional usage in calling it the "Nobel prize in economics."

1 month

The Economics Nobel: Who Might Have Won?

Next Monday the 51th Nobel prize in Economics will be awarded. Allen R. Sanderson and John J. Siegfried offer some perspective on the first 50 years of the economics award by providing some context with the other Nobel prizes in "The Nobel Prize in Economics Turns 50" (American Economist, 2019, 64:2, pp. 167–182). They offer background on the genesis of the prize, how its official name has evolved, academic backgrounds, and big ideas that spanned several awards.

1 month

US Health Care Spending

About 25% of all US health care spending is wasted, according to an article just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by William H. Shrank, Teresa L. Rogstad, and Natasha Parekh ("Waste in the US Health Care System Estimated Costs and Potential for Savings," October 7, 2019). They write: 

1 month

The Repo Market Incident May Be The Tip Of The Iceberg

The Federal Reserve has injected $278 billion into the securities repurchase market for the first time. Numerous justifications have been provided to explain why this has happened and, more importantly, why it lasted for various days. The first explanation was quite simplistic: an unexpected tax payment. This made no sense. If there is ample liquidity and investors are happy to take financing positions at negative rates all over the world, the abrupt rise in repo rates would simply vanish in a few hours.