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9 months

Primary Care: Expanding the Role of Nurse Practitioners

For most of us, most of the everyday health care we get is from a primary care doctor. But there's a limited number of primary care doctors, not enough to match the number of patients, especially in rural areas. An option slowly being used more broadly across the US health care system is let nurse practitioners (NPs) do primary care. Peter Buerhaus makes the case for accelerating this movement in "Nurse Practitioners: A Solution to America's Primary Care Crisis," written for the American Enterprise Institute (September 2018).

9 months

How Best to Reintegrate Ex-Prisoners?

"Two-thirds of those released from prison in the United States will be re-arrested within three years, creating an incarceration cycle that is detrimental to individuals, families, and communities." So writes Jennifer L. Doleac in "Strategies to productively reincorporate the formerly-incarcerated into communities: A review of the literature" (posted on SSRN, July 21, 2018), Doleac's approach is straightforward: look at the studies. In particular, look at fairly recent studies done since 2010 that use a "randomized controlled trial" approach--that is, an approach where a group of participants are randomly assigned either to receive a particular program or not to receive it. When this approach is carried out effectively, comparing the "treatment group" and the "control group" provides a reasonable basis for drawing inferences about what works and what doesn't.

9 months

Boglehead Wisdom

The Bogleheads believe in Jack Bogle, who "founded Vanguard in 1974 and introduced the first index mutual fund in 1975." An index fund seeks only to mimic the average market return, and thus can do so at very low cost. In contrast, an "active" fund looks for ways to beat the market, through picking certain stocks or timing movements in the market, but also charges higher fees. 

9 months

Economics Nobel 2018: William Nordhaus and Paul Romer

Both William Nordhaus and Paul Romer are deserving of a Nobel Prize in Economics, but I was not expecting them to win it during the same year. The Nobel committee found a way to glue them together. Nordhaus won the prize "“for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis," while Romer won the prize “for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis.” Yes, the words "climate change" and "technological innovations" might seem to suggest that they worked on different topics. But with the help of "integrating ... into long-run macroeconomic analysis," Nordhaus and Romer are now indissolubly joined as winners of the 2018 Nobel prize. 

9 months

The US Ten-Year Shows The Extent Of The Bond Bubble

“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett

9 months

Spain: IMF Highlights Rising Risks

The International Monetary Fund can be criticized for many things, but its analysis of countries’ debt risk tends to be worth a read.

9 months

The Truce is over in Argentina: The Peso cannot Survive a Destructive Monetary Policy

The government of Mauricio Macri lived a week of apparent tranquillity, but the resignation of Luis Caputo as President of the Central Bank and a new IMF deal triggered the end of calm.