More in Global Economy


10 months

SOFR Replaces LIBOR

Those with medium-term memories will remember that a scandal erupted around LIBOR in 2010. But you may not know that as a result, LIBOR is probably going to disappear in the next few years to be replaced by SOFR. Since several hundred trillion dollars of financial contracts will be different as a result, it's useful to have at least some sense of what the change means.

10 months

Some Proposals for Improving Work, Wages, and Skills for Americans

The Aspen Institute Economic Study Group has published a collection of 12 papers on the theme Expanding Economic Opportunity for More Americans Bipartisan Policies to Increase Work, Wages, and Skills, edited by Melissa S. Kearney and Amy Ganz (February 2019). I'll list the complete Table of Contents for the volume below. Here, I'll just focus on four of the proposals that struck me as especially thought-provoking: caught.

10 months

Price Dispersement and Bargain Hunting

Economists sometimes talk of the "law of one price," which basically says that when consumers are bargain-hunting between competing firms, the same price will tend to prevail everywhere. After all, any provider who tries to charge more would lose sales.

10 months

Dissecting Long-Run International Productivity Patterns

The overall growth of a country's GDP can be divided into five categories: growth of population, change in employment rate, change in hours worked, "capital deepening" (change in capital per worker), and growth of productivity (here measured by total factor productivity or GDP). Antonin Bergeaud, Gilbert Cette, and Rémy Lecat use this framework to review "Total Factor Productivity in Advanced Countries: A Long-termPerspective," in the Spring 2017 issue of International Productivity Monitor (vol. 32,  pp. 6-24).

10 months

Thinking about Pay-What-You-Can Restaurants

The idea of a pay-what-you-can restaurant raises obvious questions. Could it sustain itself? Or would those paying more than face value be swamped by those paying less? Are there ways of running such a venture that might be more sustainable than others?

10 months

Economics of Medieval Guilds

Guilds played an important role in the economies of Europe from about the 11th century up through the 16th century, and a continuing if less important role up into the 19th century. Sheilagh Ogilvie, the go-to economic historian on this subject, has a new book out called The European Guilds: An Economic Analysis (published by Princeton University Press and of course available on Amazon, too). For a flavor, here are some comments from the opening chapter: 

10 months

Why US Financial Regulators Are Unprepared for the Next Financial Crisis

The Great Recession from 2007-2009 represented a toxic mixture of failures by market participants and financial regulators. The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 patched some of the holes, but not nearly all of them. At least, that's the conclusion I reach from a three-paper "Symposium on Financial Stability Regulation" in the Winter 2019 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. (Full disclosure: I have worked as Managing Editor of JEP since the first issue back in 1987, so I am perhaps predisposed to find its articles persuasive.) The papers are: