More in Global Economy

3 months

Why Did the US Labor Share of Income Fall So Quickly?

The share of US national income going to labor was sagging through the second half of the century, but then plunged starting around 2000. The McKinsey Global Institute takes "A new look at the declining labor share of income in the United States" in a report by James Manyika, Jan Mischke, Jacques Bughin, Jonathan Woetzel, Mekala Krishnan, and Samuel Cudre (May 2019).

3 months

Origins of Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

Economists have written about topics that we would now classify under the headings of "microeconomics" or "macroeconomics" for centuries. But the terms themselves are much more recent, emerging only in the early 1940s. For background, I turn to the entry on "Microeconomics" by Hal R. Varian published in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, dating back to the first edition in 1987.

3 months

Time for Fiscal Rules?

Should governments set rules to constrain the size of government borrowing on an annual basis or government debt accumulated over time? Pierre Yared discusses the question in "Rising Government Debt: Causes and Solutions for a Decades-Old Trend," in the Spring 2019 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives.

3 months

Debating Congestion Pricing

When economists talk about "congestion pricing"--the idea of charging tolls during rush-hour periods to reduce congestion--it ends up sounding to a lot of people like an unpleasant combination of tangible costs and nonexistent benefits. But what if we turned the question upside down. Instead of thinking about adding congestion tolls, what if we were having an argument about removing them?

3 months

Trade Wars, The Prospects for Freer Trade and the Impact on Asset Prices

·        Will the Sino-US trade war breed contagion? ·        Will the dispute trigger a global recession? ·        Has the era of freer trade ended? ·        Will asset prices suffer? 

3 months

The Origin of Third World and Some Ruminations

Back in the late 1970s when I was first reading about the world economy in any serious way, it was still common to describe the world as divided into "first world" market-driven high income economies, "second world" command-and-control economies, and "third world" low-income countries. Jonathan Woetzel offers a commentary on the sources of that nomenclature, and how outdated it has come to sound, in "From Third World To First In Class: Rapid economic growth is blurring the distinctions among developing, emerging and advanced countries," appearing in the most recent Milken Institute Review(Second Quarter 2019, pp. 22-33). Woetzel writes:

3 months

Time for a Return of Large Corporation Research Labs?

It often takes a number of intermediate steps to move from a scientific discovery to a consumer product. A few decades ago, many larger and even mid-sized corporations spent a lot of money on research and development laboratories, which focused on all of these steps. Some of these corporate laboratories like those at AT&T, Du Pont, IBM, and Xerox were nationally and globally famous. But the R&D ecosystem has shifted, and firms are now much more likely to rely on outside research done by universities or small start-up firms. These issues are discussed in "The changing structure of American innovation: Cautionary remarks for economic growth," by Ashish Arora, Sharon Belenzon,  Andrea Patacconi, and Jungkyu Suh, presented at conference on  "Innovation Policy and the Economy 2019," held on on on April 16, 2019, hosted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, and sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.