More in Global Economy


2 years

Both Sides of the Vaping Controversy

Could vaping and e-cigarettes reduce the toll of death and illness due to smoking conventional cigarettes? The most recent issue of the Annual Review of Public Health (April 2018) has a nice pro-and-con. On one side, David B. Abrams, Allison M. Glasser, Jennifer L. Pearson, Andrea C. Villanti, Lauren K. Collins, and Raymond S. Niaura have written "A Harm Minimization and Tobacco Control: Reframing Societal Views of Nicotine Use to Rapidly Save Lives" (pp. 193-213). They argue that e-cigarettes can be a useful part of a harm minimization strategy. On the other side, Stanton A. Glantz and David W. Bareham offer a more skeptical view about whether e-cigs will reduce the overall harms from tobacco use in "E-Cigarettes: Use, Effects on Smoking, Risks, and Policy Implications (pp. 215-235).

2 years

Robots, Employment and the Mis-Measurement of Productivity

UK productivity – output/hour has risen 1.5% in a decade. Unemployment, at 4.2%, is the lowest since April 1975. Real-wages have risen by 1.1% per annum over the last four years. Robots may be coming but it’s not showing up in the data.

2 years

The Freakonomics of Indian Marriage – Part 2

In the first part, I discussed how educational and economic empowerment of women has been eroding their bargaining power in India’s matrimonial market. As a result, grooms (or their families) expect (and often extract) some kind of premium or scarcity rent from the brides. Are brides or their families so helpless? Does economics provide any guidance on how women can improve their bargaining power in matrimonial market without compromising their career goals?

2 years

Is the US Exporting a Recession?

The Federal Reserve continue to raise rates as S&P earnings beat estimates. The ECB and BoJ maintain QE. Globally, corporations rely on US$ financing, nonetheless. Signs of a slowdown in growth are clearer outside the US.

2 years

Inflation or Employment

Inflationary fears are growing and US rates continue to rise. Employment has become more flexible since the crisis of 2008/2009. Commodity prices have risen but from multi-year lows. During the next recession job losses will rapidly temper inflationary pressures.

2 years

What to Expect from Central Bankers

The Federal Reserve continues to tighten and other Central Banks will follow. The BIS expects stocks to lose their lustre and bond yields to rise. The normalisation process will be protracted, like the QE it replaces. Macro prudential policy will have greater emphasis during the next boom.

2 years

Rent or Own ?

Most people, especially Indians want to have their dream homes as soon as they can. Intense competition among banks (private as well as government banks) to acquire customers means it's easy to get a loan now than before. In addition, most people believe that property prices never fall. It's a belief...so no amount of reasoning can convince such people out of it.