More in Global Economy


3 months

Analysing University Endowments

How much money do major universities and colleges have in their endowments? How are they investing the money? What returns are they earning? The National Association of College and University Business Officers does a survey of these questions each year, and here are some results for 2018. 

3 months

Payments from China for Foreign Intellectual Property

It seems clear that China's government and firms have been aggressive in their pursuit of intellectual property from firms in other countries. Sometimes this aggressiveness comes from government rules that if a foreign firm wished to sell or produce in China, it needs to have a Chinese firm as a partner and to share technology with that firm. There are also widespread allegations of technology theft. I once chatted with a group of California tech executives who did business in China, and they all said that if they take a computer or a phone to China, they only take one where the memory has been previously wiped clean.

3 months

Why Don't People Buy More Annuities?

Among economists, it's sometimes known as the "annuities puzzle": Why don't people buy annuities as frequently as one might expect?

3 months

China's Changing Relationship with the World Economy

China's economy is simultaneously huge in absolute size and lagging far behind the world leaders on a per person basis. According to World Bank data, China's GDP (measuring in current US dollars) is $13.6 trillion, roughly triple the size of Germany or Japan, but still in second place among countries of the world behind the US GDP of $20.4 trillion. However, measured by per capita GDP, the World Bank data shows that China is at $9,770, just one-sixth of the US level of $62,641.

3 months

Low Yield, No Yield, Negative Yield – Buy Now But Don’t Forget to Sell

·        The amount of negative yielding fixed securities has hit a new record ·        The Federal Reserve and the ECB are expected to resume easing of interest rates ·        Secondary market liquidity for many fixed income securities is dying ·        Outstanding debt is setting all-time highs

3 months

Is AI Just Recycled Intelligence, Which Needs Economics to Help It Along?

The Harvard Data Science Review has just published its first issue. Many of us in economics are cousins of burgeoning data science field, and will find it of interest. As one example, Harvard provost (and economist) Alan Garber offers a broad-based essay on "Data Science: What the Educated Citizen Needs to Know."  Others may be more intrigued by the efforts of Mark Glickman, Jason Brown, and Ryan Song to use a machine learning approach to figure out whether Lennon or McCartney is more likely to have authored certain songs by the Beatles that are officially attributed to both, in "(A) Data in the Life: Authorship Attribution in Lennon-McCartney Songs."

3 months

Raising the Minimum Wage: CBO Weighs in

No proposal to raise the minimum wage can be evaluated without asking "how fast and by how much?" The Congressional Budget Office offers an evaluation of three alternatives in "The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage" (July 2019). CBO considers three proposals: "The options would raise the minimum wage to $15, $12, and $10, respectively, in six steps between January 1, 2020, and January 1, 2025. Under the $15 option, the minimum wage would then be indexed to median hourly wages; under the $12 and $10 options, it would not." (There are some other complexities involving possible subminimum wages for teenage workers, tipped worker, and disables workers, which I won't discuss here.)