More in Global Economy


5 months

Is the Health Care Policy Focus Shifting from Access to Cost?

In my experience, complaints about the system of health care finance over the years almost always began with the lack of universal health insurance coverage, and how many tens of millions of Americans lacked health insurance. Then, somewhat later in the conversation, the high per capita costs of US health care spending might or might not come up.

5 months

Food Stamps: Evolution and Rising Take-up Rates

The number of people receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), perhaps better know as "food stamps," rose slowly in early 2000s, then leaped during the Great Recession, and now has been sagging lower for a few years, although remaining above pre-recession levels. Victor Oliveira gives a quick overview in "The Food Assistance Landscape:FY 2018 Annual Report" (US Department of Agriculture, April 2019)

5 months

Global Population Projections: Parameters Shaping the Future

Social scientists sometimes say that "demography is destiny," which never seemed quite right to me. Yes, demography has powerful and often underestimated effects. It constrains and shapes the options available to society. But society also makes decisions about how to react to demographic forces, too. In that spirit, here are some of the population constraints that will be shaping and constraining global politics and economics in the next few decades, from World Population Prospects 2019 done by demographers at the United Nations. In particular, I'm drawing here from the World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights report (June 2019).

5 months

Social Science Research on Terrorism

Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a number of economists and other social scientists have been studying terrorism. Khusrav Gaibulloev and Todd Sandler summarize the findings in a review article written for the Journal of Economic Literature (June 2019, pp. 275-328, not freely available online, but many readers should have access via subscriptions through their library).  Here, I'll hit some high spots of their five main themes, and I'll skip the citations, but the paper itself has vastly more detail.

5 months

Managing Alligators and Kangaroos with Market Incentives

"About half a century ago, the American alligator became one of the original endangered species. Today, there are approximately 1.3 million in Florida alone, and residents routinely call nuisance trappers ... to remove gators from swimming pools, neighborhood lagoons, and pretty much any other body of water they find their way into. For the nuisance trappers across the state, markets and commercialization are part of the foundation that helps manage this now-abundant species."

5 months

The Shifting Wealth of Nations: Thoughts on Argentina and Socialism

Discussions of socialism often consist of throwing examples at each other. What about Sweden and Norway? Well, what about Venezuela and the Soviet Union? In an "Eye on the Market" brief written for JP Morgan, Michael Cembalist writes "Lost in Space: The Search for Democratic Socialism in the Real World, and how I ended up halfway around the globe from where I began"(June 24, 2019).

5 months

Interest Rates, Global Value Chains and Bank Reserve Requirements

·        Global Value Chains have suffered since 2009. ·        Despite low interest rates, financial costs remain too high. ·        Bank profitability has not recovered, yet banks are still too big to fail.