More in Global Economy


6 years

Interview with Lawrence Katz: Inequality, Mobility, and More

Douglas Clement has a characteristically excellent "Interview with Lawrence Katz" in The Region, from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, published September 25, 2017. The subheading reads: "Harvard economist on the gender pay gap, fissuring workplaces and the importance of moving to a good neighborhood early in a child’s life." The interview offers lots to chew on. Here, I'll just pass along some of Katz's thoughts on a couple of points. 

6 years

Joan Robinson on Poets, Mathematicians, Economists, and Adam Smith

Joan Robinson, in her book Economic Philosophy (1962, pp. 26-28), offers a meditation on how Adam Smith perceived poets and mathematicians-- and then on how economist fall in-between. Her argument is that mathematicians have an agreed-upon method for evaluating errors. Poets do not. And economists fall in between--which introduces a personal element into all economic controversies. In the passage that follows, I'm especially fond of two of her comments: 

6 years

Child Labor in Decline

The phrase "child labor" conjures up such ugly images for me that it's hard to discuss it dispassionately. But the International Labour Organization has a recent report, "Global Estimates of Child Labour: Results and Trends 2012-2016" that offers some useful facts and distinctions.

6 years

Demography Rebalances Asia

Demographic shifts are about more than economics. Think about an array of social institutions: schools, parks, libraries, building and housing codes, public transportation, health care, the size of the volunteer sector. All of these, and many others, take on differing importance and shape when an economy has a relatively high number of children, or working-age people, or retirees. Deloitte has published the third edition of Voice of Asia (September 2017), with a focus on "Demographics fuelling Asia’s shifting balance of power." Here are some thoughts from the report.

6 years

The ECB’s Quantitative Easing Failure

The main reason why the ECB quantitative easing program has failed is that it started from a wrong diagnosis of the eurozone’s problem. That the European problem was a demand and liquidity issue, not due to years of excess.

6 years

The Man who Despairs When Others Hope... is Admired as a Sage

It's easy to think of reasons why humans might be hard-wired to pay more attention to bad news and downside risks than to good news and encouraging signs. Bad news may require quick reactions in the name of self-preservation; good news may be more likely to arrive in gradual small doses, and doesn't require any reaction at all. But whatever the underlying reason, the doomsayers and the naysayers often attract an audience, even if the worst of their predictions don't happen on time or with the predicted force. Meanwhile, extreme optimists seem naive. And those who predict middle-of-the-road scenarios, whether leaning toward optimism or pessimism, just seem boring.  

6 years

Is Loneliness Rising?

During this holiday season, as families and friends seize and make opportunities to gather, one wonders about those who do not feel that they have such a community. It's easy to find claims that loneliness is rising (for example, here's a recent Wall Street Journal article on that theme). But last summer the Social Capital Project run by the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress published "All the Lonely Americans?" (August 22, 2018) and found little evidence of such an increase. The report cites a broad array of claims and evidence, which you can check out for yourself. But here's a quick overview of some main points (with citations omitted for readability):

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