More in Global Economy


6 years

Real vs. Artificial Christmas Trees: Comparing Environmental Effects

The holiday season is full of resource consumption for gifts, food, decorations, entertainment, and travel. In that context, the environmental tradeoffs between either a real or an artificial Christmas tree are not actually of much importance. But for the more curious and/or obsessive readers of my wandering thoughts at this blog, the American Christmas Tree Association (the trade association for artificial Christmas trees) has hired WAP Sustainability Consulting to do a "Life Cycle Assessment:Comparative LCA of the Environmental Impacts of Real Christmas and Artificial Christmas trees" (March 2018).

6 years

Subsidized Employment: Two Randomized US Studies

In certain locations and among certain groups, participation in the labor force is low. Can government-subsidized transitional jobs offer a method of getting more people connected to the labor force, in a way that persists after the government support is withdrawn or the transitional job comes to an end?

6 years

Can the Earned Income Tax Credit Pay for Itself?

The most obvious reason for the Earned Income Tax Credit is to raise the level of household income for poor and near-poor workers. A secondary reason is to encourage such workers to enter the workforce and remain connected to jobs. But there's another potential benefit as well. Jacob Bastian Katherine Michelmore consider "The Long-Term Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Children’s Education and Employment Outcomes" (Journal of Labor Economics, October 2018, pp. 1127-1160, ungated version here). It suggests that the the EITC can be viewed not just a transfer of income, but also as an investment in human capital with a corresponding payoff.

6 years

Tragedy of the Commons: 50 Years Later

Back in December 1968, an ecologist and microbiologist named Garrett Hardin published a short essay called "The Tragedy of the Commons" in Science (December 13, 1968, pp. 1243-1248).  The phrase "tragedy of the commons" passed into everyday use, and the article itself spawned a vast research literature. Fifty years later, what's it all about?

6 years

Is Carbon Capture and Storage on the Verge?

If carbon capture and storage was cheap and easy, it would be a technological fix for the issue of climate change. It's not that simple, of course. But along with a range of other technologies and policies, carbon capture and storage can be part of the answer. In the Global Status of CCS 2018, the Global CCS Institute provides an overview of this technology (download requires free registration). The tone of the report is boosterish and upbeat about the technology--but it's also full of facts and case studies and background about efforts currently underway.

6 years

US Income Inequality Through the Prism of Different Studies

Studies of income inequality use different measures of income, and unsurprisingly, reach some different results. Steven J. Rose lays out some differences in the major studies looking at changes in inequality of US income since 1979 in "How Different Studies Measure Income Inequality in the US," just by the Urban Institute (December 2018).

6 years

Economic Effects of Islam

Timur Kuran "critically evaluates the analytic literature concerned with causal connections between Islam and economic performance" in his essay "Islam and Economic Performance: Historical and Contemporary Links," published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Economic Literature (December 2018, 56:4, pp. 1292–1359). He is not interested in sweeping generalizations, but rather in discussing work published in the the last two decades in the professional economics literature. From the abstract:

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