More in Global Economy


4 years

The Economics of Kinlessness

Kinlessness refers to a person without close living relatives. The idea of "close relatives" can be defined various ways: for example, as no living partner or children, or as no living partner, children, siblings, or parents. Ashton M. Verdery and Rachel Margolis present "Projections of white and black older adults without living kin in the United States, 2015 to 2060" (PNAS, October 17, 2017, 114: 42, 11109-11114). They write:

4 years
4 years

Remembering Albert Hirschman's Tunnel Effect

Why do societies worry about high or rising inequality more at some times than at others? Albert O. Hirschman offered a classic answer in "The Changing Tolerance for Income Inequality in the Course of Economic Development," which appeared in the November 1973 Quarterly Journal of Economics (87: 4, pp. 544-566). His argument is in large part structured around a tunnel metaphor, which goes like this (footnotes omitted):

4 years

Choice and Health Insurance Coverage

If you think if Medicare and Medicaid as examples of "single payer" health insurance plan, you are at best partially correct. Government health spending (including federal, state, and local) does accounts for about 46% of total US health care spending. However, a major and largely unremarked change is that government health care spending is being filtered through a system in which those receiving the government health insurance need to make choices between privately-run health insurance plans.

4 years

Rent Control Returns: Thoughts and Evidence

Rent control is back on the public policy agenda, at least in California, where Proposition 10 on the November ballot "Expands Local Governments’ Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property." Hence some thoughts about rent control in general, and a couple of the more recent studies on the topic.

4 years

How Much is the Fed Going to Raise Interest Rates?

In December 2008, the Federal Reserve took the specific policy interest rate that it targets--the so-called "federal funds interest rate"--down to the range of 0% to .25%. The Fed then held the federal funds interest rate at this near-zero level for seven years, until December 2015. Since then, the Fed has raised the federal funds interest rate eight times in small steps, with the most recent step at its September 27 meeting, so that it now is in the range of 2% to 2.25%. How much higher is the Fed going to go?

4 years

Not Waving but Drowning – Stocks, Debt and Inflation?

The US stock market is close to being in a corrective phase -10% off its highs. Global debt has passed $63trln – well above the levels of 2007. Interest rates are still historically low, especially given the point in the economic cycle. Predictions of a bear-market may be premature, but the headwinds are building.

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