322 Items

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

The Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership

| Feb. 13, 2018

Congratulations to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for yesterday winning the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. She recently retired as President of Liberia. It is for people like her that the award, which pays $5 million, was originally established. I explained and evaluated the Prize, a fascinating experiment, in “The Ibrahim Prize for Excellence Among African Leaders,” published in the African Policy Journal.

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Blog Post - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Inequality Falls Globally, Even as it Rises Within-Country

| Jan. 18, 2018

There are lots of measures of inequality.  If we are interested only in income distribution within the United States, it doesn’t matter much which one we look at:  They all show rising inequality. But when we look at inequality internationally, which measure we look at makes all the difference.

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Blog Post - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Trade and Inequality Within Countries

| Jan. 05, 2018

Inequality has been on the rise within the United States and other advanced countries since the 1980s and especially since the turn of the century.  The possibility that trade is responsible for the widening gap between the rich and the rest of the population has of course become a major political preoccupation

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Recap: What History Says about the Current Tax Bill

| Dec. 13, 2017

Congress is expected any day now to pass a really awful tax bill. If you want to understand why economists are confident that the tax cuts will not pay for themselves and why Republicans are disingenuous to claim otherwise, I recommend what Jason Furman and Larry Summers have been writing, e.g. in this column in the Washington post.

 

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Which Reagan Tax Reform is This One Like?

| Nov. 27, 2017

The Republicans, it is said, absolutely must pass a massive tax bill by Christmas, in order to have some major accomplishment to show for 2017, the first year in which they control all branches of government. Having apparently failed in their seven-year campaign to deprive some 20 million Americans of health insurance, they dare not fail in their Scrooge-like campaign to transfer billions of dollars to the ultra-rich.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Long-term Job Decline in US Manufacturing

| Nov. 13, 2017

What does international trade have to do with US jobs?  Surely the US trade deficit in manufacturing has reduced employment?  Not as much as you would think, on net.  Especially with regard to overall employment, which in the long run is determined by the size of the labor force.  But even if manufacturing jobs are considered more important than service jobs, trade policy has not been the main reason for their decline.  Perhaps the raw statistics can be made more intuitively convincing if one makes comparisons with other sectors.