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Economics

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03/15/14


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Gary Becker on the Embargo of Cuba: "Time to Go" .. do not continue to provide excuses to Cuba's leaders for the poor economic performance

Permalink 11:03:07 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 99 words   English (US)

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Categories: Economics United States

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Becker Posner Blog: The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go- Becker

..."Free trade is a principle that the United States should follow except in extraordinary circumstances. Cuba under Fidel, especially in his early days, may have provided enough of these circumstances to justify the embargo. Since Cuba no longer provides any significant threat to American interests, there is no sense in continuing to punish the Cuban people with an embargo on trade, nor to provide excuses to its leaders for the poor performance of the Cuban economy"... read more on the Becker Posner Blog

Keywords: Cuban Embargo, Free Trade

03/09/14

Permalink 08:25:20 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 158 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics Europe

Messer, Dolores Wolter, Stefan C., Are student exchange programs worth it? IZA Discussion Papers 1656, 2005

Abstract:

"The number of university students participating in exchange programs has risen sharply over the last decade, but a survey of Swiss university graduates (class of 1999 and 2001) shows that participation in student exchange programs significantly prolongs the period of time spent studying at university. Given this fact, the advantages of exchange programs for students need to be identified. Analyses show that student exchange programs are associated with higher starting salaries and an increased likelihood of opting for postgraduate study - but only if all exchange semesters are factored in, not just those accredited by the university of matriculation. Using instrumental variable estimations (IV), however, shows that the cited outcomes are not causally related to participation in exchange programs. Therefore the big question is: Where's the benefit that justifies having to study for almost a whole year longer?" IZA Discussion Papers 1656, 2005

Keywords: Student Exchange Program, Erasmus

02/24/14

Permalink 10:20:39 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 28 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics Europe, Economics Global

useful slides for a presentation given by Yuriy Gorodnichenko:

UKRAINE: A BATTLE FOR THE FUTURE OF EUROPE?, Yuriy Gorodnichenko, UC Berkeley

Q&A with Yuriy Gorodnichenko

Keywords: Ukraine, Europe

02/05/14

Permalink 06:07:13 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 4 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics Global

Keywords: Global Economy, Recovery

01/31/14

Permalink 08:47:35 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 205 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics Europe, Economics Global

Mueller, Kai-Uwe and Steiner, Viktor, Distributional Effects of a Minimum Wage in a Welfare State – The Case of Germany (December 19, 2013). SOEPpaper No. 617. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2385893 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2385893

Abstract:

"A popular argument for a federal minimum wage is that it will prevent in-work poverty and reduce income inequality. We examine this assertion for Germany, a welfare state with a relative generous means-tested social minimum and high marginal tax rates. Our analysis is based on a microsimulation model that accounts for the interactions between wages, the tax-benefit system and net incomes at the household level as well as employment and price effects on the distribution of incomes induced by the introduction of a minimum wage. We show that the impact of even a relatively high federal minimum wage on disposable incomes is small because low wage earners are scattered over the whole income distribution and wage increases would to a large extent be offset by reductions in means-tested welfare transfers and high marginal tax rates. Taking into account negative employment effects and increases in consumer prices induced by the minimum wage would wipe out any positive direct effects on net incomes of households affected by the minimum wage."

Keywords: Minimum Wage, Employment Effects, Income Distribution,

01/27/14

Good presentation which helps to understand the current situation in emerging markets and the consequences of monetary policies of the past years on EMEs.

The Second Phase of Global Liquidity and Its Impact on Emerging Economies, Hyun Song Shin, 2013 Asia Economic Policy Conference, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, November 4, 2013

First Phase of Global Liquidity (2003 - 2008)
— Bank-driven
— Key theme is leverage
— Main actors: European banks intermediating US dollar credit

Second Phase of Global Liquidity (2010 - )
— Bond market-driven
— Key theme is search for yield
— Main actors: Asset managers with global reach

go to the slides showing what is happening in the second phase of global liquidity

Keywords: Monetary Policy, Emerging Markets, Search for Yield

Permalink 01:37:29 pm, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 164 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics Global

Bloomberg: What’s Behind the Emerging-Market Meltdown, Jan. 25, 2014

"Emerging-market economies had a brutal week. For years, during the crash and its aftermath, they did well as the advanced economies slumped. Recently, not so much. Many developing countries are seeing their currencies drop and their bonds and equities hammered. Just as the global recovery appeared to be strengthening, a fresh source of instability has presented itself.

The issue now is how to keep the turmoil from derailing the global expansion. In a way, this was not an unexpected development: The recession in the advanced economies caused central banks to push short-term interest rates to zero and buy assets to drive long-term rates down as well. Capital flowed to the developing world in search of better returns. As investors prepare for a resumption of normal monetary policy, demand for emerging-market assets is bound to fall. The question has always been whether this adjustment would be smooth or abrupt.
read more on Bloomberg"

Keywords: Monetary Policy, Emerging Markets

01/24/14

Permalink 01:35:21 pm, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 165 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics United States, Economics Global

EconLib: Minimum Wage Not Well Targeted at Reducing Poverty

"Economists Joseph J. Sabia and Richard V. Burkhauser examined the effects of state minimum wage increases between 2003 and 2007 and reported that they found no evidence the increases lowered state poverty rates.
Further, they calculated the effects of a proposed increase in the federal minimum wage to $9.50 on workers then earning $5.70 (or 15 cents less than the minimum in March 2008) to $9.49. They found that if the federal minimum wage were increased to $9.50 per hour:

. Only 11.3 percent of workers who would gain from the increase live in households officially defined as poor.
. A whopping 63.2 percent of workers who would gain were second or even third earners living in households with incomes equal to twice the poverty line or more.
. Some 42.3 percent of workers who would gain were second or even third earners who live in households that have incomes equal to three times the poverty line or more."
more on Library of Economics and Liberty

Keywords: Minimum Wage, Employment

01/18/14

Permalink 09:30:50 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 251 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics United States, Economics Global

David Neumark, William Wascher, Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research, NBER Working Paper No. 12663 Issued in November 2006

Abstract:

"We review the burgeoning literature on the employment effects of minimum wages - in the United States and other countries - that was spurred by the new minimum wage research beginning in the early 1990s. Our review indicates that there is a wide range of existing estimates and, accordingly, a lack of consensus about the overall effects on low-wage employment of an increase in the minimum wage. However, the oft-stated assertion that recent research fails to support the traditional view that the minimum wage reduces the employment of low-wage workers is clearly incorrect. A sizable majority of the studies surveyed in this monograph give a relatively consistent (although not always statistically significant) indication of negative employment effects of minimum wages. In addition, among the papers we view as providing the most credible evidence, almost all point to negative employment effects, both for the United States as well as for many other countries. Two other important conclusions emerge from our review. First, we see very few - if any - studies that provide convincing evidence of positive employment effects of minimum wages, especially from those studies that focus on the broader groups (rather than a narrow industry) for which the competitive model predicts disemployment effects. Second, the studies that focus on the least-skilled groups provide relatively overwhelming evidence of stronger disemployment effects for these groups."

Keywords: Minimum Wage, Regulation, Re-Distribution

01/15/14

Permalink 12:59:57 pm, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 145 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics Global

Wall Street Journal: America's Dwindling Economic Freedom, Regulation, taxes and debt knock the U.S. out of the world's top 10, Jan. 13, 2014

World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.

For 20 years, the index has measured a nation's commitment to free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 by evaluating 10 categories, including fiscal soundness, government size and property rights. These commitments have powerful effects: Countries achieving higher levels of economic freedom consistently and measurably outperform others in economic growth, long-term prosperity and social progress. Botswana, for example, has made gains through low tax rates and political stability.
read the whole article in the Wall Street Journal

Keywords: Economic Freedom, Regulation, Taxes, Liberalism

01/13/14

Permalink 02:38:47 pm, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 6 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics Global

Keywords: Economic Growth, Economic Freedom, Democracy

01/07/14

Permalink 01:14:14 pm, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 11 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics United States, Economics Global

US and Europe

Spain


Source: Business Insider

France


Source: Business Insider

01/06/14

Permalink 07:22:24 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 125 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics United States, Economics Global

Politico Magazine: The Big Bang Theory; Is the U.S. economy really about to go boom? January 02, 2014

read the opinion of following people in the Politico Magazine:

Mohamed El-Erian, CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO

Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Laurence Kotlikoff, professor of economics at Boston University

Robert Reich, labor secretary in the Clinton administration and now professor of public policy at the University of California Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy

Menzie Chinn, professor of public affairs and economics at University of Wisconsin, and Jeffry Frieden, professor of government at Harvard University

Jeffrey Frankel, professor of capital formation and growth at Harvard University

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research

Keywords: Economy, US Economy

01/04/14

Permalink 09:57:22 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 40 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics Global

Search terms chosen: "liberalism", "free market", "regulation"

do not draw final conclusions....

Source: Google Books Ngram Viewer

Search term chosen: "Austrian School"

get some Background on Wikipedia: "Austrian School" on Wikipedia

Search term Chosen: "Fiat Money"

"Fiat Money" on Wikipedia

12/12/13

Permalink 07:29:44 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 323 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics United States, Economics Global

Investors.com: How Much Redistribution Is Enough? Dec. 10, 2013

"Income Gap: As President Obama laments America's growing income inequality, a new government report shows the futility of his calls for ever-more wealth redistribution.

To deflect attention from ObamaCare's failures, the president this month trotted out his income inequality chestnut. "A dangerous and growing inequality," he intoned, "has jeopardized middle-class America's basic bargain."

He argued, "as a trickle-down ideology became more prominent, taxes were slashed for the wealthiest, while investments in things that make us all richer, like schools and infrastructure, were allowed to wither."

Apparently, nobody bothered to brief the president before he delivered this speech. Fact is, federal transportation spending has climbed 39% in real terms since 1980, and spending on education has more than doubled.

And while Obama claims taxes were "slashed for the wealthiest," the average tax rate among the top 1% was higher in 2010 than in the early 1980s.

Meanwhile, a new Congressional Budget Office report shows that the government is already a massive wealth redistribution machine.

The CBO study breaks down the country by income into five equal groups, or quintiles. It found the top 40% paid more than 100% of all the income taxes, while the bottom 40% had a negative income tax. These families got more money through various refundable tax credits, on average, than they paid in income taxes.

Even when you include payroll and other federal taxes, the poorest group paid just 0.4% of all federal taxes, while the wealthiest paid 70%.

And this doesn't include transfer programs like food stamps, disability, welfare, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. These too are heavily tilted to the poor.

All together, the CBO found that families in the lowest income group earned an average of $8,100 on their own. But they received an average of $22,700 through federal transfer programs, net of taxes. In other words, the federal government more than tripled their income."
read more on Investors.com (powered by Investor's Business Daily

Keywords: Wealth re-destribution, Taxes, Social Welfare

12/10/13

Permalink 07:33:25 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 19 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics United States

12/05/13

Permalink 06:50:15 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 208 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics Global

The Wall Street Journal: Romain Hatchuel: The Coming Global Wealth Tax, Indebted governments may soon consider a big one-time levy on capital assets, Dec. 3, 2013

..."Between 2008 and 2012, several of the developed world's most fiscally challenged nations (including the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain) increased top personal income tax rates by an average of 8%. In the United States, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts pushed the highest federal income tax bracket to 39.6% from 35%.

What the IMF calls "revenue-maximizing top income tax rates" may be a good indication of how much further those rates could rise: As the IMF calculates, the average revenue-maximizing rate for the main Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries is around 60%, way above existing levels.

For the U.S., it is 56% to 71%—far more than the current 45% paid in federal, state and local taxes by those in the top tax bracket. The IMF singles out the U.S. as the country where raising top rates toward 70% (where they were before the Reagan tax cuts) would yield the most revenue—around 1.25% of GDP. And with a chilling candor, the IMF admits that its revenue-maximizing approach takes no account of the well-being of top earners (or their businesses)."....
read more in The Wall Street Journal

Keywords: Over-indebted Nations, Wealth Taxes

12/02/13

Permalink 09:52:57 pm, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 170 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics Europe

Knowledge Wharton: Is Secession the Answer? The Case of Catalonia, Flanders and Scotland, Dec. 2, 2013

In Scotland, residents will vote next September on whether their homeland should become an independent country or remain part of the United Kingdom. In Catalonia, Spain, provincial president Artur Mas has called for a referendum on whether Catalonia should become a sovereign state. And in the Belgian province of Flanders, the leader of the ruling party has called for negotiations that would “enable both Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia to look after their own affairs.”

Although the economic integration of Western Europe has proceeded at a rapid pace in recent decades, the political borders of the region have remained almost entirely unchanged since the end of World War II. And yet, “there is the real possibility of one or several national divorces being initiated in Western Europe in 2014,” notes Nicholas Siegel, senior program officer at the Transatlantic Academy, a U.S.-European think-tank based in Washington, D.C.
read more on Knowledge Wharton

Keywords: Europe, Secession, Scotland, Catalonia, Flanders

11/28/13

Permalink 01:31:24 pm, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 78 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics United States

In Fed Policy, the Exit Music May Be Hard to Hear, by G. Mankiw, Nov. 23, 2013

Is it time for the Federal Reserve to start its exit from the extraordinary set of policies it has pursued over the past few years? That crucial question is on the minds of the nation’s central bankers, as well as the stock and bond traders who follow the Fed’s every move. read more in the New York Times

Keywords: Monetary Policy, Fed, Exit

11/23/13

Permalink 07:15:52 am, by editor of MarketObservation.com Email , 73 words   English (US)
Categories: Economics United States

US Public Pension Funds would have to achieve "impressive" future returns to close the funding gap. The US is definitely not alone. Other nations' public pension funds would show similar pictures. A 20-year snapshot of BlackRock shows that such returns are hardly achievable in a well diversified portfolio. Only top quartile private equity funds would systematically come close to such returns.

Source: Zero Hedge

Keywords: US Public Pension Funds, Pension Funds Funding Gap

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