Growth is Good (I hope): An open letter to Jason Hickel

To Jason Hickel: I read your blog post elaborating the “de-growth” position that was recently criticized by Branko Milanovic.  I have not read your recent book linking the inequality debate to the global warming crisis.   And I’m not an academic or a professional economist.  And I realize that Branko has already responded to your post.  … Continue reading Growth is Good (I hope): An open letter to Jason Hickel

Sanforized* Economics: A Look at Shrink Theory

A week or so ago, Alvaro La Parra-Perez tweeted a link to a Rafael del Pino master conference presentation (think of this as being asked to address bigwigs by Brookings Institute or American Enterprise Institute) by John Joseph Wallis of the University of Maryland.  Wallis, an economic historian, entitled his presentation “The Nature of Long-Term … Continue reading Sanforized* Economics: A Look at Shrink Theory

Getting It Right But Still Not Getting It On Trade

Large among the benefits of my Foreign Affairs subscription are the “Subscriber Exclusives” – downloadable virtual issues that show FA has been attending for years to today’s hot button topics.  A “Who Benefits from Trade?” compendium was made available last September.  From oldest to newest the contributions range from G.B. Roorbach’s “Foreign Trade or Isolation”, … Continue reading Getting It Right But Still Not Getting It On Trade

Playing Smallball on Diversity: Dietrich Vollrath on Fractionalization

Dietrich Vollrath, in a Sgt. Joe Friday throwback, has put up something unusual for the day: a quiet, just-the-research-ma’am post exploring the theorized impact of diversity on economic performance.  He provides examples of major studies, summarizes the findings, and points out some ways in which those findings, because of research design, might be suspect.  In … Continue reading Playing Smallball on Diversity: Dietrich Vollrath on Fractionalization

Branko’s Law: Inequality is eating away at Democracy

The anonymous blogger Pseudoerasmus recently returned to activity after a hiatus (not counting Twitter) of several months.  Though he describes himself as a “hopeless positivist”, I think of Pseudo as a sort of empirical volcano; his trademark style is to confront plausible-sounding (but often complacent) economic-historical theories with a veritable ash-storm of contradicting facts.  These … Continue reading Branko’s Law: Inequality is eating away at Democracy

Against the Winds: Can Innovation Overcome the Negative Trends in the American Economy?

On average, over the last 145 years, the economy of the United States, measured by GDP per capita, has grown 2% per year.  Over the last 45 years, however, US per capita growth has been markedly slower, averaging 1.62% for the period 1970-2014.  In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the slow recovery … Continue reading Against the Winds: Can Innovation Overcome the Negative Trends in the American Economy?