- Francisco de Castro, Javier J. Pérez and Marta Rodríguez on Fiscal data revisions in Europe and the credibility of fiscal policies
The recent huge revisions witnessed in Greek data have raised concerns also about the credibility of the EU’s fiscal data reporting system. This column argues that initially published fiscal-deficit figures tend to be to revised towards an increased deficit at subsequent publication dates, and that the proximity of elections and the business cycle explain data revisions. It says that the EU should strengthen the role of Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, in auditing individual countries’ fiscal accounts and encourage EU countries to adopt more stringent fiscal rules.
- Dani Rodrik argues Manufacturing is special
Poor countries have access to world markets and rich countries’ technologies. In principle, they should catch up. Yet the record belies this expectation. But this column argues labour productivity in manufacturing displays a clear tendency towards convergence, unconditional on the countries’ institutions or policies. The policies that matter for growth are thus those that bear on the reallocation of labour from nonconvergence to convergence activities.
- George Selgin on Paper bugs, or, Stupid Arguments Against Gold
Some arguments against a gold stanard are just stupid.
- Stephen Franks on “Can we just vote now to end this embarassment”
Elections are full of crap.
- Tim Harford argues Capitalism can’t just be about money.
- Jesús Fernández-Villaverde and Juan F Rubio-Ramirez on Supply-side policies and the zero lower bound
With nominal interest rates in many western countries at or approaching the zero lower bound, economists are calling for more quantitative easing or greater fiscal expansions to generate inflation, reduce real interest rates, and rejuvenate the economy. But what if these policies fail? Or are no longer possible? This column outlines a third way: supply-side policies.
- Richard Posner on How the United States Is Like, and Unlike, Greece
The economic situations of the United States and Greece are more alike than one might think. In both countries, the government is insolvent, in the sense that its taxing power, constrained by politics, is insufficient to finance the government’s liabilities, which include not only bonds but also entitlements (such as social security and medicare) and essential public services (such as defense)
- Winton Bates asks Do commercial interests have excessive influence on people in modern societies?
Jeffrey Sachs makes it difficult for any libertarians who happen to look at his book, ‘The Price of Civilization’, to consider seriously his claim that powerful corporate interests have excessive influence in America. He claims that libertarians ‘hold that the only ethical value that matters is liberty, meaning the right of each individual to be left alone by others and by the government’.
- Alex Tarrant on Labour's attacked on StatsNZ.
I have to agree with Tarrant's article, it does make Labour look desperate. An attack on the political neutrality of StatsNZ 8 days after their media release itsn't a good look.
- Bill Kaye-Blake on the "economic stories" the political parties are telling
and then from Narratives to policies