- Yasuyuki Todo on Estimating the effect of the TPP on Japan’s growth
Japan looks set to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Reflecting the current debate in Japan, this column assesses what effect the Partnership will have on Japan’s growth. Evidence suggests that the economic effects may be far bigger than the current consensus suggests.
- Richard Wellings makes The case for raising speed limits
If major roads were privately owned and freed of government regulation, the setting of speed limits would be a commercial decision. Entrepreneurs would seek to attract customers to their routes in order to maximise toll revenues, and one way of doing so would be to offer fast journey times by allowing high speeds.
- Jeffrey Chwieroth and Andrew Walteron on Banking crises and political survival over the long run – why Great Expectations matter
The economic consequences of financial crises have been systematically explored. Their political consequences haven’t. This column argues that without paying attention to politics, crises will remain poorly understood. After all, politics shapes policy choices, market sentiment and, ultimately, economic outcomes. Evidence from the effects of banking crises over the past century show that crises have a dramatic impact on the survival prospects of governments.
- Steve Davies argues Free banking was robust and effective
In an earlier blog post, Philip Booth discussed the likely scenarios for Scottish monetary policy in the event of Scottish independence and the difficulties, both political and economic, associated with these. What can be very useful is to add historical perspective and to see how things worked out in the past, given that Scotland has an interesting monetary and banking history which is very different from that of England.
- Bas van Der Vossen on Libertarian Human Rights?
When you read about the philosophy of human rights it’s hard to not to notice the nearly complete absence of libertarian input. This post is a call for a libertarian take on human rights.
- Balázs Égert on France’s weak economic performance: Sick of taxation?
France has recorded one of the lowest real per capita income growth levels in the OECD over the last 20 years or so. One of the many structural weaknesses causing this weak performance is the French tax system. This column argues that complexity, instability and non-neutrality coupled with very high effective tax rates in many areas of the French tax system put a heavy burden on the economy.
- Tatiana Didier and Sergio Schmukler on Finance and growth in China and India: Have firms benefited from the capital-market expansion?
The growth of China and India’s financial sectors is hard to ignore. This column presents a new dataset on domestic and international capital raising activity and performance of the publicly listed firms in China and India. The data suggest that expanding capital markets might tend to directly benefit the largest firms – those able to reach some minimum threshold size for issuance. More widespread direct and indirect effects are more difficult to elucidate.
- Gary Becker on Alternatives to the War on Drugs
The 40 year-old American “war on drugs” has been a colossal failure. No progress in dealing with drugs can be expected until that basic truth is recognized. Every conceivable approach has been tried to help the war succeed, such as long prison terms for persons convicted of selling or using drugs, trying to prevent drugs from entering the US from Mexico and other countries, and confiscating huge quantities of drugs (remember The French Connection?). At some point all wars that fail are terminated, and alternative approaches explored. The two main alternatives to the war on drugs are decriminalization and legalization of drugs. Decriminalizing drugs means that using drugs would no longer be a criminal activity, while trafficking in drugs would remain a crime. Legalization of drugs means that trafficking in drugs as well as using drugs would not be a crime.
- Richard Posner asks is there a Breakthough in the War on Drugs?
The publication of a White House “National Drug Control Strategy” is an annual event, which wordily (the 2013 version is 95 pages long) heralds nonexistent progress and makes false promises of more to come. The General Accountability Office has evaluated the 2013 version and found it wanting, noting the government’s lack of progress toward achieviing the goals of diminished drug use stated in the 2010 version.