- The IEA blog covers a new IEA publication on Balancing the economy: The hand of government or the invisible hand?
Despite its considerable strengths, the UK economy is seen as having a number of problems, in particular productivity which lags behind some competitors, low levels of investment and persistent regional disparities. Following the referendum decision to leave the EU, there is wide interest in developing a new industrial strategy. The UK government's proposals are unlikely to help the situation.
- Jenesa Jeram suggests This Christmas, reject sugar taxes and embrace the joy of food
We don't need a sugar tax to protect us from Christmas excesses.
- Andrew Bernard, J. Bradford Jensen, Stephen Redding, Peter Schott on Global firms: Insights for trade and trade policy
Events of the last year have raised questions about the future growth of international trade. This column examines the role played by ‘global firms’ that both import and export, and are likely to be part of multinationals, in the international economy. In a world of interdependent firm decisions, small reductions in tariffs or trade costs can have magnified effects on trade flows, as they induce firms to serve more markets with more products at greater volumes, and also to source greater volumes of intermediate inputs from more countries. At the same time, policies to restrict imports can end up hurting producers for whom both importing and exporting are a central pillar of their overall business strategy.
- Scott Sumner asks Did monetary offset cause the Great Recession?
In the past, it has been argued by Summer that tight money caused the Great Recession. But what caused the tight money?
- Ed Dolan asks What Is the Nairu and Why Does it Matter?
What happens in terms of US monetary policy will depend, in large part, on what may be the wonkiest number in all of economics—the Nairu. Nairu stands for Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment—such a mouthful that no one ever says it out loud. The basic idea behind the Nairu is simple. It is widely accepted that as the economy moves through the business cycle from recession to expansion to boom, shortages develop in labor and product markets that put upward pressure on prices and wages. The Nairu is supposed to capture the sweet spot—the lowest level to which the unemployment rate can safely fall before inflation starts to accelerate.
- Scott Burns on Cashing Out of Poverty
Financial innovations like mobile money have gained fame for transforming commerce in the developing world. But they’re also helping the poor escape poverty.
- Timothy Taylor offers An Appetizer Buffet of Economic Research Highlights
The sort of readers who find Taylor's blog interesting might also want to check out the "Research Highlights" blog being run by Tim Hyde for the American Economic Association. Once or twice each week, the blog features a paper chosen from this set of seven journals and offers up a short, readable, nontechnical overview. Here are some examples from the last few weeks.