Over the past decades, economists working on growth have ‘rediscovered’ the importance of history, leading to the emergence of a vibrant, far-reaching inter-disciplinary stream of work. This column introduces the second eBook in a new three-part series which examines key themes in this emergent literature and discusses the impact they have on our understanding of the long-run influence of historical events on current economics. This volume focuses on attempts by economists to shed light on the effects of European colonisers on development and culture across Africa and Asia.
Stelios Michalopoulos, Elias Papaioannou, 14 February 2017
Sambit Bhattacharyya, Jeffrey Williamson, 10 August 2013
What distributional effect do natural-resource booms have on wealth, income and economic power? Using Australia as a case study, this column argues that resource booms tend to exacerbate inequality. The distributional impact of commodity-price shocks in Australia yield important lessons for primary producers from the developmental south, and it’s important for resource-rich developing countries to design appropriate policies to tackle this inequality.
Roland Beck, Arnaud Mehl, 26 July 2013
The intensification of the crisis has led to concerns about a possible shortage of global safe assets. At the same time, major reserve-currency issuers are losing their AAA-rating. This column considers new evidence on the recent rise of non-traditional currencies such as the Australian and Canadian dollars in global reserve portfolios. Evidence suggests that sovereign risk in advanced economies typically considered as safe is a key determinant of the growing importance of non-traditional reserve currencies.
Bob O'Brien, 25 April 2010
With cap-and-trade schemes gaining momentum as a viable environmental policy, this column outlines such a market for water licences in Australia. Since the early 90s the market has grown to accommodate trade of nearly 3 billion Australian dollars worth of licenses with a total value of water access entitlements at nearly $A40 billion.
Mike Young, 22 January 2010
Mike Young, executive director of the Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide, talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about how Australia has responded to the big shock to its water supply – through new regulations, through technological solutions, through public education and through the introduction of market mechanisms. The interview was recorded at the Global Economic Symposium in Schleswig-Holstein in September 2009.
Frank Lichtenberg, Gautier Duflos, 29 June 2008
Critics allege that many new drugs are borne more from marketing efforts than medical innovation. This column discusses new research showing that the average new drug extends life.
Richard Freeman, 03 October 2007
The new Australian labour code is such a massive break with Western labour traditions that it merits global attention. It is an extreme change with no economic rationale. Social scientists would love to see the data the new law generates; it would be a great ‘natural experiment.’ For the sake of Australians, however, it would be great to see the upcoming election put an end to the experiment.