Robert Grundke, Christoph Moser, 02 June 2016

When the Great Recession hit the world economy, fears of protectionism led to close monitoring of non-tariff barriers to trade. The increase in US import protection appeared rather modest for all those trade policy measures that need to be notified to the WTO. However, stricter enforcement of given product standards does not require any notification. This column argues that the US has increasingly relied on this less transparent and trade-reducing policy instrument during the recent economic crisis.

Matthew Kotchen, Matthew Potoski, 24 December 2011

Many spheres of economic activity rely on expert ratings to guide individuals’ choices. An obvious concern arises when evaluators have incentives to distort ratings for private gain. This column uses data from the USA Today Coaches Poll of the top 25 teams in US college football to study whether agents are able to overcome conflicts of interest and provide unbiased rankings. It finds strong evidence that coaches distort rankings for reputation benefits and financial rewards.

Ho Il Moon, 13 December 2011

Little is known about North Korea’s economy as official statistics are scant. But North Korea cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to the size of its army. This column suggests that the true number is hidden between the lines of the census. It provides an estimate based on missing population, that is, the difference between the whole population and the number of registered citizens.

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