Theo Nyreröd, Giancarlo Spagnolo, 28 May 2018

The European Commission has recently proposed a directive that provides horizontal protection for whistleblowers in the EU. This could put the EU on a par with the US with respect to protection, but recent episodes of retaliation suggest that it may not be enough. This column compares the whistleblower protection policies in the EU and the US and argues that reward programmes are particularly appropriate for specific regulatory areas where wrongdoing can cause substantial harm.

Caroline Freund, 07 June 2017

In assessing the underlying causes of the US’ significant trade deficits, the Trump administration’s focus appears to be on alleged unfair trade practices of foreign countries. This column argues that international trade policy has a negligible effect on trade balances. The aggregate US trade deficit results from macroeconomic pressures, while bilateral deficits are due to structural factors, supply chains, and how trade is measured. 

Lydia Mechtenberg, Gerd Muehlheusser, Andreas Roider, 04 June 2017

Whistle-blowing by employees is important for uncovering corporate fraud. This column studies the effectiveness of recent laws and policy recommendations that aim to enhance willingness to report incidents and to increase deterrence by improving the protection of whistle-blowers. Easily attainable protection leads to more truthful reports, but also to more fraudulent claims, which makes prosecutors less likely to investigate and hampers deterrence. More stringent requirements for protection dampen these unintended side effects.

Ivan Lopez Cruz, Sebastian Galiani, Gustavo Torrens, 24 May 2016

A large empirical literature has revealed the effects of preventative and punitive measures on crime. This column examines the effects of police deployment strategies, comparing geographically concentrated protection with evenly dispersed protection across a city. The results suggests that when considering changes in the geographic distribution of police forces, we should take into account the effects on house prices and on reallocation of the population, as well as the overall effect on crime in the entire city. 

Maros Ivanic, William Martin, 21 November 2008

Rising food prices are hurting many poor people across the globe. This column defends agricultural liberalisation, showing that agricultural protection actually increased over the last quarter-century in most poor countries and arguing that self-sufficiency would worsen food security. Policymakers should give direct aid to the very poor rather than resorting to export restrictions.

Kym Anderson, L Alan Winters, 21 April 2008

Current prospects for liberalisation of barriers to international trade and migration seem dim. In this column, the authors of the Copenhagen Consensus paper on global economic integration outline the magnitude of the gains that politicians are opposing.

Bruno S. Frey, 24 August 2007

Economic logic suggests that politicians are overprotected and therefore too isolated from citizens; the social cost of a political assassination is much lower than its private cost to the politicians, and the private cost of protection is lower than the social cost. Moreover, authoritarian rulers are more overprotected and isolated than democratic politicians since assassinating them has more impact on policy.

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