Carmen Reinhart, Vincent Reinhart, 09 May 2010

First posted 17 November 2008, this column's analysis is more relevant than ever. It asks why investors rush to government securities when the US was at the epicentre of the financial crisis? This column attributes the paradox to key emerging market economies’ exchange practices, which require reserves most often invested in US government securities. America’s exorbitant privilege comes with a cost and a responsibility that US policy makers should bear in mind as they address financial reform.

Barry Eichengreen, 30 August 2008

Policy makers must learn from history, but they should know which historical episodes to look to. Central bankers seem to have been focusing on the 1930s, but here one of the world’s leading macroeconomists suggests that the 1970s provides more appropriate lessons.

Dale Jorgenson, 08 August 2008

Dale Jorgenson of Harvard University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his projections for the growth of the US economy over the next 10 to 25 years, focusing particularly on the impact of information technology and labour supply. The interview was recorded at the American Economic Association meetings in New Orleans in January 2008.

Betsey Stevenson, Justin Wolfers, 04 August 2008

Surveys that have attempted to measure the level of happiness in US citizens by means of a subjective response have unveiled decreases in happiness inequality. The authors of CEPR DP6929 have used these responses to analyse the level and dispersion of happiness within and between demographic groups over the period of 1972-2006.

Fritz Foley, 05 August 2008

Crime rises when US welfare recipients run short of cash at the end of the month. This column discusses research that links the timing of financially-motivated crime and the timing of welfare payments. Cities that make monthly welfare payments see a clear monthly crime cycle, whereas cities that spread out the payments do not.

Juan Manuel Puerta, 02 August 2008

Widespread child labour may slow economic development in a number of ways, and legislation reducing child labour might break such a poverty trap. Why is such legislation rare? This column looks at the historical experience of the United States in eradicating child labour and suggests that industries highly dependent on child labourers may be the political stumbling block.

Stefan Tangermann, 22 July 2008

New research shows that India, China, and speculators are not the culprits in the food price explosion. Biofuels were a significant element in the 2005-2007 food price surge as they accounted for 60% of the growth in global consumption of cereals and vegetable oils. There cannot be any doubt that biofuels were a significant element in the rise of food prices. Since new research also shows that biofuel support policies are disappointingly ineffective on environmental grounds, governments should reconsider them.

John Muellbauer, 20 July 2008

Recent empirical estimates of the housing wealth effect suggest that a UK recession will be hard to avoid. With the housing-wealth decline compounded by falling equity prices and inflation-eroded real incomes, a drop in consumption is in the offing. The US situation could be even worse.

Andrew Gelman, David Park, Boris Shor, Jeronimo Cortina, 21 April 2008

Barack Obama attracted attention recently by describing small-town Americans who were “bitter” at economic prospects who “cling to guns or religion’’ in frustration. But an opposite view, 'post-materialism', suggests that, as people and societies get richer, their concerns shift from mundane bread-and-butter issues to cultural and spiritual concerns.

Michael Woodford, 08 January 2008

The new strategy is not ‘stealth inflation targeting,’ but it matters for the Fed’s own deliberations. Here the world’s leading monetary theorist argues that forcing FOMC members to look years ahead will move policy towards a coherent strategy, away from a sequence of short-term decisions -- highly desirable since the anticipation of policy matters to its effectiveness.

Arik Levinson, 02 January 2008

Since the 1970s, US manufacturing output has risen by 70% but air pollution has fallen by 58%. Was this due to improved abatement technology or shifting dirty production abroad?

Olivier Blanchard, 10 June 2003

Written June 2003: Between falling oil prices, aggressive macro policies and the falling dollar, it is hard to see what stands in the way of a strong recovery in the US. But in Europe, monetary caution, self-imposed fiscal constraints and euro appreciation all point to the dual dangers of deflation and a prolonged slump.

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