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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