Robert J. Gordon, 11 September 2012

Global growth is slowing – especially in advanced-technology economies. This column argues that regardless of cyclical trends, long-term economic growth may grind to a halt. Two and a half centuries of rising per-capita incomes could well turn out to be a unique episode in human history.

Jaume Ventura, Vasco Carvalho, Alberto Martin, 09 September 2012

Over the last two decades, US aggregate wealth has fluctuated substantially. This column presents research that takes a first step towards measuring the reasons why. It finds that most recent fluctuations are driven by bubbles and argues that models of rational bubbles with financial frictions can improve our understanding of recent macroeconomic history.

Patrick Messerlin, Sébastien Miroudot, 07 September 2012

Public spending on large-scale projects is often a way of sneaking in protectionism through the back door and there are many cases of outright corruption. With the EU and US pushing hard for more open public procurement elsewhere in the world, this column asks just how open these markets are, particularly in the EU, which claims to have the most open market in the world.

Nezih Guner, Remzi Kaygusuz, Gustavo Ventura, 05 September 2012

Income tax is always a controversial issue in the US, particularly in election year. But how progressive is the US income tax system? This column looks at data on over 100,000 taxpayers from the Internal Revenue Service 2000 Public Use Tax File. It finds the question has more than one answer.

Joshua Aizenman, Ilan Noy, 25 August 2012

In the years leading up to the global crisis, the US focused on subsidising home ownership, whereas Germany placed much more emphasis on education and vocational training. While it is easy to think that this explains the subsequent performance of the two economies, this column provides some much needed economic analysis.

Elena Nikolova, 17 August 2012

Why do some states develop as democracies while others remain authoritarian? The question continues to puzzle social scientists. This column presents new data from 13 British American colonies from before the American Revolution. It shows that democratic institutions had a lot to do with the need to attract workers.

Rabah Arezki, Bertrand Candelon, Amadou Sy, 01 August 2012

What are the spillover effects within a fiscal union? This column looks at evidence within bond markets for individual US states and the market for US Treasury securities. Results are twofold. First, there are negative spillovers between most markets for individual US state bonds. Second, there is no substantial spillover effect between shocks originating from state securities and from federal markets, except for a few large issuers.

Guillermo Calvo, Fabrizio Coricelli, Pablo Ottonello, 24 July 2012

Economic output in the US seems to have recovered since the Great Recession – but jobs have not. This ‘jobless recovery’ has led economists to argue that unemployment has reached a point where it can fall no further without further inflation. This column disagrees, suggesting the nature of the crisis affects the nature of the recovery.

Patrick Minford, Vo Phuong Mai Le, David Meenagh, 15 July 2012

This paper adds the Bernanke-Gertler-Gilchrist model to a modified version of the Smets-Wouters model of the US in order to explore the causes of the banking crisis. The authors find that banking crises occur on average once every 40 years and around half are accompanied by financial crisis. Financial shocks on their own, even when extreme, do not cause crises, provided the government acts swiftly to counteract such a shock.

Sharon Belenzon, 03 July 2012

According to the received wisdom, innovation is the heart-and-soul of modern growth but incentives to innovate are prone to the free-rider problem. This column partly supports that view. Looking at over 1,000 US companies it shows that internal citations of a firm's patents have a positive effect on market value while external citations have a negative effect.

Lutz Kilian, 29 June 2012

It has long been argued that changes in the price of oil can help forecast US real GDP growth. This column addresses the common concern among many policymakers that the feedback from oil prices to the economy may become stronger once the price of oil reaches a certain level.

Scott Baker, Nicholas Bloom, Steven Davis, 20 June 2012

The on-then-off economic recovery in the US and Europe is one of the many mysteries of the post-crisis economy. This column provides some evidence that policymakers’ indecisiveness may be part of the cause. Because policymakers act decisively when things get bad and dither when things get better, corporate and consumer demand stalls just as the recovery gets going.

Ernesto Zedillo, 22 April 2016

Illegal drugs are one of the planet’s most pressing problems. They shatter hundreds of millions of lives and wreak untold social, economic and political damage in both consuming and producing nations. In this column - originally published 22 May 2012 -- the ex-President of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo, introduces an eBook he edited on the issue that points very strongly in the direction of a serious reconsideration of drug policy.

Joshua Aizenman, Menzie Chinn, 15 May 2012

Might more inflation be good for the US and Europe? This column looks at the housing market in the US and argues that, with houses dropping in price, buyers are playing a waiting game. And as buyers keep delaying, the price drops further. Given the importance of property in many economies, the knock-on effects are severe. Yet one way to break this vicious cycle is with inflation.

Peter Stella, Manmohan Singh, 14 May 2012

Much of the debate over public finances in the US relates to the amount of debt, this column explores the type of debt. It criticises the recent suggestion that the US Treasury should start issuing floating rate notes.

Richard Evans, Laurence Kotlikoff, Kerk Phillips, 04 May 2012

The sustainability of government finances is very much the topic of the day. But the issue poses serious questions for the future, particularly how well off today’s younger generations will be compared with their parents. This column argues that the Ponzi scheme being played by the US government amounts to "fiscal child abuse" and is close to game over. For today's children the American dream will be just that – a dream.

Lucrezia Reichlin, Domenico Giannone, Jasper McMahon, Saverio Simonelli, 02 May 2012

According to official statistics, the UK and Europe are heading for recession, while the US is recovering. This has led some to suggest that European economies are moving in the opposite direction to the US. This column, written by the co-founders of Now-Casting, presents new now-casting estimates that put Europe and the US even further apart.

Alberto Alesina, Daniel Nadler, 28 April 2012

The divergence in sovereign spreads across Eurozone members has been the object of much attention. This column looks at divergence across US states and finds that unexpected deficits are correlated with higher state bond yields across all states. This effect is larger for states with left-leaning political systems, suggesting that bond-market participants view political variables as relevant in assessing the risk characteristics of sub-sovereign bonds.

Jialan Wang, 07 April 2012

In 2005, the US Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act raised the costs to households of filing for bankruptcy by 60%. While the law was designed to prevent abuse by wealthy debtors, this column presents evidence that the higher costs inhibit filings by financially distressed households who cannot afford the fees, adding “insult to injury for households that are already broke”.

Michael Bordo, Christopher Meissner, 24 March 2012

Did inequality in the US lead to the global financial crisis? This column presents evidence from 14 countries between 1920 and 2008 and argues that while inequality can be blamed for many things, the global crisis is not one of them.



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