Chad Bown, Euijin Jung, Zhiyao (Lucy) Lu, 19 June 2018

Pascal Lamy, 06 June 2018

Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Tho Pham, Oleksandr Talavera, 02 June 2018

The rise of social media has profoundly affected how people acquire and process information. Using Twitter data on the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential election, this column studies how social media bots shape public opinion and voting outcomes. Bots have a tangible effect on the tweeting activity of humans, but the degree of their influence depends on whether they provide information consistent with humans’ priors. The findings suggest that effect of bots was likely marginal, but possibly large enough to affect voting outcomes in the two elections.

Stefan Gerlach, 04 April 2018

It was generally expected that the new US administration’s economic policies would lead to an appreciation of the US dollar. Yet the opposite has happened. This column argues that a large part of the fluctuations of the US dollar against the euro since the election of President Trump can be tied to movements in the relative attractiveness of holding US dollars versus the euro.

Chad Bown, 08 March 2018

President Trump’s announced intention to impose import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium touched off a wave of retaliation threats and trade policy responses from trading partners, including the EU. This column examines the scope for retaliation against the Trump administration’s proposed tariffs under WTO dispute settlement. It estimates that if the sources of all US steel and aluminium imports were part of this dispute, trading partners would be permitted to retaliate by a collective amount of $14.2 billion per year.

Simon Evenett, Johannes Fritz, 24 January 2018

On 22 January 2018, President Trump imposed safeguard duties on imported washing machines and solar panels and cells. This column analyses import surges into the US from 2006 to 2016 to put these tariff increases in perspective. Using a simple, theory-inspired method for identifying surges, it finds that during 2014-6 a category of manufactured good in the US had a one-in-32 chance of witnessing an import surge each year. US import surges aren’t concentrated in sectors where China has severe excess capacity either.

Sijbren Cnossen, Arjan Lejour, Maarten van ’t Riet, 24 November 2017

Some US multinationals have displayed a willingness to relinquish their American nationality and move their headquarters abroad. Such ‘inversions’ generally aim to avoid and minimise taxes. This column argues that the new Trump tax plan is likely to halt tax inversions by US multinationals. However, the plan will increase treaty shopping, incentivising multinationals to redirect dividends through third-party countries with generous tax treaties.

Mario Blejer, Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi, 22 November 2017

Global politics of late has been marked by the rise of anti-elite political movements and anti-establishment leaders. This column analyses the tactics of such populists through the lens of the ‘time inconsistency’ problem – that what is considered a long-term optimal policy today may not be optimal when that future arrives. Populist leaders seek to gain and increase their power by undermining democratic institutions and conventional commitment devices. Several ‘second generation’ institutional commitment devices to counter this are proposed.

Gabriel Felbermayr, Marina Steininger, Erdal Yalcin, 22 November 2017

The Trump administration intends to restructure US international trade relations with its major trade partners to correct what it perceives to be unfair trade and establish a ‘level playing field’. This column uses a structurally estimated and simulated trade model to analyse three potential protectionist policies that have been discussed by the administration. The results suggest that the promise to create more jobs and investment in the US through such policies is a fallacy.

Barry Eichengreen, Michael Haines, Matthew Jaremski, David Leblang, 25 October 2017

The 1896 US presidential election has acquired new resonance in light of the recent up-surge in populism. This column combines voting results with economic, financial, and demographic data from the 1890s to offer a systematic empirical study of voting patterns in the election. The results confirm a role for identity politics, but also a role for economic factors. They also suggest, however, that a small or even moderate change in economic conditions would not have altered the outcome of the 1896 election, nor the subsequent course of American history.  

Gordon Hanson, Chen Liu, Craig McIntosh, 04 October 2017

Rising inequality and stagnating manufacturing wages have many in the Western world questioning whether immigration may be responsible. This column takes a close look at data for the US, and reveals that tighter immigration controls are unlikely to improve the fortunes of low-skilled workers. Long-term demographic changes in the Americas imply that the pressure from illegal immigrants on US labour markets is already abating and will continue to do so.

Levi Boxell, 01 October 2017

The internet has received a substantial amount of blame for the recent increase in political polarisation. Using US data, this column argues that, in fact, the internet has played no significant role in a generally increasing trend of political polarisation that goes back at least to the 1970s. The results highlight the importance of looking beyond convenient narrative explanations, and the need for a deeper understanding of the drivers of political sentiment.

William Nordhaus, 08 October 2018

The change in the structure of global supply has important implications for US President Donald Trump as he contemplates tearing up existing international trade deals. This column argues that he risks destroying the fruits of almost 100 years of global trade cooperation, the benefits of which to citizens in the US far outweigh the costs. This spirit of cooperation is also the basis for coordinated global action on issues such as climate change.

William Nordhaus, 08 October 2018

President Trump’s doctrine on trade represents a radical break with previous US policy. This column, the first of two examining the Trump doctrine, argues that he embraces fallacies as facts, and that the efforts to reform tax are flawed and will make tax law more complex. If enacted, the Auerbach-Ryan Tax Plan would be a mechanism by which the US government collects taxes to benefit rich citizens at the expense of the country's trading partners.

Hugo Erken, Philip Marey, Maartje Wijffelaars, 15 August 2017

Since taking office, US President Donald Trump has been an increasingly vocal proponent of protectionist measures. This column presents five reasons why he is unlikely to resort to full-blown protectionism: political motivations, WTO membership, the possibility of retaliation, the existence of global value chain integration and revenue streams, and the fact that automation rather than trade has caused most job losses in the US. If Trump does resort to protectionism, however, and other countries retaliate, US GDP could face cumulative losses of up to 4.5% over two years.

Nikhil Datta, Swati Dhingra, 16 July 2017

The economies of Europe and the United States are inextricably linked and in an ideal world, a number of factors motivate a trade deal such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. This column, taken from a recent VoxEU eBook, argues, however, that given the Brexit referendum in the UK and the election of Donald Trump as US president, as well as a number of other pre-existing complications, achieving such agreements will be highly contentious. 

Stephen Cecchetti, Kim Schoenholtz, 14 July 2017

The US Treasury recently published the first in a series of reports designed to implement the seven core principles for regulating the US financial system announced in an Executive Order from President Trump. While Trump's stated principles provide an attractive basis for making the financial system both more cost-effective and safer, this column argues that, at least when considering the largest banks, adopting the Treasury’s recommendations would make the financial system less safe. And, it would do so with little prospect for boosting economic growth.

Simon Evenett, Johannes Fritz, 06 July 2017

The year to date has seen profound changes in G20 protectionist dynamics.This column presents the lastest Global Trade Report, which asks whether President Trump’s bluster has accomplished what the G20 failed to deliver – namely, less protectionism.

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