The vanishing bequest tax

Bequest tax revenues have been constantly declining in all OECD countries for at least  seventy years. Recent policy debate and legislative proposals, in countries such as the US, the UK, France, and Italy, are signaling a further acceleration of the decline of this tax. As I have argued in recent editorials in vox and la […]

Europe and “Locusts”, What is at Stake?

The economic benefits of free trade in goods and services, and more widely of free movement of capital, both portfolio and direct investment, and labor are well known. Specialization on the ground of comparative advantages, wider range of product availability, more efficient allocation of resources, economies of scale and scope, enhanced cost effectiveness. In most […]

The Economics of Real Exchange Rate Management

The intention of my previous blog (“Argentina’s Bogus Miracle,” September 21) was not to imply that the real exchange rate (RER) cannot be managed, but to argue that there are good and bad ways of doing so. Since many people attribute Argentina’s recent growth performance to a deliberate and successful decision to actively depreciate the […]

2007 Nobel Prize in Economics – What Mechanism Design Theory Says About Europe’s Financial Stability Framework

in collaboration with Martin Čihák, IMF By awarding the 2007 Nobel Prize in economics to Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin, and Roger Myerson, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences highlighted the importance of mechanism design, an arcane-sounding theory with numerous practical applications. The Academy mentioned applications to trading mechanisms, regulation schemes, and voting procedures. But mechanism […]

Comparing hoarding reserves in LATAM with East-Asia: Mercantilism, self insurance, or smoothing REER volatility?

Large hoarding of international reserves in the 1990s was done mostly by East Asia. Latin America joined the “hoarders club” during the 2000s. The unprecedented international reserves levels in LATAM [more than 160 B. dollar in Brazil, 23 B. dollar in Peru, 20 B. dollar in Columbia, etc…] are stirring a lively debate. Should LATAM […]

Colombia’s regional elections: Will Uribe seek a third term?

A total of 32 governors and more than a thousand mayors were elected yesterday in Colombia. The opposition is claiming victory, in part because candidates from the leftist party Polo Democrático Alternativo (PDA) and from the Liberal Party won in some key cities, like Bogotá (the capital), and in some large departments, such as Atlántico, […]

Do circumstances make the thief?

The film, “Tropa de Elite”, is enjoying fantastic box-office success in Brazil. Whether or not it was José Padilha’s (the director’s) intention, the audience are presented with a defense of the theory that in order to rid society of a criminal, only another criminal is up to the job. Thus, to end the war between […]

Labor market reform in Europe: where do we stand?

Labor markets have been at the core of Europe’s policy agenda for many years, particularly after the introduction of the euro. When exchange rates can no longer be adjusted, flexible labor markets are needed because they help face increasing competitive pressures and absorb external shocks associated with the globalization process. Europe is trying to respond […]

Forget about strong European growth performance in 2008

Among professional forecasters 2007 started on a very interesting note: Could EMU economies grow on uninterrupted from the slowdown in the USA? At least the standard indicators of economic confidence ranging from the EU Commission survey, the PMIs to ifo did suggest so. Furthermore, Germany did seem to have weathered the VAT shock surprisingly well. […]

Structural Reforms and the German Growth Recovery

I am delighted to get so much response to my first blog. I especially appreciate the comment from a reader who called for calm, rational discussion of the issue. In Germany, reforming social safety nets is hazardous business and people can get pretty upset! And especially when Wolfgang Münchau claims what I claim is nonsense, […]

1 2 3 6