Germany is not Volkswagen, but the wake up call should not be ignored

Dalia Marin recently published a Project Syndicate column titled “Germany is not Volkswagen”, which basically tries to portray the fraud by Volkswagen that was recently uncovered by the US authorities as an isolated case and stress the strength of the German manufacturing culture. Germany is not Volkswagen, indeed. BMW, for example, passed the very same […]

"Video Killed the Radio Star": Why Hasn’t Technology Destroyed All Jobs?

Destruction of jobs by machines is an old issue that has appeared several times in history beginning with the famous Luddite resistance to the introduction of textile machinery in England early in the Industrial Revolution. It arose again during the 1960s when President Lyndon Johnson appointed the Bowen Commission to study the technology/job loss nexus […]

Fundamental Problems Facing Greece

The dust has yet to settle after the referendum in Greece and making any longer term predictions is next to impossible, other than stating the obvious that the next days and weeks will bring capital controls and issuing of IOUs to meet public sector payments, similar in form to the ones that the State of […]

Is the Minimum Wage an Effective Way to Reduce Poverty or Inequality?

There is a growing interest in increasing the federal minimum wage in the U.S. and minimum wages at the state and city level (News and Observer). President Obama has already decreed a higher minimum for workers on Federal contracts, and he has proposed raising the Federal minimum from $7.25 to $10.10. Interest in the minimum […]

Consequences of the World Oil Glut

Forecasting crude oil prices has been difficult. Forecast errors have been large, especially for the end of 2014, when typical forecasts were more than $40 per barrel too high. A panel of Wall Street Journal analysts forecast $94.65 per barrel, but the actual price was $53.27 per barrel. Forecasts implicit in oil futures contracts exhibited […]

Why is Corruption More Prominent in Some Countries Than Others?

Corruption is widely acknowledged to be a serious problem in many countries. Ukraine has experienced a series of corrupt governments, and revulsion against widespread corruption is one factor that brought about the ouster of the Yanukovych administration last February (Poroshenko). Chinese officials have recently acknowledged corruption to be a serious problem.  Extreme levels of corruption […]