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 […]

Ukraine, Russia and the West

Ukraine faces interdependent military, political, and economic problems of enormous magnitude. Its territory has been invaded and occupied by a powerful neighbor, and armed separatists and Russian forces control territory in eastern and southern Ukraine. Since April of this year, more than 3500 people have died from the violence according to UN human rights observers. […]

Do Free Trade Agreements with the EU Promise Higher Incomes for the Eastern Partnership Countries?

A year ago ( we analysed the real convergence during last two decades in both the 13 member states that joined the EU on or after 2004 and the EU Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). The new EU members that were relatively poor a generation ago showed more significant improvement […]

Is Postponing the EU Trade Agreement Harmful to Ukraine?

The Parliament of Ukraine and the European Parliament are both expected to ratify the EU-Ukraine association agreement in a simultaneous session today. However, last week it was announced that the entry into force of the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) between the EU and Ukraine, initially planned for November of this year, will […]