Ed Dolan's Econ Blog

Roubini Topic Archive: Sectors and Industries

  • Trade and Jobs: Why the Protectionist Cure Could be Worse Than the Globalization Disease

    Dramatic promises to restrict international trade were a signature element of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. So far, he seems to be following through, with an early reaffirmation of his intent to withdraw US participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). An aggressive stance on trade played a key role in gaining the support of working class […]

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  • The Dubious Economics of Crop Insurance

    Insurance is an essential part of the financial infrastructure of a market economy. By spreading losses among members of a group with similar exposure, insurance encourages people to take prudent risks while protecting individuals from ruin in case they are the unlucky ones. Not all risks are insurable, however. Attempts to insure the uninsurable create […]

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  • Does Peak Phosphate Spell Doom for Humanity, or Will the Market Save Us?

    Although climate change catches the headlines, it is not the only doomsday scenario out there. A smaller but no less fervent band of worriers think that peak phosphate—a catastrophic decline in output of an essential fertilizer—will get us first. One of the worriers is Jeremy Grantham of the global investment management firm GMO. Grantham foresees […]

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  • Will Fracking Enrich India’s Guar Farmers? Or America’s?

    A New York Times story last week featured a picture of a happy Indian farmer in his new house, a replacement for a miserable mud hut. His sister, a scarf modestly hiding her face from the photographer, extends her arm to show a new silver bracelet and ring. The house and the silver were bought […]

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  • Fracking and the Environment: An Economic Perspective

    When people look at “fracking”—the production of natural gas through hydraulic fracturing techniques–they see different things. Critics see polluted wells, exploding houses, and earthquakes—an environmental disaster in the making. These anti-frackers have a simple solution: ban it. In contrast, industry supporters see hydraulic fracturing as a safe technology that drillers have been using for decades […]

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  • Latest Jobs Data Show Employment Ratio Remains Low: Why Legalizing Marijuana Would Help it Recover

    The U.S. job numbers for March, released today, show moderate, although not spectacular short-term gains: 120 thousand new payroll jobs, unemployment rate down a notch to 8.2 percent. Long-term indicators are less healthy. In particular, as the chart shows, the employment-population ratio fell by 0.1 percent and remains just a fraction above the all-time low […]

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  • Natural Gas Flaring, Carbon Taxes, and the Risk of Alien Invasion

    To an alien orbiting Earth in a flying saucer, natural gas flares would be one of the most visible signs of human life on earth. Notice I said “human life,” not “intelligent life.” Flaring is the practice of burning off the natural gas that is produced in association with oil rather than piping it to […]

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