Monthly Archives: July 2014

Europe Still in Trouble

Barry Eichengreen and Ugo Panizza write, For the debts of European countries to be sustainable, their governments will have to run large primary budget surpluses. But there are both political and economic reasons to question whether this is possible. The … Continue reading

Posted in Eurozone Crisis | Comments Off

Imagine No FDA

Kevin Tracey writes, Since news of this clinical trial’s success became public, people from all over the U.S. stricken with rheumatoid arthritis have emailed, called and sent letters pressing for their shot at potentially effective—but not yet FDA-approved—treatments. Most wrote … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Health Care | 13 Comments

Paul Ryan on Income Assistance

On the safety net, his Expanding Opportunity plan says, It should always pay to work. But fixing these incentives is no easy task. To phase out benefits more slowly would mean to subsidize millions of middle- and even upper-income families; … Continue reading

Posted in income distribution-wealth-poverty, Setting Economic Priorities, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 2 Comments

The Importance of Having a Business Plan

Russ Roberts talks with Sam Altman, the CEO of Y Combinator, who says I’ve never written one in my life. At the stage that we are operating at, it’s irrelevant. Like financial projections also we never look at. …We would … Continue reading

Posted in business economics | Comments Off

Too Correlated to Fail

V.V. Chari and Christopher Phelan write, the anticipation of bailouts creates incentives for banks to herd in the sense of making similar investments. This herding behavior makes bailouts more likely and potential crises more severe. Analyses of bailouts and moral … Continue reading

Posted in financial markets | 2 Comments

Matt Yglesias on the Era of Mood Affiliation

He writes, The deep nature of the division is illustrated by the suspicious way in which legal opinions and policy preferences are lining up on this issue. Essentially everyone who believes the Affordable Care Act was an important step toward … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics, Politics | 11 Comments

Oren Cass on Paul Ryan

He writes, Ryan excludes Medicaid from his Opportunity Grants. But truly untangling the safety net requires disassembling Medicaid and allowing that funding to be reallocated, either to new healthcare programs or in some instances to different ends entirely. Our current … Continue reading

Posted in income distribution-wealth-poverty, Reihan Salam is the ultimate wonk, Setting Economic Priorities | 1 Comment

Elite College Data Point

William Deresiewicz writes, In 1985, 46 percent of incoming freshmen at the 250 most selective colleges came from the top quarter of the income distribution. By 2000, it was 55 percent. As of 2006, only about 15 percent of students … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 11 Comments

Paul Ryan on Education Policy

Federal education spending tends to be concentrated on programs, such as Head Start, that are political sacred cows but notoriously ineffective. Ryan would replace these with block grants, presumably hoping that at least some states will spend the money more … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Reihan Salam is the ultimate wonk | 5 Comments

Universal Basic Income, zero marginal tax rate

Ed Dolan writes, a UBI would be administratively efficient and unobtrusive. It would require no verification of any personal trait or behavior…If the UBI were integrated into the existing federal income tax system, only households with no income at all … Continue reading

Posted in Mark Thoma is Indispensable, Setting Economic Priorities | 9 Comments