For many, the end of the Cold War and subsequent spread of liberal democracy around the globe heralded a lasting shift toward democratic hegemony. Today, however, two consecutive decades of spreading autocracy make clear that this post-Cold War democratic triumphalism was premature. Scholars broadly agree that we are now in the midst of a global “democratic recession” that threatens even the most established democracies.
In 1980, Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon agreed to a public bet on what the price of commodities would be 10 years hence. Ehrlich was free to choose the commodities; he chose a basket of copper, chromium, nickel, tin, and tungsten valued at $1000 in 1980. During the 1960s and 1970s, those metals had been trending upward, and had the bet been made twenty years earlier, Ehrlich would have won. Unfortunately for him, in the early 1980s the trend reversed and prices of those commodities collapsed. Simon won, and Ehrlich mailed him a check for $575.07.
In a recent post on the popular “Marginal Revolution” blog, economist Alex Taborrok highlighted a coal mine for sale in West Virginia for a modest $7.8 million, and suggested that an effective green policy might focus on buying fossil fuels and keeping them in the ground.
One sign of a healthy local economy is how many new businesses are started each year. Strong growth in new businesses has been shown to correlate with increased household income and decreased unemployment.
Most cities see business startups of one type or another each year, but not every city sees as many as others. The number of startups is influenced heavily both by local economic conditions and the regulatory environment.
Research has paid extensive attention to issues surrounding charitable giving, which amounted to $410.02 billion in the United States or 2.1% of the gross domestic product in 2017. Specifically, marketing researchers have put a great emphasis on understanding various factors influencing charitable giving decisions such as donor’s moral identity, donation appeals, victims’ emotional expression, identity congruency, and cultural norms. However, it is not clear whether charitable giving decisions might be affected by how people perceive the society they belong to.
The spread of COVID-19 and the resulting shutdown of large swaths of the U.S. economy led to large increases in unemployment. State unemployment insurance programs (UI) - designed for the purpose of providing support for the jobless in normal economic recessions - were overwhelmed by the larger-than-usual increase in unemployment claims. How the federal government reacted - and the differential amounts of income-replacement that flow to jobless individuals as a result - can have deep implications for the pace of economic recovery in 2021.
The recent debate over an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 from its current level of $7.25 has brought public attention to an ongoing debate within the economics community over the impacts of minimum wages generally. Some studies indicate that minimum wage increases have impacts that are more muted than economic theory might predict. Other studies indicate that employment of low-skilled workers suffer and those types of job opportunities become more scarce as a result of a minimum wage.
While socio-economic status (SES) is typically defined as one’s relative economic and social position in the social structure, research often measures or manipulates SES with a focus on one’s financial placement in relation to others. Having more or fewer socioeconomic resources determines the number of choices an individual has in his or her life. Indeed, high SES people have more opportunities to positively shape their lives (e.g., education, network) while low SES people often lack such opportunities.
The relationship between capitalism and democracy has long been one of the most important areas of study in political science, economics and sociology. Today, many are pessimistic about the stability of democracy in rich countries and the chances for democratization in the developing world.
Good tax policy is important in normal times. It’s certainly even more important in the unusual times we live in today.
Businesses and workers are experiencing substantial hardship due to the pandemic and various government mandates to temporarily cease operations. The economic recovery that will take shape as the pandemic begins to wane will be shaped by how state policymakers deal with new economic realities.