Under the veil of democracy: What do people mean when they say they support democracy?

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.

The Long View of “The Bet”

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.

Zoning Restrictions and Business Starts: A Brief Exploration of Small- and Medium-Sized Metro Areas

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.

How Perceived Economic Mobility Might Affect Charitable Giving

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.

Jobless Benefits and Cities: How Federal Unemployment Payouts Can Influence the Return to Work

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.

How a $15 Federal Minimum Wage Could Harm Businesses, Workers, and Consumers in Lower-Income Cities

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.

Being Economically Stuck

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.

Grounds for Optimism on Democracy?: Agricultural Development and the Chances of Democratization

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.