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Garett Jones: December 2012

An Author Archive by Month (13 entries)

Nominations for Top Economic Stories of 2012

Energy, Environment, Resources
Garett Jones
Here are three, all good news, more possible:1.  QE3, all hail Scott Sumner.  The ECB's unconventional easings to banks and sovereigns deserve mention as well.  Perhaps someone will make a lot of money betting on high average inflation in the... MORE

Bahrain Travelogue: Friendliest People on Earth?

Economics and Culture
Garett Jones
Last week I visited my GMU colleague Omar al-Ubaydli.  Omar now lives and works in Bahrain, a quick drive over the King Fahd Causeway from Saudi Arabia. A few of Omar's other friends from around the world joined in the visit so... MORE

...the welfare state as social insurance.  After all, if you know how your kids are going to turn out, what's there to insure against?  Sure, you'd like to grab resources from other people--the raiding party has a long history--but it's only... MORE

Expanding Megabanks: Is Impatience the Cause?

Public Choice Theory
Garett Jones
From Tuesday's Wall Street Journal:Some, like Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. have embarked on diets of their own.  On the whole, though, the financial system is more concentrated than before the crisis. And Santander, the largest Euro-area bank with... MORE

Why didn't 19th and early 20th century empires massively raise productivity per worker in their colonies?  Why have the big improvements in productivity almost always happened after the imperialists either left or genuinely turned over power to the locals?  This... MORE

Why So Little Exploitation of Developing Countries?

Cross-country Comparisons
Garett Jones
The internet tells me that people in rich countries exploit people in poor countries.  If that's true--a claim I don't deny, since humans are routinely awful to each other--then people in rich countries are really bad at it.  Just like... MORE

Why are Economic Miracles Rare in Colonies?

Growth: Causal Factors
Garett Jones
A decade ago, Robert Lucas noticed a pattern:The economic progress that has come to Asia and Africa came after the colonial empires were dismantled. To put it another way, Lucas claims that with the exception of Hong Kong, no massive economic... MORE

It's often wise to pay more attention to marginal tax rates than to average tax rates.  If you can make your first $100 tax free but the 101st dollar is taxed at a marginal rate of 99% you'll probably decide... MORE

Does money influence research outcomes?  We're used to hearing this question when it comes to pharmaceutical research and the same question is surely relevant to research in monetary economics.  Central banks like the Fed, the ECB, and the BoE do... MORE

David Brooks's Conservative Future Out of a Job

Information Goods, Intellectual Property
Garett Jones
Derek Khanna, the author of the important policy brief on the excesses of copyright law, has been fired by the Republican Study Committee. The brief, which the RSC pulled from their website, is here. From the Examiner: The staffer who wrote... MORE

If I Were a Global Utilitarian...

moral reasoning
Garett Jones
...I'd probably push for an incredibly stringent anti-hijacker policy.  After all, the last time a few individuals hijacked U.S. planes, it genuinely caused a war in Afghanistan and substantially raised the probability of a war in Iraq.  Massive loss of civilian... MORE

How Many Bad Loans Did Fannie and Freddie Originate?

Efficient Markets Hypothesis
Garett Jones
Trick question: None, zero, zilch.  By law, Fannie and Freddie can't originate loans--they can only buy or guarantee loans that have already been made by actors in the private sector.  This is no small point, but it's a point that... MORE

Reviewing Mark Zandi's Newest Book

Finance
Garett Jones
My latest book review for Barron's is here ($, probably).  Zandi's Paying the Price adds some value; this post excerpts some positive parts of the review:"Regulatory, legal, and policy uncertainty was holding business back." That's author Mark Zandi, Moody's Analytics chief... MORE

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