EconLog small logo

Scott Sumner: May 2016

An Author Archive by Month (18 entries)

It's hard to raise a lot of tax revenue

Supply-side Economics
Scott Sumner
Matt Yglesias has a new post pushing back against the claim that a Universal Basic Income (UBI) program is too expensive to be practical in the US: Let's rerun the numbers with a little more precision, though we won't change... MORE

Random thoughts on globalization

International Trade
Scott Sumner
Here's Scott Alexander: An article by Freddie deBoer in this month's Current Affairs proposes "Journalistic Self-Outsourcing". DeBoer notes that lots of journalists and intellectuals suggest that protectionism and other anti-globalization policies are immoral. For example, Zack Beauchamp of Vox calls... MORE

Why Bryan Caplan almost always wins his bets

Economic Philosophy
Scott Sumner
[This is aimed at clarifying my previous post, which David commented on.] Bryan almost always takes the consensus view in any bet. The view a betting market would take, if one existed. When I first hear about a new Caplan... MORE

You're not special

Economic Philosophy
Scott Sumner
You may like your outgoing and family oriented culture, or your introspective and individualistic culture. But that fact, by itself, doesn't make your culture better than another. (Put aside the question of whether it is better, a much more difficult... MORE

Why most regulations are harmful

Regulation
Scott Sumner
One of the most basic ideas in economics is that the vast majority of regulations are harmful. Here's a simple example. Suppose banks charged $2 to use ATMs. Then suppose the government passed a "pro-consumer' law banning those sorts of... MORE

The rich heart of Europe

Cross-country Comparisons
Scott Sumner
Razib Khan recently linked to a map of Europe, showing average incomes by region. The richest areas were colored dark green, and the poorest are colored dark red/brown: Notice that major capital cities such as London, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm, etc.,... MORE

What do "experts" say about trade?

International Trade
Scott Sumner
Imagine an article on the "carried interest" tax loophole, entitled as follows: "Carried Interest tax treatment should not be changed, experts agree" And suppose that all of the experts were hedge fund billionaires. CNBC has a new article discussing "expert"... MORE

I've recently read a few articles that suggest the Russian economy is doing better than expected. The Economist attributes this success (or perhaps less failure than expected) to the adroit management of the head of Russia's central bank: Russia's economy... MORE

The alt-right's demographic nightmare

Economics and Culture
Scott Sumner
There is a growing strand of conservative thought that worries about demographic change, especially changes triggered by immigration. The percentage of Americans who are non-Hispanic white is projected to fall from 62.2% in 2014 to only 43.6% in 2060. Some... MORE

Don't solve problems, stop causing them

Public Choice Theory
Scott Sumner
Given that I share the same utilitarian value system of many progressives, you might expect me to also be a progressive. If I had to provide a one sentence explanation of why I am not, I might use the title... MORE

Hillary Clinton on Fed structure

Monetary Policy
Scott Sumner
Here's Ylan Mui of the Washington Post: Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said she would support changes to the top ranks of the Federal Reserve, an issue recently championed by progressive groups amid debate over how long the central bank... MORE

There's an invisible hyperinflation monster lurking right around the corner, which lots of people are having trouble seeing. (And no, this is not a sarcastic barb aimed at conservatives who were wrong about QE and inflation, it's aimed at people... MORE

Was Hawtrey more Keynesian than Keynes?

Economic History
Scott Sumner
Ralph Hawtrey has always been in the shadow of Keynes, but might well have been the superior macroeconomist. I think you could also argue that Hawtrey's model of macroeconomics was more "Keynesian" than the General Theory, in the sense of... MORE

Two Nobel Prize winners, 18 years apart

Monetary Policy
Scott Sumner
Here's Milton Friedman in 1998, talking about Japan: Low interest rates are generally a sign that money has been tight, as in Japan; high interest rates, that money has been easy. . . . After the U.S. experience during the... MORE

Against Brexit

International Trade
Scott Sumner
In June, the British will vote on whether to leave the EU. There are lots of good arguments on both sides, and I have mixed feelings on the question. But in the end I believe the UK should stay in... MORE

[This is a sort of follow-up to my most recent Econlog post.] Before getting into this post, let me remind you of previous pointless debates, such as whether "Islam" is "really" a this or that sort of religion. I hope... MORE

Lucas on Keynes and "spending flows"

Macroeconomics
Scott Sumner
If you rely on bloggers like Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong, you'll end up with a very crude caricature of Robert Lucas's views on macro. The following was from a 2003 Lucas paper (sent to me by Marcus Nunes), which... MORE

Japan's catastrophic yen-quake

International Macroeconomics: Exchange Rates, International Debt, etc.
Scott Sumner
Back on March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by the worst national disaster to strike a developed country in modern times. Last week, Japan was hit by a human made disaster with a comparable effect on the economy (albeit obviously... MORE

Return to top