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Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists
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13 ноября, 00:00

Automation and job displacement in emerging markets

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Evidence that routinisation lies behind labour market polarisation has been documented for many developed economies, but less is known about its impact in emerging markets. This column draws on national censuses and labour surveys for 160 countries between 1960 and 2015 to argue that although large-scale labour market dislocation is not imminent, emerging markets are becoming increasingly exposed to routinisation – and thus labour market polarisation – from the long-term effects of structural transformation and the onshoring of routine-intensive jobs.

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12 ноября, 00:00

Abortion laws and women’s health

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Women’s health is frequently cited when debating the merits of abortion legislation. However, the arguments are often based on evidence which is correlational or drawn from small or non-representative samples of women. This column explores the impacts of abortion legislation on women’s health using the universe of health records from Mexico, where abortion was legalised in the Federal District of Mexico while sanctions on abortion were increased in other regions of the country. It documents immediate reductions in rates of hospitalisation of women with the legalisation of abortion.

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12 ноября, 00:00

Global trends in interest rates

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Interest rates are at their lowest levels of the last 150 years in virtually all advanced economies. This column argues that this unprecedented environment reflects secular global forces that have lowered the trend in the world real interest rate by about two percentage points over the past 30 to 40 years. Whatever forces might lift real interest rates in the future must also be global, such as a sustained pickup in world economic growth, or a better alignment between the global demand and supply for safe and liquid assets.

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11 ноября, 00:00

The lasting impact of the Taiping Rebellion

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The Taiping Rebellion, from 1851 to 1864, was the deadliest civil war in history. This column provides evidence that this cataclysmic event significantly shaped China’s Malthusian transition and long-term development that followed, especially in areas where the experiences that stemmed from the rebellion led to better property rights, stronger local fiscal capacity, and rule by leaders with longer-term governance horizons.  

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11 ноября, 00:00

Commuting time and family labour supply decisions

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Commuting time has been regarded mainly as affecting labour supply decisions at the individual level. Previous analyses do not consider the interactions between partners’ commuting times and their labour supply. This column shows that, in response to the husband’s longer commute, the wife’s employment decreases and the husband works slightly more. These results suggest that intra-family interactions need to be considered when evaluating policies that apparently affect one partner only.

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10 ноября, 00:00

Aggregating labour supply elasticities

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Economists disagree on the size of labour supply elasticities. The column uses a model of female labour supply to show that there is substantial heterogeneity in both cross section and over the business cycle. It is not possible to think about labour supply elasticity as a unique structural parameter. To understand the consequences of income tax changes, for example, we need to be explicit about whose tax is changing.

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10 ноября, 00:00

The minimum wage, income tax credits, and criminal recidivism

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Individuals with a criminal record face difficulties in the labour market that can compel them to reoffend. This column reveals how increases in the minimum wage in the US reduce the likelihood of recently released felons being reincarcerated, while an income-related tax subsidy has a similar effect for women, but not men. The results suggest significant welfare benefits from policiesthat help raise wages above the potential income from criminal activity.

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09 ноября, 00:00

Sovereign debt, banks, and firms’ investment in Italy

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The Italian government has decided to pursue an expansionary fiscal policy, with increased welfare spending as its focus. This column uses evidence from the 2010-2012 sovereign debt crisis to explore the potential negative effects of this policy on private investment. It finds that an increase in a bank’s credit default swap spreads leads to lower investment and employment for younger and smaller firms and in the aggregate. These findings suggest the planned fiscal expansion could substantially crowd out private investment.

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09 ноября, 00:00

Cryptocurrencies: Financial stability and fairness

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Cryptocurrencies are primarily held today for speculative reasons and see little economic use outside of that. This column argues that if private cryptocurrencies were to find widespread economic use, either coexisting with or fully displacing fiat money, the result would be increased financial instability, inequality, and social instability. 

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09 ноября, 00:00

Competition with network effects in bike-sharing

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Positive network effects may lead to winner-takes-all in some markets. The column analyses dockless bike-sharing in China to show instead how an incumbent can benefit from positive spillovers from a competitor’s entry. In the case of bike-sharing, consumers multi-home, the market exhibits positive network effects, and investment by two firms is more cost-efficient than investment by one. 

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09 ноября, 00:00

The economics of the Great War

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This weekend marks 100 years since the end of World War 1. But is the history of the war that we learn at school the whole story? The 20 essays in a new VoxEU ebook on the economic history of the war challenge the conventional wisdom about how the war started, why it was won and lost, and its consequences. Tim Phillips talks to Mark Harrison of the University of Warwick, one of the book’s editors.  

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08 ноября, 00:00

The not-so-generalised effects of the Generalised System of Preferences

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Generalised System of Preferences programmes, a form of nonreciprocal tariff cuts, have proliferated since the 1970s. Using a well-documented dataset of international trade agreements, this column studies the effectiveness of the system on beneficiaries’ aggregate exports. It finds that nonreciprocal tariff preferences can have a strong positive effect on the exports of least-developed countries, provided that they are WTO members. Conversely, other developing economies enjoying nonreciprocal preferences are able to increase exports only if they are not WTO members.