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Were you paid by Monsanto?

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | November 18, 2014

Recently I was interviewed for an article published in California Magazine. It is a well-written article about the controversy surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). I made my usual points: GMOs have actually done much good by reducing commodity prices, increasing yields, saving land and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving the health of farm workers. … Continue reading »

If no one can hear us …

Michael O'Hare, professor of public policy | November 13, 2014

I recently attended the annual research conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. For those who do not frequent academic conferences, this is a get-together of people like me and several of yr. obdt. bloggers, where we break up into “sessions” of about an hour and a half, in each of which three … Continue reading »

The Brazilian election and Central Bank independence

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | September 27, 2014

Brazilians will head to the polls on Oct. 5 to vote in a tight presidential race. President Dilma Rousseff’s leading challenger is Socialist Party candidate Marina Silva. A key component of Silva’s economic platform is her support for a more independent central bank. Central bank independence, long a topic of interest to economists, is now capturing wide … Continue reading »

Macroeconomic stimulus for Ukraine

Yuriy Gorodnichenko, associate professor of economics | July 24, 2014

After years of mismanagement and looting, Ukraine faces a number of economic challenges. The situation is so critical that weak economic performance in the next few years could undermine the very independence of the country. Just yesterday, President Poroshenko signed a degree setting up the National Council for Reforms to design and coordinate reforms in … Continue reading »

Thoughts on Robert Skidelsky’s Rant Against the Current Economics Curriculum

Brad DeLong, professor of economics | June 18, 2014

Over at Equitable Growth: The extremely wise Robert Skidelsky has an excellent rant against Anglo-Saxon economics departments: Robert Skidesky: Knocking the scientific halo off mainstream economists’ teaching and research: “The growing discontent of economics students… …with the university curriculum…. Students at the University of Manchester advocated an approach ‘that begins with economic phenomena and then … Continue reading »

Financial networks and contagion

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | November 12, 2013

Financial Networks and Contagion,” a recent paper by Matthew Elliott, Benjamin Golub, and Matthew Jackson, uses network theory to study how financial interdependencies among governments, central banks, investment banks, and other institutions can lead to cascading defaults and failures. While the model is quite technical, the main theoretical findings are fairly intuitive. They define two key … Continue reading »

Addis, Lucy and food security

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | October 15, 2013

Last week I returned from my second trip to Africa in one month, this time to Ethiopia. I went there as an advisory board member of Food Secure, a large EU research consortium on food security. This was my first time in East Africa, Addis is about 3000 feet above sea level, which means you … Continue reading »

Denial as a way of life

Dan Farber, professor of law | October 10, 2013

As it turns out, many of the same people who deny that climate change is a problem also deny that government default would be a problem.  No doubt there are several reasons: the fact that Barack Obama is on the opposite side of both issues; the general impermeability of ideologues to facts or expert opinion; a general … Continue reading »

Discussion of Robin Greenwood and David Scharfstein: The growth of modern finance

Brad DeLong, professor of economics | September 28, 2013

On Robin Greenwood and David Scharfstein: The Growth of Modern Finance: The financial sector does six things: Payments–so that your web of exchange can span the world, rather than just be limited to people you know well and can trust not to welsh on the deal Security–so that your command over economic resources can remain … Continue reading »

Loss of economic exceptionalism

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | September 20, 2013

One of the key dimensions of “American Exceptionalism” is the idea that America is the land of opportunity more than any other. We would like to believe that American children who are raised in the meanest conditions are likelier to move up in the world than are children elsewhere. Yet, as of today, the U.S. … Continue reading »

Fiscal policy issues in the United States

Brad DeLong, professor of economics | September 12, 2013

At the end of the 2008, the seriousness of the financial crisis and the resulting collapse in production and employment coupled with the Federal Reserve’s exhaustion of its traditional monetary policy-management took, the open-market operation, raised the possibility that the U.S. government should consider using activist expansionary fiscal policy as a stabilization-policy tool. Doubters offered … Continue reading »

Diversity in economics

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | August 22, 2013

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, in an interview earlier this month, pointed out that there are no women on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). There also happen to be no female ministers in the Treasury. Carney suggested, “What we have to do at the Bank of England is grow top female economists all the … Continue reading »

Bob Evenson: An economist with heart

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | March 16, 2013

Recently I learned one of my dear colleagues, Bob Evenson from Yale University, passed away. Bob grew up on a farm in the Minnesota and got his PhD at the University of Chicago. He became a leading development economist, and taught for more than 30 years mostly at Yale. My early impressions, as a student … Continue reading »