My dissertation assessed the impact of water quality regulation in the San Joaquin Valley. We wondered if farmers would adopt cleaner practices and invest in wastewater management under alternative regulations and to what extent the regulations are burdensome economically. I went to the valley and interviewed many farmers and realized that some of the solutions … Continue reading »
Resisting the Russian Culture of Corruption in Ukraine: The Fight for the Rule of Law and Empathy
co-authored with Tymofiy Mylovanov (Kyiv School of Economics) Corruption has been humanity’s scourge since the beginning of time. We may debate when corruption started but frankly it does not matter whether it was Eve or the serpent who corrupted Adam or somebody else who committed this sin for the first time. The important thing is … Continue reading »
Personal sanctions on Russian oligarchs: purpose and design
coauthored with Anastasia Fedyk (University of California, Berkeley), James Hodson (AI for Good Foundation), Ilona Sologoub (VoxUkraine), and Tatyana Deryugina (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Recently a representative of Putin’s opposition, Leonid Volkov (who resigned from chairing the Navalny fund upon the revelation of his signature under the letter calling for lifting sanctions off individual … Continue reading »
Open letter to Jeffrey Sachs on the Russia-Ukraine war
Dear Dr. Sachs, We are a group of economists, including many Ukrainians, who were appalled by your statements on the Russian war against Ukraine and were compelled to write this open letter to address some of the historical misrepresentations and logical fallacies in your line of argument. Following your repeated appearances on the talk shows … Continue reading »
Despotism strikes back: why the free world needs to defeat Russia
Co-authored with Ilona Sologoub (VoxUkraine) The Russian attack on Ukraine rekindled debates about pros and cons of various economic and political models. Do we need a concentration of economic and political power to survive in the current environment? What is the role of the state? How much freedom should people have? China, Russia and others … Continue reading »
From Lisbon to Vladivostok: Russian version
Co-authored with Ilona Sologoub at VoxUkraine Winston Churchill, a bigger-than-life statesman and prolific author, observed, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” He was largely successful and received a Nobel prize in literature “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted … Continue reading »
A plan for Russia (and Belarus): Marshall vs. Martial?
co-authored by Ilona Sologoub (VoxUkraine), Tetyana Deryugina (U of Illinois), Tanya Babina (Columbia U.), James Hodson (AI for good) The Russian war in Ukraine is far from being over, but perhaps it is a natural time to think about what will happen after the Russian aggression is defeated. Indeed, the allies were discussing the … Continue reading »
Rebuilding Ukraine: Principles and Policies
coauthored with Ilona Sologoub (VoxUkraine) and Beatrice Weder di Mauro (Geneva Graduate Institute, INSEAD and CEPR) The Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine is a dark hour for humanity – massive loss of life, millions of destroyed families and homes, and enormous economic damages – but we have to think about how Ukraine will rebuild after … Continue reading »
Unique Opportunity for Extension and Research Career in the Economics of Diversity and Equity
Some of the best jobs in academia are to be a professor of Cooperative Extension at Berkeley. The Cooperative Extension is one of the greatest inventions of the American educational system, designed to transfer knowledge to and learn from the experience of practitioners in agriculture and industry. We have two types of extension professionals: … Continue reading »
On the Contribution of Extension: In memory of Tim Wallace
When I arrived in Berkeley for my Ph.D. about 50 years ago (1973, before the Yom Kippur War), I learned that the department of Agricultural Economics, which I joined, had several faculty members who were extension specialists. Their job has been to do real applied research and to provide information and education to adults (regular … Continue reading »
Wartime economy for Ukraine
For over 230 days, Ukraine has been resisting Russian aggression. This war brings death and destruction at a scale not seen in Europe since WWII and the ripples of the war are felt everywhere—from the Ukrainian families who lost their loved ones to African countries that face the prospect of hunger. A long war rather … Continue reading »
The Inflation Reduction Act charts a pro-climate, pro-worker path
The IRA will help build a high-road green economy, creating good jobs and clear pathways into them
Innovation in the Age of Disruption — What is our role?
From Today’s Headlines ….. NYT July 16, 2022 President Yields on Climate Plans as Talks Collapse [page A1] Trading Coal for Sunlight, Power Plants Get New Life [page A12] E.V.s Selling at a Record Pace Despite Shortages [page B1] Do you see a pattern here? Where government is stymied by the self-interest of individual … Continue reading »
The revival of the European June conference season – overcoming Covid and Putin
I am used to traveling in the summer to a conference in Ravello, visiting Israel, or participating in the European Environmental and Resource Economics Association (EAERE) meetings. Unfortunately, the pandemic stopped this tradition, and zooming is a poor substitute for in-person meetings. This year the June conference season is on again, and I discuss two … Continue reading »
What does a ‘diplomatic solution’ for the Russia-Ukraine war really mean?
Many commentators say there is no solution to the Russia-Ukraine war other than diplomacy. Moreover, providing weapons to Ukraine is sometimes framed as undermining a diplomatic solution. The key question is what kind of a diplomatic solution do we want to reach?
Helping Ukraine: How to donate effectively
The humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine is only worsening as the conflict drags on. As we enter the fourth month of the war, it’s important to take stock and plan for a long-term, resilient and effective approach to sustained aid. Together with fellow leading Ukrainian economists, we’ve compiled suggestions on how to maximize the impact of individual donations and be sure you’re giving wisely.
Open Letter to Noam Chomsky (and other like-minded intellectuals) on the Russia-Ukraine war
Dear Professor Chomsky, we are a group of Ukrainian academic economists who were grieved by a series of your recent interviews and commentaries on the Russian war on Ukraine. We believe that your public opinion on this matter is counter-productive to bringing an end to the unjustified Russian invasion of Ukraine and all the deaths and suffering it has brought into our home country.
To save Ukraine, give us the tools and let us finish the job
In the words of a well-known Ukrainian military expert Oleg Zhdanov, there are only two ways to end a war: either one side loses or the other. All other options lead to postponed wars in the future. Something has to give. (Hint: Russia.)
The Differences between Agricultural Economics and Economics
For fifty years, I wondered what the difference between an agricultural and resource economics (ARE) and ECON departments was? Thinking about it for over forty years, I will tell you how I came to an answer. I began my working life as a computer programmer and studied economics and statistics in Israel. Eithan … Continue reading »
Dear President Biden and Democrats, here’s your economic message
As America slouches toward the midterm elections, President Biden and the Democrats need an economic message that celebrates their accomplishments to date – job creation and higher wages – yet also takes aim at the major abuses of economic power that are fueling inflation and widening inequality.