Economic Debates

Most economic decisions can be debated. We have to decide whether we want higher or lower taxes, where to cut government spending, whether the deficit matters, if a business should have more regulation, if marginal analysis should affect environmental regulation. Learning about economics involves defending policy alternatives.

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    A Blurry Customer Focus

    Jul 27, 12 • 621 Views • No Comments

    Several years ago, I walked into my local bank branch at 5:55. Knowing that they closed at 6:00, I thought I had some time but they said I was too late. I said I had 5 minutes, they said no and by the time we had concluded our exchange, it was 6:00. They said......  [read more]

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    Election Economics: Assessing Dodd-Frank

    Jul 23, 12 • 707 Views • No Comments

    University of Chicago professor Luigi Zingales tells the story of being asked to tape his windows during a tornado watch in Boston. A similar mandate in Italy, he said, would mean that the brother of the mayor was in the tape business. Furthermore, when......  [read more]

  • The Panama Canal Project Facilitates World Trade.

    A Made in the USA Mandate

    Jul 20, 12 • 719 Views • No Comments

    To introduce our first international trade discussion in class, I usually ask students to check where their clothing and shoes have been made. Finding labels that say “Made in China, Made in Thailand, Made in Peru…,” they first see how trade......  [read more]

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    Job Incentives

    Jul 19, 12 • 720 Views • No Comments

    Assume that you just said good-bye to your co-workers for your annual 3-week vacation and then disaster strikes. You drop a glass on your foot, sever a tendon and head straight for the operating room. A lengthy convalescent period follows. If you work in......  [read more]

  • The Panama Canal Project Facilitates World Trade.

    World Trade Spin

    Jul 17, 12 • 596 Views • No Comments

    We might be able to divide the world between economic thinkers and everyone else. I noted yesterday that economist Gregory Mankiw, as President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers chair, said that outsourcing was probably a plus in the long run. Hearing......  [read more]