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Journal of Economic Literature
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The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-first Century's thesis is that violence and only violence significantly reduces inequality. It shows supportive cases of violence reducing inequality, especially World War II and the Russian and Chinese Revolutions, and highlights recent peacetime increases in within-country inequality. The great virtue of the book is to present a lot of evidence on both sides for the readers to judge the thesis for themse...
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#1Charles R. Bean (LSE: London School of Economics and Political Science)H-Index: 27
This essay reviews Till Time's Last Sand, David Kynaston's history of the Bank of England from its foundation in 1694 to the present day. I focus on three themes running through his narrative. First, for much of that time the Bank was a private company playing a public role; how did it manage to do this and why was it eventually brought into public ownership? Second, I examine the various attempts to constrain the Bank's monetary policy to follow a simple rule; these almost invariably proved uns...
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Mark Granovetter has written a deep and wide-ranging book on economy and society entitled Society and Economy: Frameworks and Principles. Economists, in particular, will find his discussion on the role of social networks in understanding the problem of aggregation—from micro foundations to large-scale institutional phenomena—especially relevant. And they will find much to ponder over the ways in which overlapping structures—of networks and institutions—shape human behavior and determine aggregat...
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There is growing interest in the history of economic statistics, and Eli Cook has provided in The Pricing of Progress: Economic Indicators and the Capitalization of American Life a fascinating account of the era of economic measurement prior to the creation of the modern System of National Accounts. The story illustrates the dual character of statistics, which is the product of political contestation and social structures, as well as the data by which we can interpret the economy. Appreciating t...
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#1Stef Proost (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)H-Index: 3
#2Jacques-François Thisse (HSE: National Research University – Higher School of Economics)H-Index: 2
Spatial economics aims to explain the location of economic activity. While the importance of the proximity to natural resources has declined considerably, distance and location have not disappeared from economic life. Recent work in spatial economics indicates that new forces, hitherto outweighed by natural factors, are shaping an economic landscape that, with its many barriers and large inequalities, is anything but flat. The location of economic activity is the outcome of a trade-off between d...
1 CitationsSource
In order to clarify the potential impact of a basic income, we argue that any discussion on whether to adopt a basic income policy should be framed within the greater context of the transfer system as a whole. In particular, such discussion should consider separately the issues of (i) the desired income distribution to be achieved and (ii) the most efficient way of achieving it through a transfer system. Further, we stress the importance of the non-take-up phenomenon in current transfer systems ...
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#1Khusrav Gaibulloev (AU: American University)H-Index: 13
#2Todd Sandler (University of Texas System)H-Index: 70
This overview examines critically the post-9/11 empirical literature on terrorism. Major contributions by both economists and political scientists are included. We focus on five main themes: the changing nature of terrorism, the organization of terrorist groups, the effectiveness of counterterrorism policies, modern drivers or causes of terrorism, and the economic consequences of terrorism. In so doing, we investigate a host of questions that include: How do terrorist groups attract and retain m...
8 CitationsSource
We provide an introduction into the recent developments of dynamic mechanism design with a primary focus on the quasilinear case. First, we describe socially optimal (or efficient) dynamic mechanisms. These mechanisms extend the well known Vickrey-Clark-Groves and D’Aspremont-Gerard-Varet mechanisms to a dynamic environment. Second, we discuss results on revenue optimal mechanism. We cover models of sequential screening and revenue maximizing auctions with dynamically changing bidder types. We a...
5 CitationsSource
This essay reviews three recent books on the causes and consequences of student debt. In addition to increases in college tuition and fees, supply and resource constraints both contribute to the growing phenomenon of default: degree completion rates are relatively low, especially at two-year colleges. Default rates actually decrease with the amount of debt incurred, as students who incur more debt are more likely to complete degrees that bolster their earning power. These books suggest some prom...
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