Economics

Mapping America’s Recovery

Andrew Imbrie— Imagine a country laid low by foreign wars, ravaged by plague, and weakened by political dysfunction, economic recession, and multiple bankruptcies. Instead of preparing for the future, its leaders engage in fierce disputes over the balance of trade, wage bitter debates over religion and immigration, and stoke tensions

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Why Income Inequality Matters for Global Growth and Trade

Matthew C. Klein— The distribution of income has macroeconomic consequences. Under certain conditions, income concentration (rising inequality) can make society as a whole more prosperous. Other times, such as in the past few decades, however, high or rising inequality makes everyone worse off than they otherwise would be. The trade

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Unemployment and Bankruptcy in the Middle Class

Teresa A. Sullivan, Elizabeth Warren, and Jay Lawrence Westbrook— Just how significant job problems are for bankruptcy filers can be determined in at least two ways. One is to ask people in bankruptcy systematically about their work histories. The second is to ask them why they filed for bankruptcy and

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Multilateralism in Global Health

Kathryn C. Lavelle— The political boundaries that humans construct rarely confine disease. Thus, medicine is humanity’s most transnational endeavor. To understand systems of coordinating relations across states in accordance with certain principles of conduct, international relations uses the term multilateralism, which can be grounded in specific international organizations (IOs) or

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Fiber Connectivity in the United States

Susan Crawford— In the United States, we cannot even imagine cheap, unlimited communications capacity in our homes. Because of decades of political maneuvering by the enormous private companies that sell internet access to American consumers, a lack of leadership at the federal level, and the invisibility of this entire policy

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The Rise of Seapower

Andrew Lambert— Seapower, a distinctive socio-political response to unique circumstances, emerged in the eastern Mediterranean between 2000 and 500 BC. Sea cities evolved to service the resource demands of great land-locked powers: Egypt, Anatolia and above all Mesopotamia. Sailing ships moved timber and metals over increasing distances. Insular Tyre, the

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Populism in France

Christophe Guilluy— Amid a fanfare of republican self-congratulation, France has embraced globalization in all its glory. Wherever one looks, from the chronic alternation between traditional parties of the center left and center right to the denial of democracy itself, with the farcical referendum of 2005 on a European constitution, it

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Fear and Financial Crisis

Ben S. Bernanke, Timothy F. Geithner, Henry M. Paulson Jr.— The crisis of 2008 was a classic financial panic, a staple of economic history at least since the Dutch tulip crisis of 1637, except this time it was rooted in a mania over dubious mortgages rather than fashionable flowers. As

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My Doctor Told Me the Cost of the Appointment . . . Give or Take $200!

Peter A. Ubel— I had a persistent skin condition, and my dermatologist thought I should see someone with more experience caring for that kind of lesion. So, I went to a new dermatologist—I will call her Dr. Freezeitoff. At the front desk, the clerk reminded me that Dr. Freezeitoff wasn’t

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Why Do Markets Collapse?

Robert Skidelsky— Macroeconomics is about money and government, and their relationship. The unsettled questions in macroeconomic policy stem from disputes about the part money plays in economic life, and the part government should play. For 250 years, the dominant view of the economic profession has been that money is of

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