Economics

Enduring Dispossession in Indonesia

Christian Lund— In 2013, my friend Oji and I were talking to a group of villagers not far from Garut, in West Java. The land around had been the object of dispute and struggle for generations. It had been taken over from Javanese nobility and peasants by Dutch planters in

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Glenn Beck and the Resurgence of the Austrian School

Janek Wasserman— Americans searching Amazon’s best-seller list in June 2010 would have encountered a surprising title at the top, above the likes of books by Stieg Larsson, George W. Bush, Malcolm Gladwell, and Michael Lewis: Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. The “Definitive Edition” had appeared in 2007, yet it sold only

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Venmo’s “Social Feed” as Financial Scrapbooking

Lana Swartz— In2017 New Yorker comic, Olivia de Recat presents a series of hand-drawn Venmo transactions and decodes what they really mean. Venmo, currently the most widespread person-to-person payment app in the United States, allows individuals to pay their friends directly. According to reporting in the business press, Venmo is

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US Dominance is Over, but China Won’t Take its Place

Paola Subacchi— With President Trump at the helm, the United States has been a controversial and divisive leader whose actions have been detrimental for the international order. Indeed, Trump’s presidency has entailed more than the United States retreating from its role as the international leader as it has also become an active force

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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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