Economics

The Hidden Hindrance to Innovation

Fredrik Erixon & Björn Weigel— What’s ailing Western economies? They are suffering from multiple problems: declining growth in GDP per capita; a slower pace of productivity and corporate investment growth; a workforce that is generally unhappy with their jobs; and a general reduction of economic opportunity. However, there is one factor that

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The Rise of the Arab Gulf States

Rory Miller— In the early 1970s, the six Sunni Muslim monarchies of the Arab Gulf—Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait—took control of their own fortunes. Since then, they have used their oil and gas wealth to pursue stability at home and influence abroad. In

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Who Owns Sovereign Wealth?

Angela Cummine— Last week, Alaskans received their annual dividend check from the Alaska Permanent Fund. The $53 billion savings fund was set up in 1976 to preserve and augment a share of the state’s resource revenues for future generations through prudent investment in financial markets. Every year since 1982, a

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The Dilemma of the Sharing Economy

Carlo Ratti and Richard Sennett— In 1899, the American sociologist Thorsten Veblen coined the phrase “conspicuous consumption” in his book The Theory of the Leisure Class. The phrase was double-edged: Veblen was critical of the wealthy flaunting their wealth, but he recognized that more ordinary people used goods and services

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The Economic Implications of Citizenship

Andreas Fahrmeir— U.S. citizenship has emerged as an issue several times during this year’s presidential campaign. There were debates on whether birthright citizenship is (and should be) protected by the constitution, and concerning the relationship between birth in the U.S. and descent from a U.S. citizen in determining whether individuals

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A Closer Look at the Wells Fargo Scandal

Stephen Davis— If you need an example of how the financial system has failed the test of public trust, look no further than Wells Fargo. But it is vital to go deeper than the headline story about fraudulent cross-selling into systemic miscarriages of governance and shareholder oversight. The scandal appears

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The Globalization of the Industrial and Financial Revolutions in the 19th Century

Meghnad Desai— The second half of the nineteenth century witnessed one of the many episodes of globalization. This one was built on the industrial and financial revolutions. The new inventions in transport and communications – railroads, steamships and the introduction of the telegraph – had connected the many parts of

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The Struggle to Define Strong Sustainability

Dieter Helm— The trouble with strong sustainability is that it contains very little by way of guidance as to what we should do, except ‘preserve everything’. It is in essence the claim that natural capital should be regarded as non-substitutable, and hence, following Eric Neumayer, strong sustainability can be called

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“Earning to Give” Leads to Happiness

Peter Singer— In 2013 an article in the Washington Post featured Jason Trigg, an MIT computer science graduate working in finance and giving half of his salary to the Against Malaria Foundation. Trigg was described as part of “an emerging class of young professionals in America and Britain” for whom

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The Price of the Carthaginian Policy in Greece

James K. Galbraith— In the United States we do not consider that there is such a thing as a people of Florida or Rhode Island or even of Texas, who have specific and intrinsic rights to their houses and businesses; nor apart from “buy local” campaigns do we care whether

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