Found 472 article(s) in category 'Fiscal Policy'

Larry Summers Sees More Downside Risks

Larry Summers Sees More Downside Risks. Lawrence Summers, April 12, 2017, Video, “Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said that while it’s difficult to call a market top, valuations have gotten ahead of the economy in recent months. “I’m not sure that I see what in the economy would justify a market move of the magnitude we’ve seen in the last months,” Summers said in an interview Wednesday on Bloomberg Television. “It wouldn’t surprise me if people look back and see that there was a bit of a sugar high in some of the valuations that we’re seeing.”” Link

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Optimal Taxation and Insurance Using Machine Learning

Optimal Taxation and Insurance Using Machine Learning. Maximilian Kasy, April 10, 2017, Paper, “How should one use (quasi-)experimental evidence when choosing policies such as tax rates, health insurance copay, unemployment benefit levels, class sizes in schools, etc.? This paper suggests an approach based on maximizing posterior expected social welfare, combining insights from (i) optimal policy theory as developed in the field of public finance, and (ii) machine learning using Gaussian process priors. We provide explicit formulas for posterior expected social welfare and optimal policies in a wide class of policy problems.Link

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Conceptual and Historical Foundations of Foreign Aid

Conceptual and Historical Foundations of Foreign Aid. Dustin Tingley, April 2017, Paper, “Foreign aid is a policy instrument of limited budgetary scope that nonetheless generates highly contentious debate. Yet while the contemporary scholarly literature almost exclusively considers aid in the post-World War II era, we argue that also considering aid in earlier periods of history helps to better understand the broader politics of foreign aid. Neglect of this deeper history of foreign aid specifically produces three misconceptions: that foreign aid is a uniquely modern policy instrument, that foreign aid is relatively homogenous in donor intent, and that foreign aid’s scope is primarily limited to the contemporary humanitarian interventions upon which the bulk of scholarly analysis is centered.Link

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Conclusion: Time for Participatory Budgeting to Grow Up

Conclusion: Time for Participatory Budgeting to Grow Up. Josh Lerner, February 13, 2017, Paper, “Only a few years ago, participatory budgeting (PB) in the US was in its infancy, a tiny experiment in democracy. After a five-year growth spurt, PB has entered its awkward adolescence, full of bold achievements, flashes of potential, and some stumbles. PBNYC’s innovation has raised new questions for participatory democracy, as the contributors to this special issue highlight. In this article, I lift up the key impacts and challenges that they discuss, and their practical implications. I argue that for PBNYC and other PB processes to grow up, city leaders need to invest in equity, expand project eligibility and funding, and scale PB up to the city level.” Link

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The Political Economy of Transportation Investment

The Political Economy of Transportation Investment. Edward Glaeser, January 2017, Paper, “Will politics lead to over-building or under-building of transportation projects? In this paper, we develop a model of infrastructure policy in which politicians overdo things that have hidden costs and underperform tasks whose costs voters readily perceive. Consequently, national funding of transportation leads to overspending, since voters more readily perceive the upside of new projects than the future taxes that will be paid for distant highways. Yet when local voters are well-informed, the highly salient nuisances of local construction, including land taking and noise, lead to under-building. This framework explains the decline of urban mega-projects in the US (Altshuler and Lubero§ 2003) as the result of increasingly educated and organized urban voters. Our framework also predicts more per capita transportation spending in low-density and less educated areas, which seems to be empirically correct.Link

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The Trump Deficit

The Trump Deficit. Kenneth Rogoff, January 16, 2017, Opinion, “It is a post-financial-crisis myth that austerity-minded conservative governments always favor fiscal prudence, while redistribution-oriented progressives view large deficits as the world’s biggest free lunch. This simplistic perspective, while perhaps containing a grain of truth, badly misses the true underlying political economy of deficits.Link

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Larry Summers on Public Investment

Larry Summers on Public Investment. Lawrence Summers, January 9, 2017, Video, “Larry Summers, both a former Obama administration White House Economic Council director and secretary of the treasury in the Clinton administration, made remarks on public investments during the Trump administration. He stressed the importance of public investments in transportation, drinking water, and education, and for the need to responsibly finance them. Following his remarks, Ed Glaeser, a Harvard University economics professor, discussed with Mr. Summers the merits and pitfalls of various financing mechanisms to fund infrastructure projects.Link

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On Welfare Economics in the Principles Course

On Welfare Economics in the Principles Course. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2016, Paper, “I much enjoyed reading these articles by Steve Schmidt and Jonathan B. Wight on the normative underpinnings of how we teach introductory economics. I have long believed that teaching the fundamentals of economics to the next generation of voters is among the highest callings of our profession. It is therefore useful to regularly reflect on whether we are doing it well and how we might do it better.Link

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