Found 468 article(s) in category 'Fiscal Policy'

Fiscal Rules and Sovereign Default

Fiscal Rules and Sovereign Default. Laura Alfaro, February 2016, Paper. “We provide a quantitative analysis of fiscal rules in a standard model of sovereign debt accumulation and default, modified to incorporate quasi-hyperbolic preferences. For reasons of political economy or aggregation of citizens’ preferences, government preferences are present biased, resulting in over accumulation of debt. A quantitative exercise calibrated to Brazil finds welfare gains of the optimal fiscal policy to be economically substantial, and the optimal rule to not entail a countercyclical fiscal policy.Link

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Infrastructure, Incentives and Institutions

Infrastructure, Incentives and Institutions. Edward Glaeser, January 2016, Paper. “Cities generate negative, as well as positive, externalities; addressing those externalities requires both infrastructure and institutions. Providing clean water and removing refuse requires water and sewer pipes, but the urban poor are often unwilling to pay for the costs of that piping. Standard welfare economics teaches us that either subsidies or Pigouvian fines can solve that problem, but both solution are problematic when institutions are weak. Subsidies lead to waste and corruption; fines lead to extortion of the innocent. Zambia has attempted to solve its problem with subsidies alone, but the subsidies have been too small to solve the “last-mile problem” and so most poor households remain unconnected to the water and sewer system. In nineteenth-century New York, subsidies also proved insufficient and were largely replaced by a penalty-based system … Link

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Productivity and Selection of Human Capital with Machine Learning

Productivity and Selection of Human Capital with Machine Learning. Michael Luca, Sendhil Mullainathan, 2016, Paper. “Economists have become increasingly interested in studying the nature of production functions in social policy applications, Y = f(L, K), with the goal of improving productivity. For example what is the effect on student learning from hiring an additional teacher, ∂Y/∂L, in theory (Lazear, 2001) or in practice (Krueger, 2003)? What is the effect of hiring one more police officer (Levitt, 1997)?Link

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Global Social Protection: Setting the Agenda

Global Social Protection: Setting the Agenda. Jocelyn Viterna, 2015, Paper, “In todays’ world, more than 220 million people live in a country that is not their own. Many people live transnational lives but the social contract between citizen and state is national. How are people on the move protected and provided for in this new global context? Have institutional sources of social welfare begun to cross borders to meet the needs of transnational individuals? This paper proposes a new Global Social Protection (GSP) research agenda, summarizing what we know and what we need to do moving forward. What protections exist for migrants, how are the organized across borders, who can access them and who gets left out? .Link

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On Interesting Policymakers

On Interesting Policymakers. Cass Sunstein, November 2015, Opinion. “If a nation created a Council of Psychological Science Advisers, what would it do? The closest analogy in the United States, of course, is the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), whose advice often matters a great deal. The reason is not typically that the CEA offers interesting or novel academic findings. It is that public officials want to solve concrete policy problems, and the CEA (and other economists, found throughout the national government) can help them to do so. Suppose that the President of the United States wants his advisors to decide whether to adopt a “cash for clunkers” program, by which the government provides money to subsidize people who trade in their old vehicles for new ones. If the President seeks to stimulate the economy, and also to produce environmental improvements, economists will provide indispensable guidance (above all by projecting the results of the program with a useful cost–benefit analysis).Link

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A Strategy to Promote Affordable Housing for All Americans By Recapitalizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

A Strategy to Promote Affordable Housing for All Americans By Recapitalizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Elaine Kamarck, November 2015, Paper. “From 1938 to the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), joined in 1970 by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), supported steady, strong increases in home ownership and access to affordable housing for millions of Americans. The share of American households owning their own home increased from less than 43% in 1940 to more than 69% in 2005, at which time Fannie and Freddie owned or …” Link

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U.S. Debt Prioritization Won’t Work

U.S. Debt Prioritization Won’t Work. Lawrence Summers, October 21, 2015, Video. “Harvard University President Emeritus Lawrence Summers talks with Betty Liu about the nation’s looming debt ceiling limit, the strength of the U.S. economy and the threat of a recession and the public and private investment in the United States. He speaks at the Creating Long-Term Value event hosted by the Center for American Progress on Bloomberg Markets.Link

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Larry Summers: Fixing America’s roads would essentially pay for itself

Larry Summers: Fixing America’s roads would essentially pay for itself. Lawrence Summers, October 13, 2015, Opinion. “There are many compelling arguments for increasing American infrastructure investment. Capital costs are exceptionally low. Construction labor is highly available. Materials costs are low as commodity prices have fallen. Investment is low by historic standards. Investing today relieves the burden of deferred maintenance for future generations. Here is another one. Maintaining our infrastructure directly benefits American families and businesses because with fewer potholes they have to spend less maintaining their vehicles…Link

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A Tax Boon for Working Women

A Tax Boon for Working Women. Martin Feldstein, October 5, 2015, Opinion. “The U.S. tax code is unfair to women who work. It also discourages women from working and from obtaining the skills that would lead to higher wages. In addition, there is a ‘marriage penalty’ for many working couples with either very low incomes or very high incomes who face a tax increase if they marry. The tax plan released last month by Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush would correct these unfair rules…Link

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