How to Renegotiate NAFTA. Kenneth Rogoff, April 24, 2017, Opinion, “US President Donald Trump’s administration says that it is sticking with its campaign promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Indeed, Trump has now reiterated his intention to invoke the procedures for renegotiating NAFTA soon (within “the next two weeks”), triggering a 90-day consultation period with the US Congress, before talks with Mexico and Canada commence. Assuming that happens – a very big if – it is worth asking how renegotiation could be done right.Link

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How Best to Tax Business. N. Gregory Mankiw, April 23, 2017, Opinion, “The details of the tax code may not make your heart sing, but they are enormously important and, at long last, they may be changing. In fact, the next 12 months are shaping up to be a critically important time.  Despite an uneven start, tax reform is on the agenda in Congress. And the ideas being considered, especially regarding business taxation, are not mere tweaks to our ossified system. They would profoundly alter how the government raises money and upend the incentives for private decision makers. This is fascinating to tax policy nerds like me. But it is important for everyone to understand.Link

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Reforming land use regulations. Edward Glaeser, April 22, 2017, Opinion, “Arguably, land use controls have a more widespread impact on the lives of ordinary Americans than any other regulation. These controls, typically imposed by localities, make housing more expensive and restrict the growth of America’s most successful metropolitan areas. These regulations have accreted over time with virtually no cost-benefit analysis. Restricting growth is often locally popular. Promoting affordability is hardly a financially attractive aim for someone who owns a home. Yet the maze of local land use controls imposes costs on outsiders, and on the American economy as a whole.Link

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Harvard’s Amartya Sen Says European Unity Is Important. Amartya Sen, April 20, 2017, Video, “Amartya Sen, Nobel laureate and Harvard professor, discusses his warning to Marine Le Pen about using his ideas to campaign against the EU. He speaks with Bloomberg’s David Gura on “What’d You Miss?”Link

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Why the U.S. Is Still Richer Than Every Other Large Country. Martin Feldstein, April 20, 2017, Opinion, “Each year, the United States produces more per person than most other advanced economies. In 2015 real GDP per capita was $56,000 in the United States. The real GDP per capita in that same year was only $47,000 in Germany, $41,000 in France and the United Kingdom, and just $36,000 in Italy, adjusting for purchasing power. In short, the U.S. remains richer than its peers. But why?Link

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Household Matters: Revisiting the Returns to Capital among Female Micro-entrepreneurs. Rohini Pande, April 17, 2017, Paper, “Several field experiments find positive returns to grants for male and not female microentrepreneurs. But, these analyses largely overlook that male and female micro-entrepreneurs often belong to the same household. Using data from randomized trials in India, Sri Lanka and Ghana, we show that the gender gap in microenterprise performance is not due to a gap in aptitude. Instead, low average returns of female-run enterprises are observed because women’s capital is invested into their husbands’ enterprises rather than their own. When women are the sole household enterprise operator, capital shocks lead to large increases in profits. Household-level income gains are equivalent regardless of the grant or loan recipient’s gender.” Link

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Multinational Activity in Emerging Markets: How and When Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Growth? Laura Alfaro, 2017, Paper, “Among the prominent economic trends in recent decades is the exponential increase in flows of goods and capital driven by technological progress and falling of restrictions. A key driver of this phenomenon has been the cross-border production, foreign investment, and trade both final and intermediate goods by multinational corporations. Research has sought to understand how foreign direct investment (FDI) affects host economies. This paper reviews the main theories and empirical evidence of two streams of literature: the mechanisms by which multinational activity might create positive effects and externalities to countries and the role of complementary local conditions, also known as “absorptive capacities,” that allow a country to reap the benefits of FDI paying particular attention to the role of factor markets, reallocation effects, and the linkages generated between foreign and domestic firms.Link

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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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The Responsibilities and Role of Business in Relation to Society: Back to Basics? Nien-hê Hsieh, April 11, 2017, Paper, “In this address, I outline a “back to basics” approach to specifying the responsibilities and role of business in relation to society. Three “basics” comprise the approach. The first is arguing that basic principles of ordinary morality, such as a duty not to harm, provide an adequate basis for specifying the responsibilities of business managers. The second is framing the role of business in society by looking to the values realized by the basic building blocks of contemporary economic activity, i.e., markets and firms. The third is making explicit the basic institutions that structure the background against which business operates. The aim is to develop a plausible framework for managerial decision making that respects the fact of value pluralism in a global economy and that fosters meaningful criticism of current business practices while remaining sufficiently grounded in contemporary circumstances so as to be relevant for managers. Link

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Coordination Frictions in Venture Capital Syndicates. Ramana Nanda, Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, April 11, 2017, Paper, “An extensive literature on venture capital has studied asymmetric information and agency problems between investors and entrepreneurs, examining how separating entrepreneurs from the investor can create frictions that might inhibit the funding of good projects. It has largely abstracted away from the fact that a startup typically does not have just one investor, but several VCs that come together in a syndicate to finance a venture. In this chapter, we therefore argue for an expansion of the standard perspective to also include frictions within VC syndicates.Link

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