Found 1766 article(s) in category 'Q1: Economic Growth'

Looking Back at Fifty Years of the Clean Air Act

Looking Back at Fifty Years of the Clean Air Act. Joseph Aldy, January 2020, Paper, “Since 1970, transportation, power generation, and manufacturing have dramatically transformed as air pollutant emissions have fallen significantly. To evaluate the causal impacts of the Clean Air Act on these changes, we synthesize and review retrospective analyses of air quality regulations. The geographic heterogeneity in regulatory stringency common to many regulations has important implications for emissions, public health, compliance costs, and employment. Cap-and-trade programs have delivered greater emission reductions at lower cost than conventional regulatory mandates, but policy practice has fallen short of the cost-effective ideal. Implementing regulations in imperfectly competitive markets have also influenced the Clean Air Act’s benefits and costs.Link

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Do Americans really need to be more thrifty?

Do Americans really need to be more thrifty? Lawrence Summers, January 7, 2020, Opinion, “Few economic virtues are more universally applauded than thrift. Going back at least to Ben Franklin, Americans have equated greater thriftiness with greater worthiness. Progressives decry the limited saving and wealth accumulation of middle-income families and express alarm over the widely reported “fact” that 40 percent of Americans cannot come up with $400 in an emergency. Conservatives applaud thrift as an aspect of self-reliance and propose ideas such as health-savings accounts to help families prepare for emergencies. Moderates believe universal social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare, which they label as entitlements, should be modest or even curtailed out of fiscal prudence.Link

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Rising inequality is not balanced by intergenerational mobility

Rising inequality is not balanced by intergenerational mobility. Jason Beckfield, January 7, 2020, Opinion, “The United States currently exhibits more economic inequality than any peer nation, and surveys of US adults support the idea that inequality is acceptable if it is balanced by mobility. Many are untroubled if doctors make 10 or 20 times what janitors make, as long as janitors’ sons have opportunities to become doctors. In an era of rising income and wealth inequality in the United States since the 1970s, that balance of inequality and mobility grows in salience. Enter Song et al.’s paper, “Long-term decline in intergenerational mobility in the United States since the 1850s” (1), which uses linked household and population records on the occupations of generations of US-born white men, along with data from several representative surveys, to describe how social mobility in the United States has changed since before the Civil War and before industrialization transformed economic production. Comparing the occupations of sons to the occupations of their fathers, Song et al. (1) paint a troubling picture of rising intergenerational persistence in occupational status. One’s social class of origin—the class one is born into—has become “stickier” since 1850. That is, sons’ occupations are increasingly predictable from fathers’ occupations. The headline finding is that sons born after 1940—the Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials of today—are significantly less likely to surpass their fathers in occupational attainment. Fewer janitors’ sons are becoming doctors today.Link

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The (Non-) Effect of Opportunity Zones on Housing Prices

The (Non-) Effect of Opportunity Zones on Housing Prices. Edward Glaeser, December 2019, Paper, “Will the Opportunity Zone program, America’s largest new place-based policy in decades, generate neighborhood change? We compare single-family housing price growth in Opportunity Zones with price growth in areas that were eligible but not included in the program. We also compare Opportunity Zones to their nearest geographic neighbors. All estimates rule out price impacts greater than 1.3 percentage points with 95% confidence, suggesting that, so far, home buyers don’t believe that this subsidy will generate major neighborhood change. Opportunity Zone status reduces prices in areas with little employment, perhaps because buyers think that subsidizing new investment will increase housing supply.Link

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Urban migration and housing during resource booms: The case of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana

Urban migration and housing during resource booms: The case of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana. Michael Hooper, 2019, Paper, “This paper investigates the relationship between urban migration and housing in the context of an emergent oil boom in Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana. The paper responds to the relative lack of research on resource boom-driven urbanization, particularly in Africa, and on the way in which urban migration shapes, and is shaped by, housing conditions. The paper analyzes the relationship between housing conditions and urban migrants’ choice of residential locations. Drawing on both qualitative and quantitative analysis of data from 322 surveys in two neighborhoods of Sekondi-Takoradi, the paper draws three primary conclusions. First, migrants’ choices regarding where they live are premised on neighborhood housing conditions. Second, most migrants are urban-urban migrants which means that the predominant theories of urban growth are poorly equipped to address the urban transformation occurring in Sekondi-Takoradi. Finally, migrants’ housing choices have considerable urban form implications, promoting in different contexts both urban densification and urban sprawl. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of these findings in the Ghanaian and wider African contexts.Link

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The Impact of Intranational Trade Barriers on Exports: Evidence from a Nationwide VAT Rebate Reform in China

The Impact of Intranational Trade Barriers on Exports: Evidence from a Nationwide VAT Rebate Reform in China. Jie Bai, December 2019, Paper, “It is well known that various forms of non-tariff trade barriers exist within a country. Empirically, it is difficult to measure these barriers as they can take many forms. We take advantage of a nationwide VAT rebate policy reform in China as a natural experiment to identify the existence of these intranational barriers due to local protectionism and study the impact on exports and exporting firms. As a result of shifting tax rebate burden, the reform leads to a greater incentive of the provincial governments to block the domestic flow of non-local goods to local export intermediaries. We develop an open-economy heterogenous firm model that incorporates multiple domestic regions and multiple exporting technologies, including the intermediary sector. Consistent with the model’s predictions, we find that rising local protectionism leads to a reduction in interprovincial trade, more “inward-looking” sourcing behavior of local intermediaries, and a reduction in manufacturing exports. Analysis using micro firm-level data further shows that private companies with greater baseline reliance on export intermediaries are more adversely affected.Link

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Carbon Tax Review and Updating: Institutionalizing an Act-Learn-Act Approach to U.S. Climate Policy

Carbon Tax Review and Updating: Institutionalizing an Act-Learn-Act Approach to U.S. Climate Policy. Joseph Aldy, 2019, Paper, “The design of climate change policy faces the challenge of several key uncertainties. First, the potential benefits of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are characterized by an array of uncertainties related to long-term economic growth, climate sensitivity, the effectiveness of emissions mitigation policy, and the climate risk mitigation actions undertaken through adaptation and geoengineering (Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon 2010; Greenstone, Kopits, and Wolverton 2013; Aldy 2015; Taylor 2015). Second, the potential costs of reducing emissions are characterized by uncertainties about the relative costs of low-carbon and carbon-intensive energy sources, technological innovation, consumer responsiveness to energy price changes, as well as the cost-effectiveness of policy design (Aldy et al. 2010). Third, the distributional consequences of climate change and climate policy responses are also characterized by uncertainty (Burtraw, Sweeney, and Walls 2009; Metcalf 2009; Rausch et al 2011; Carleton et al. 2018). Finally, the competitiveness impacts of emissions mitigation policy are uncertain and may vary with the relative stringency of policies around the world, transportation costs, and the energy intensity of manufacturing (Ederington, Levinson, and Minier 2005; Aldyand Pizer 2015; Aldy2017b).Link

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Cities

Cities. Edward Glaeser, December 2019, Paper, “The United Nations forecasts that “Africa’s urban population is likely to nearly triple between 2018 and 2050”. Together, Africa and India account for almost two thirds of the projected growth in the world’s urban population from 4.2 billion in 2018 to 6.7 billion in 2050. The urbanisation of our planet’s poorer countries is one of the most important phenomena of the twenty-first century and a critical component of structural change. Yet, our intellectual tools for dealing with the great challenges of developing-country cities remain underdeveloped. In this paper, we survey the economics of developing-country cities and try to make the case that development economists should spend more of their time thinking about and working in cities and urban economists should spend more of their time thinking about and working in developing countries.Link

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A Roadmap for Investment Promotion and Export Diversification: The Case of Jordan

A Roadmap for Investment Promotion and Export Diversification: The Case of Jordan. Ricardo Hausmann, Miguel Angel Santos, December 2019, Paper, “Jordan faces a number of pressing economic challenges: low growth, high unemployment, rising debt levels, and continued vulnerability to regional shocks. After a decade of fast economic growth, the economy decelerated with the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09. From then onwards, various external shocks have thrown its economy out of balance and prolonged the slowdown for over a decade now. Conflicts in neighboring countries have led to reduced demand from key export markets and cut off important trade routes. Foreign direct investment, which averaged 12.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) between 2003-2009, fell to 5.1% of GDP over the 2010-2017. Regional conflicts have interrupted the supply of gas from Egypt – forcing Jordan to import oil at a time of record prices, had a negative impact on tourism, and also provoked a massive influx of migrants and refugees. Failure to cope with 50.4% population growth between led to nine consecutive years (2008-2017) of negative growth rates in GDP per capita, resulting in a cumulative loss of 14.0% over the past decade (2009-2018). Debt to GDP ratios, which were at 55% by the end of 2009, have skyrocketed to 94%.Link

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