Are U.S. Exchange Rates Too High, Too Low, or Just Right?

Currency exchanges rates between any two countries are determined by a variety of factors including their balance of trade and payments, capital flows (both restricted and unrestricted), and monetary policies.  In a recent posting on Conversable Economics, Timothy Taylor argued that “all exchange rates are bad” (meaning that they generate some negative consequences.)  Although this … More Are U.S. Exchange Rates Too High, Too Low, or Just Right?

Monetary Policy in an Age of Radical Uncertainty (reposting)

This commentary was originally posted on July 25th, 2016. Central bankers in all major developed economies have adopted NIRP, ZIRP, or near ZIRP policies.  The Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank now “offer” negative interest rates (NIRP) on deposits and project to do so for the foreseeable future.  The Bank of England and […]

More Monetary Policy in an Age of Radical Uncertainty (reposting)

Myths About International Trade

This blog posting seeks to provide some starting points for discussion about the benefits and costs of international trade.  In this particular posting, I address aggregate national considerations and do not address either exchange rate effects or distributional effects within the U.S. or any other country. Those will be topics for future postings. In order to make … More Myths About International Trade

Human vs. Digital Labor: Will The Results This Time Be Different?

Since the industrial revolution in England in the 19th century, many policy makers and the public at large have been concerned about the effects of automation on jobs.  For example in 1961, Time magazine published a provocative article entitled “The Automation Jobless,” which posited that efficient machines and productivity improvement would eliminate many low and … More Human vs. Digital Labor: Will The Results This Time Be Different?

Obamacare: Repeal and Delay or Replace Then Repeal

This blog posting opines on what might lie ahead for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). In a previous posting, I commented on the unlikely case for total repeal; the musings below address where potential resolutions might exist and where they will be difficult to obtain. There appear to be several principles … More Obamacare: Repeal and Delay or Replace Then Repeal

Incentives Matter But So Does Context

Economist Steven Landsburg famously claimed that economics can be defined in two words:  “incentives matter.”  For Landsburg, all else is commentary.  In a 2013 book entitled The Why Axis, Uri Gneezy and John List explore in detail how incentives matter.  Characterizing economics as a behavioral science, they seek to understand what affects individual behavior based on … More Incentives Matter But So Does Context