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Tag Archives: Development

Tax evasion and inequality

Summary How widespread is tax evasion – and what does that imply for the true extent of inequality? New research explores these questions by analyzing a unique dataset of leaked customer lists from offshore financial institutions (‘’Swiss Leaks’ from HSBC Switzerland and the ‘Panama Papers’ of Mossack Fonseca) and tax amnesties conducted in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008-09. These are then...

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Tax evasion and inequality

Summary How widespread is tax evasion – and what does that imply for the true extent of inequality? New research explores these questions by analyzing a unique dataset of leaked customer lists from offshore financial institutions (‘’Swiss Leaks’ from HSBC Switzerland and the ‘Panama Papers’ of Mossack Fonseca) and tax amnesties conducted in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008-09. These are then...

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Growth and well-being: policy should not be based on GDP alone

Economists are often accused of focusing excessively on GDP, with the result that government policies make GDP a priority to the detriment of other contributors to well-being. This research proposes a broader summary statistic that incorporates consumption, leisure, mortality and inequality. While the new statistic is highly correlated with GDP per capita, cross-national deviations are often large: Western Europe looks considerably closer to the United States; emerging Asia has...

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The economics of density: evidence from the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall provides a unique natural experiment for identifying the key sources of urban development. This research, for which its authors have recently been awarded the prestigious Frisch Medal, shows how property prices and economic activity in the east side of West Berlin, close to the historic central business district in East Berlin, began to fall when the city was divided; then, during the 1990s, after reunification, the same area began to redevelop. Theory and...

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Cultural proximity and loans

In many, many cases, people have a preference for working and doing business with those who share the same religious beliefs, come from the same geographic region, or have something else in common. If this preference arises from discrimination against other groups – if there is economically inefficient favoritism – the economy will not reach its full potential. But could there also be efficiency gains from transacting with people who are culturally proximate? If so, is it...

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Absolute poverty: when necessity displaces desire

How many poor people are there in the world?  Where are they located? Are economic development and globalisation increasing or decreasing their number?  If so, which countries have been most affected? To answer these questions, we need a metric to measure poverty. There already exists a widely recognized metric for measuring poverty–the World Bank’s famous $-a-day poverty line.  However, this measure does not account for differences in basic needs across countries. For example,...

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W. Arthur Lewis and the Tradeoffs of Economics and Economists

From Vox EU: W. Arthur Lewis and the tradeoffs of economics and economists, by Ravi Kanbur, VoxEU: There is nothing new under the sun. The passionate political economy discourses of today consume us entirely. But they are in fact perennials, broaching the fundamental questions of economic policy that have ruled supreme since economics gained an independence of sorts from moral philosophy 250 years ago.1 The nature of market failure, the case for government intervention on grounds of...

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Is ”Neo-Imperialism” the Only Path to Development?

Branko Milanovic: Is “neo-imperialism” the only path to development?: As is well-known (or should be well-known) Marxism has gradually developed two approaches to imperialism. Marx’s own position was (until the very last years of his life) essentially and unbendingly positive: imperialism, however brutal and disruptive, was the engine whereby more advanced social formation, namely capitalism, was introduced in and transformed more backward societies. Marx’s own writings on the British...

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What is Inclusive Growth?

Tim Taylor: What is Inclusive Growth?: "Inclusive growth" is an unquestionably astute rhetorical formulation. Those who use it can support both economic growth and helping the poor in a two-word phrase. But where did the term come from? Does the term have different content from seemingly similar terms like "broad-based growth" or "pro-poor growth"? Or do all these terms mean pretty much the same thing? Most of all, is "inclusive growth" a specific set...

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‘Reality Check in the Factory’

This is from Peter Dizikes at MIT News: Reality check in the factory: When the globalization of manufacturing took flight a few decades ago, the problem of industrial workplace safety also became fully globalized. As many scholars, human-rights advocates, and labor leaders have observed, that challenge consists of more than just persuading developing nations to create labor laws — it is also a matter of enforcing those labor laws. Indeed, enforcement may be the greater challenge, as new...

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