Tag: Economics (Theory and Philosophy)

Biased Algorithms Are Easier to Fix Than Biased People

In one study published 15 years ago, two people applied for a job. Their résumés were about as similar as two résumés can be. One person was named Jamal, the other Brendan. In a study published this year, two patients sought medical care. Both were grappling with diabetes and high blood pressure. One patient was […]

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Could Tax Increases Speed Up the Economy? Democrats Say Yes

WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Warren is leading a liberal rebellion against a long-held economic view that large tax increases slow economic growth, trying to upend Democratic policymaking in the way supply-side conservatives changed Republican orthodoxy four decades ago. Generations of economists, across much of the ideological spectrum, have long held that higher taxes reduce investment, slowing […]

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Planning to Donate? Know What Your Dollar Buys

When we buy stuff, we want to know we’re getting the most for our money. So why don’t we demand the same thing with our charitable donations? If we can buy twice as much good for the same money — or three times as much, or a thousand — why don’t we? “There’s a very […]

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When a Disappointment Helped Lead to a Nobel Prize

When Michael Kremer looked at the data for a study underway in Kenya in the 1990s, he was taken aback. Mr. Kremer, a professor at Harvard, expected that the data would show how much better children in western Kenya did in school when they had textbooks. But the preliminary answer was: not at all. “I […]

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Meet the Leftish Economist With a New Story About Capitalism

Mariana Mazzucato was freezing. Outside, it was a humid late-September day in Manhattan, but inside — in a Columbia University conference space full of scientists, academics and businesspeople advising the United Nations on sustainability — the air conditioning was on full blast. For a room full of experts discussing the world’s most urgent social and […]

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Big Business Is Overcharging You

When Thomas Philippon moved to Boston from his native France 20 years ago, he was a graduate student on a budget, and he was happy to discover how cheap American telephone use was. In those days of dial-up internet connections, going online involved long local phone calls that could cost more than $10 apiece in […]

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The Way We Measure the Economy Obscures What Is Really Going On

Every quarter, we look to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis for new data on the total income and output of the economy. The nation’s topline indicator of economic performance is gross domestic product — the sum total of all that’s produced in our economy. If you pay attention to that indicator only, it would […]

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Economic Incentives Don’t Always Do What We Want Them To

At least since Adam Smith and his famous B’s (“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.”), a fundamental premise of economics has been that financial incentives are the primary driver of human behavior. Over the […]

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Women Are Missing at Central Banks

FRANKFURT — The European Central Bank might seem an unlikely place to hold a conference on gender equality. Or it might be exactly the kind of place that needs to. Only one member of the bank’s policymaking Governing Council is a woman — and she recently announced her resignation. The situation is similar at other […]

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Pioneers in Poverty Alleviation Share the Nobel Economics Prize

Economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, both of M.I.T., and Harvard’s Michael Kremer have spent more than 20 years helping to revolutionize the way that researchers study — and help — the world’s poor. On Monday, their experimental approach toward poverty alleviation won them the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Ms. Duflo, 46, […]

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Nobel in Economics Is Awarded for Work Toward Alleviating Poverty

Three professors who have done experimental work toward alleviating poverty have been awarded the Nobel in economic sciences: Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, both of M.I.T., and Michael Kremer of Harvard University. Professor Duflo is the second woman and, at 46, the youngest person to win the economics prize. Why did they win? According to […]

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The Fed, Long Dominated by White Men, Is Trying to Change

The Federal Reserve’s research staff is far less diverse than the American population it is meant to serve, a reality that the central bank is trying to change as a reckoning over inclusion sweeps through the economics profession. Three in four Fed economists are men and a majority of those are white. That matters beyond […]

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Economics Needs More Black Women

Economics is neither a welcoming nor a supportive profession for women. In 2017, Alice H. Wu, now a doctoral student in economics at Harvard, published an eye-opening study of online conversations among economists that provided convincing evidence that overt sexism was a serious problem in the field. Last year the economist Roland G. Fryer Jr., […]

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The White-Collar Job Apocalypse That Didn’t Happen

Ron Kincaid remembers what it was like to worry that his job would be sent overseas. Globalization had ravaged American manufacturing, and now, in the first years of the new century, economists were warning that offshoring — the relocating of work to other countries — was coming for white-collar jobs like his as well. For […]

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The Virtuous Corporation Is Not an Oxymoron

At a time when the federal government is doing little to nothing on matters of great public concern — gun control, paid parental leave, higher wages, you name it — the corporate sector has been urged, pushed and sometimes shamed to fill in the gaps. This year Amazon decided, under pressure, to raise wages for […]

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An Interview With Andrew Yang, an Outsider at Tonight’s Democratic Debate

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device: Via Apple Podcasts | Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher Andrew Yang, a former tech executive, remains one of the least known candidates in a Democratic presidential field that includes senators, mayors, a governor and a former vice president. But by focusing on the potential impact […]

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Are Democrats Throwing Away the Senate?

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | RadioPublic | Stitcher Could Democrats actually retake the Senate next year? Or are they already blowing their best chance? This week on “The Argument,” the columnists talk the state of the other 2020 race(s) worth paying attention […]

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Blame Economists for the Mess We’re In

In the early 1950s, a young economist named Paul Volcker worked as a human calculator in an office deep inside the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He crunched numbers for the people who made decisions, and he told his wife that he saw little chance of ever moving up. The central bank’s leadership included […]

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Goldbugs for Trump

Before going to the White House, Donald Trump demanded that the Fed raise interest rates despite high unemployment and low inflation. Now he’s demanding rate cuts, even though the unemployment rate is much lower and inflation at least a bit higher. To be fair, there is a real economic argument for rate cuts as insurance […]

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