We environmental economists have long advocated carbon taxes as the fastest and most efficient way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from cars and power plants and prevent catastrophic global warming later this century. But carbon taxes can be politically problematic. Witness recent events in France where efforts by the government to increase fuel taxes triggered weeks of … [Read more...] about Can We Reduce Emissions While We Wait for a Carbon Tax?
Microeconomics and Competitiveness
Why do so many New Year’s resolutions revolve around food? It's probably because so many of us eat without restraint, gorging ourselves on extra-large portions; because we know we should be eating less junk and more fruits and vegetables, but still end up reaching for that cookie. It's because what we eat and what we know we should eat don't line up. But it's not only our … [Read more...] about Making Better Food Choices in 2019
As Joana Silva and I document in a recent book, earnings inequality declined in 16 of the 17 countries in Latin America for which consistent statistics can be calculated, although the intensity and turning points diverged across countries. For example, after a decade of stagnant or slowly increasing inequality, the 90th/10th interquantile range of the labor earnings … [Read more...] about Did Education and Job Experience Reduce Inequality in Latin America?
An uncomfortable reality lies behind Latin America’s poor growth performance: gains in productivity have been anemic over the last three decades. The costs in long-term GDP growth, as well as higher wages and living standards for Latin America's people, are steep. Over the last decades most Latin American nations adopted a broad agenda of economic liberalization and … [Read more...] about Reforming Regulations that Harm Productivity and Worker Welfare
In science fiction films, artificial intelligence and robots are the bogeymen of the future, replacing us and rendering us useless as they impose their mechanical will upon us. Economists, though less apocalyptic, are sounding alarms too. In a study, economist Carl Benedikt Frey and machine learning expert Michael Osborne examine more than 700 occupations in the United States. … [Read more...] about Will Robots Really Harm Employment?