When it comes to crime, we are easily swayed by false perceptions and information. We lose our wallet to a pickpocket or hear about a mugging in our generally safe neighborhood and immediately assume that we are in the midst of a crime epidemic. We are pushed to anxiety by politicians who peddle exaggerated homicide statistics to prove they are tough on crime; by the … [Read more...] about When Anti-Crime Strategies Reflect Ignorance Rather than Knowledge
Politics and Institutions
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?
Latin America and the Caribbean is in a punitive mood. The penitentiary population doubled in 17 countries to 1.2 million between 2002 and 2014 as a result of tougher sentencing of criminals and could triple to almost 3.4 million people by 2030. Citizens, meanwhile, demand harsher sentences. In Chile, one of the region's safest countries, a government-sponsored poll released … [Read more...] about Tougher Sentences: The Key to Fighting Crime in Latin America?
Latin America and the Caribbean has a difficult puzzle to solve. Growing national income is feeding demands for more and better government services. At the same time, because many governments increased expenditure during the years of the commodity boom and now face less favorable external conditions, they will need to adjust. In a context of external headwinds there is … [Read more...] about Greater Efficiency and the Path to a Prosperous Future for Latin America and the Caribbean
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