conversableeconomist

Rural Poverty

Rural poverty is often overlooked. In the Spring 2021 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review,  Robert Atkins, Sarah Allred and Daniel Hart discuss "Philanthropy’s Rural Blind Spot," about how philanthropies have typically put much more time and attention on urban poverty than rural poverty. They write: Most large foundations are located in metropolitan areas and have built relationships with institutions and...

conversableeconomist

Interview with Seema Jayachandran: Women and Development, Deforestation, and Other Topics

Douglas Clement and Anjali Nair have collaborated to produce a "Seema Jayachandran interview: On deforestation, corruption, and the roots of gender inequality" (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, February 12, 2021). Here are a couple of samples: The U-shaped relationship between economic development and women's labor force participationThere’s a famous U-shaped relationship in the data between economic development and...

conversableeconomist

Why Have Other High-Income Countries Dropped Wealth Taxes?

Advocates of a wealth tax for the United States need to confront a basic question: Why have  other high-income countries decided to drop their own wealth taxes? Sarah Perret explores this issue in "Why did other wealth taxes fail and is this time different? (Wealth and Policy Commission, Working Paper #6, 2020). Perret writes;  In 1990, there were twelve OECD countries, all in Europe, that levied individual net wealth taxes....

conversableeconomist

The Reproducibility Challenge with Economic Data

One basic standard of economic research is surely that someone else should be able to reproduce what you have done. They don't have to agree with what you've done. They may think your data is terrible and your methodology is worse. But as a minimal standard, they should be able to reproduce your result, so that the follow-up research can then be in a position to think about what might have been done differently or better.  This...

conversableeconomist

The Broken Promises of the Freedman's Savings Bank: 1865-1874

The Freedman's Savings Bank lasted from 1865 to 1874. It was founded by the US government to provide financial services to former slaves: in particular, there was concern that if black veterans of the Union army did not have bank accounts, they would not be able to receive their pay. In terms of setting up branches and receiving deposits, the bank was a considerable success. However, the management of the bank ranged from uninvolved to...

conversableeconomist

More on the Origins of "Pushing on a String"

Tie a string to an object. When you pull on a string, the object on the other end comes toward you. But when you push on a string, the object at the other end of the string is unaffected, because the string just crumples up. For economists, "pushing on a string" refers to the idea that monetary policy may (in certain circumstances) be more effective at reducing inflation even at the cost of a recession than it is at...