Thomas Piketty Made the Case for Privatizing Social Security
French economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been making waves over the past few weeks for its excellent analysis of the historical evolution of wealth inequality.
The crux of the book’s analysis rests on one ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: Geographical Variation in the Cost of Healthcare
I’ve written a lot here about the problems with a Dartmouth approach to healthcare. This school of thought owes a lot to the Dartmouth Atlas, which uncovered large geographical variations in the cost of medical care seemingly unconnected to ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: Causes of Inequality
Income Inequality is higher these days, but the reasons behind the rise matter. To the extent that greater inequality is the result of genuine shifts in productivity, rising wage dispersion may not be such a bad thing; and policies that ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: Cut Taxes for the Long-Run Unemployed
The American labor system was once stingy but fair — unemployment benefits were low, but a tight labor market helped unemployed workers find jobs.
That system has broken down entirely. With the unemployment rate persistently high for years — and the employment/...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: The Premium to Top Schools
You may remember this prominent study by a group of economists finding positive effects of teacher quality from Operation STAR, a Tennessee program lowering class sizes in kindergarden.
One of the ancillary goals of that study connected IRS datasets on ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: The Laffer Curve
In a Bloomberg View column, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers suggest a hidden consensus among economists, pointing to a Chicago Booth survey on the Laffer Curve:
How about the oft-cited Republican claim that tax cuts will boost the economy so ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: Saez and Diamond on Taxes
Editor’s note: My colleague Arpit Gupta has kindly agreed to share his thoughts on a recent call for a more steeply progressive income tax code. This is the first of two posts on related themes.
Earlier, I discussed the ...
Guest Post: Arpit Gupta on Rethinking Private Equity
Editor’s note: I’ve asked my friend and colleague Arpit Gupta, a PhD student in Finance and Economics at Columbia GSB, to offer a critique of my recent article on private equity and job destruction. Briefly, I’ll note ...
When we talk about taxes, we focus on the disincentives they cause and the deadweight losses that result. I’ve written a lot of this subject myself, as Reihan has graciously linked to in this space. On the left, tax ...
Mend the Ratings Agencies
Standard & Poor’s threat to lower America’s AAA rating has sparked waves of anger and prompted defenses of the rating agencies. Recently, several rating agencies heads were called into Washinton to testify in front of Congress.
Rating agencies don’...
In Seeing Like A State, James Scott emphasizes the importance of local knowledge. He associates this notion with the Greek word metis, which captures the ability to use skills and intelligence to respond to a changing environment:
Think of the ...
Hello all — I’m Arpit Gupta. I’m an entering graduate student in Finance at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business this fall. I do some writing for Hello all — I’m Arpit Gupta. I’m an entering graduate student ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: The Minimum Wage
President Obama’s State of the Union recent speech called for a higher minimum wage:
We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: Dartmouth Atlas vs. Teacher Salaries
The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, which tracks the variation in Medicare’s medical expenditures across different regions of the United States, has had a significant impact on the debate over health reform. Peter Orszag’s latest column at Bloomberg ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: Household Wealth Comparisons
Earlier, Reihan has discussed the growing Canada-US gap in household wealth, and the implications of that in thinking about economic policy.
My stance is that measured household wealth isn’t necessarily the best window into thinking about this. Though Reihan ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: Counterfactuals and Country Comparisons
One of the interesting recent trends in the social sciences is the push to think about causal effects in terms of counterfactuals. Philosophers, economists, statisticians, and so on have started to rethink causal inference. Rather than relying on correlations or ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: Federal Lines of Credit
Miles Kimball has proposed a new mechanism for delivering a fiscal stimulus; personal credit cards that fill up with government loans in a counter-cyclically:
Imagine that the economy is in a recession and the President and Congress are contemplating a ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: Response to Saez-Piketty on Inequality
Editor’s note: Here is the second of two posts from Arpit Gupta.
Economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty have been very successful in highlighting an agenda focused on inequality and progressive taxation. Though valuable in terms of detailing empirical ...
Guest Post: Arpit Gupta on Joseph Doyle on High-Cost Hospitals and Health Care Reform
Editor’s note: Arpit Gupta has kindly agreed to share this thoughts on new research by Joseph Doyle that has sobering implications for our efforts to restraining medical cost growth without undermining the quality of care.
If you’ve paid ...
Guest Post by Arpit Gupta: Labor Supply and Taxes
Editor’s note: I’ve asked my Economics 21 colleague Arpit Gupta to summarize some of the latest research concerning labor supply and taxes.
While many recent discussions of tax policy are motivated by using taxation for the purposes of economic ...
The Decline in Administrative Assistants
Bryce Covert and Mike Konczal have an article examining the reversal in male and female unemployment trends. While male unemployment losses were a factor in the early stage of the recession; it appears that men have been doing relatively better ...
An N-Shaped Kuznets Curve?
Via Economic Logic, there’s new research on the Kuznets Curve. As originally formulated, the idea is that income inequality in a society grows as economies initially transition from agricultural to industrial societies, but falls later as they develop further.
Examining Geithner's Career
The past two decades have seen an enormous expansion of financial engineering and an escalating series of financial crises. Through it all, one man has been at the center: Timothy Geithner.
From Asia’s financial crisis to present problems, Tim ...