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Thursday, May 11, 2017

The global decline in the labour income share: is capital the answer to Germany’s current account surplus? | Bruegel

The global decline in the labour income share: is capital the answer to Germany’s current account surplus? | Bruegel

This paper links the major divergences between the three largest euro-area countries in terms of unit labour costs and current accounts, to the broader debate on labour income shares. The authors show that Germany, like the United States and Japan, has experienced a significant decline in the share of national income that goes to labour. At the same time, labour shares in France and Italy have increased since the beginning of monetary union, breaking a trend that had persisted for several decades. The capital intensity of production has increased much more significantly in France and Italy, while in Germany the capital-to-GDP ratio has stagnated and the net public capital stock has fallen. Our data suggests that capital and labour have been complements.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Takis Pappas | The Specter Haunting Europe: Distinguishing Liberal Democracy’s Challengers | Journal of Democracy

The Specter Haunting Europe: Distinguishing Liberal Democracy’s Challengers | Journal of Democracy

This article takes issue with the common practice of uncritically lumping together as “populist” the various and distinct challengers to democracy in contemporary Europe. It disaggregates and then classifies such challengers into three analytically distinct categories: antidemocrats, nativists, and populists. In so doing, the article reveals the geographical distribution of these categories across Europe, and highlights the value of treating each category based on its unique set of symptoms. It further shows that the gravest threat to contemporary liberalism comes from populist rather than from antidemocratic or nativist parties. 

Trade, Jobs, and Inequality: CUNY

Trade, Jobs, and Inequality: CUNY

Understanding Society: Strategies for resisting right-wing populism

Understanding Society: Strategies for resisting right-wing populism

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Does Greece Need More Official Debt Relief? If So, How Much? | PIIE

Does Greece Need More Official Debt Relief? If So, How Much? | PIIE

Creditor countries and international organizations continue to disagree whether Greece should receive additional official debt relief, and if so how much. This paper first shows that these disagreements can be attributed to competing assumptions about Greece’s future capacity to repay, particularly about economic growth and the fiscal primary balance. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Academic paper: Is the ‘Constitution of Equality’ Parliamentary, Presidential or Hybrid?

Academic paper: Is the ‘Constitution of Equality’ Parliamentary, Presidential or Hybrid?

Abstract
What does the value of political equality imply for the institutional design of democracies? The existing normative literature highlights the importance of proportional representation and legislative majority rule, but neglects the choice of an executive format. This paper explores two potential egalitarian trade-offs in this choice. First, while presidential systems tend to achieve too little bundling of separable decision-making issues (within political parties), parliamentary systems often tend towards too much bundling (between political parties), thus establishing informal veto positions in the democratic process. This is a trade-off between the ‘adversarial’ and ‘deliberative’ aspects of equality. Second, there is a trade-off between ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ equality. Neither pure presidentialism nor pure parliamentarism may be able to maximise both dimensions of equality simultaneously. The paper argues that certain hybrids between parliamentarism and presidentialism have the potential to mitigate both trade-offs. These hybrids establish power separation between the executive and legislature without allowing for popular executive elections. The argument also has potential implications for the democratisation of the European Union.

Academic paper: Is the ‘Constitution of Equality’ Parliamentary, Presidential or Hybrid?. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260947932_Is_the_%27Constitution_of_Equality%27_Parliamentary_Presidential_or_Hybrid [accessed Apr 3, 2017].


via Leonid Bershidsky : "Parliamentary Democracies Are Just Better at Resisting Populism"

Your Brain Wasn't Built to Handle Reality - Bloomberg View

Your Brain Wasn't Built to Handle Reality - Bloomberg View

If you are objective, you should always be seeking and evaluating evidence that disproves your thesis. 

What's the best source of protein for building muscle – meat or plants?

What's the best source of protein for building muscle – meat or plants?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rise of Populism: Economic Have-Nots and Cultural Backlash by Ronald Inglehart, Pippa Norris :: SSRN

Trump, Brexit, and the Rise of Populism: Economic Have-Nots and Cultural Backlash by Ronald Inglehart, Pippa Norris :: SSRN



Abstract

Rising support for populist parties has disrupted the politics of many Western societies. What explains this phenomenon? Two theories are examined here. Perhaps the most widely-held view of mass support for populism -- the economic insecurity perspective -- emphasizes the consequences of profound changes transforming the workforce and society in post-industrial economies. Alternatively, the cultural backlash thesis suggests that support can be explained as a retro reaction by once-predominant sectors of the population to progressive value change. To consider these arguments, Part I develops the conceptual and theoretical framework. Part II of the study uses the 2014 Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHES) to identify the ideological location of 268 political parties in 31 European countries. Part III compares the pattern of European party competition at national-level. Part IV uses the pooled European Social Survey 1-6 (2002-2014) to examine the cross-national evidence at individual level for the impact of the economic insecurity and cultural values as predictors of voting for populist parties. Part V summarizes the key findings and considers their implications. Overall, we find the most consistent evidence supporting the cultural backlash thesis.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tim Harford — Article — Some things are best left to the technocrats

Tim Harford — Article — Some things are best left to the technocrats

"...democracy has always had a weakness: on any detailed piece of policy, the typical voter — I include myself here — does not understand what is really at stake and does not care to find out..."

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Leiser and Aroch | Lay Understanding of Macroeconomic Causation

The functioning of the economic system is complex and technical. For its part, the public is constantly presented with information on economic causality. It is important for its members to assimilate this information, whether to further their personal goals or to engage advisedly in the democratic process

Κωνσταντίνος Σοφούλης | " Μήπως δεύτερο κύμα λαϊκισμού;"

Εκ των πραγμάτων, τώρα, για κοντύνουμε τον λόγο μας, ας θυμηθούμε ότι ο χώρος της ευρωπαϊκής, μεταρρυθμιστικής κεντροαριστεράς (εγώ επιμένω να την ονομάζω σοσιαλδημοκρατία) απαρτίζεται σήμερα από δύο κόμματα σε κατάσταση ημιδιάλυσης (ΠΑΣΟΚ, ΚΙΔΗΣΟ), ένα εξ ίσου μικρό κόμμα που ψάχνει την ταυτότητά του (ΔΗΜΑΡ) και από ένα αστερισμό κινήσεων διανοουμένων κατ’ ουσίαν, που συγκεντρώνει μεγάλο κομμάτι των ικανότερων στελεχών της κοινωνίας μας. Αυτή είναι πραγματικότητα και η πραγματικότητα δεν αλλάζει με το να την βρίζουμε ή να την απαξιώνουμε με ανόητες ανακοινώσεις.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Religion and Science (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Religion and Science (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The Death of Expertise | The War Room

The Death of Expertise | The War Room
thanks to Paul Evans
So here’s a good set of rules of thumb when arguing with an expert:
1.The expert isn’t always right.
2. But an expert is far more likely to be right than you are.
3. Your political opinions have value in terms of what you want to see happen, how you view justice and right. Your political analysis as a layman has far less value, and probably isn’t — indeed, almost certainly isn’t — as good as you think it is.
4. On a question of factual interpretation or evaluation, the expert’s view is likely to be better-informed than yours. At that point, you’re best served by listening, not carping and arguing.
And how do I know all this? Just who do I think I am?
Well, of course: I’m an expert.
Tom Nichols 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Greece : 2017 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Greece

Greece : 2017 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Greece
... Greece does not require further fiscal consolidation at this time beyond what is currently underway...  fiscally-neutral reforms that broaden the personal income tax base and rationalize pension spending to allow the public sector to provide adequate services and social assistance to vulnerable groups, while creating the conditions for investment and more inclusive growth.... labor, product and service market reforms are needed to enhance competition and support growth...
See also Ex-Post Evaluation of Exceptional Access Under the 2012 Extended Arrangement

and Charles Wyplosz | " When the IMF evaluates the IMF"   

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Facts Aren't Enough to Save Liberal Democracy - Niskanen Center

Facts Aren't Enough to Save Liberal Democracy - Niskanen Center

The business of politics, of opinion, is messy at times, because it does occasionally involve spin, deception, and manipulation. But if we won’t undertake this business, others will, and a different vision will be sold. We’re now seeing what that vision is, and it seems to portend that winter is coming.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Πλάτων Τήνιος | " The Greek Pension Tragedy: A case of failure in Governance"

The Greek pension system is one of the least successful in the world. Without providing
income security at old age, it, nevertheless, hastened bankruptcy in 2010; six years
later, pensions are about to derail the third successive bailout.



kas_44877-544-2-30.pdf