HIV/AIDS is an endemic economic problem for significant parts of Africa. This column presents evidence suggesting that the demographic shock induced by the slave trade still shapes the contemporary family structures and sexual behaviour of many African countries. Policymakers and human rights organisations should understand that the struggle against HIV/AIDS involves the eradication of deeply rooted beliefs and practices.
There is increasing evidence that cities offer externalities that raise labour productivity. This column looks at the contribution of US cities to productivity growth at the turn of last century. The findings show that increased specialisation, promoted by improved transportation, was the key to productivity growth. Today’s policymakers should heed this lesson.
The production of high-quality goods influences key aspects of countries’ economic performance, including growth and development. This column argues that removing credit market imperfections may help countries transition from the production of low-quality to high-quality goods, especially in industries that are more sensitive to financial frictions.
Some have argued that the stock market serves as a ‘spare tire’ during banking crises by providing an alternative corporate financing channel. This column examines the claim using data for 36 countries spanning 20 years. The findings support the three core predictions of the spare tire view, suggesting that countries can insulate parts of their economy from future banking crises by designing appropriate legal frameworks.
In recent decades, there has been an accelerated increase in top income inequality, particularly in developed countries. This column argues that innovation partly accounts for the surge in top income inequality and fosters social mobility. In particular, the positive effect of innovation on social mobility is due to new innovators.
Other Recent Columns:
- Economic and social impacts of the media
- The elusive quest for labour market reforms
- Policy consequences of public income volatility
- Debt miracle: Why the country that borrowed the most industrialised first
- Well-being in historical perspective: The experience of Latin America
- Competition and bank opacity
- Asset management and financial stability
- Monnet’s chain reaction and the future of Europe
- Changing economic factors and the rise in obesity
- Foreign-owned firms in the technology take-off in China
- City scale and productivity in China
- Attracting students to economics
- Reducing risk-taking by regulating bonuses: EU vs US Dodd-Frank
- Matching skills of individuals and firms along the career path
- The behavioural economics of voluntary disclosure
- What historical heights can teach us about past living standards
- Understanding past and future financial crises
- The half-life of happiness
- The Phillips curve: A good model, at least for Ireland
- Greece should prepare for Grexit and then not do it