Recent events in Europe provide ample evidence that the political aftershocks of financial crises can be severe. This column uses a new dataset that covers elections and crises in 20 advanced economies going back to 1870 to systematically study the political aftermath of financial crises. Far-right parties are the biggest beneficiaries of financial crises, while the fractionalisation of parliaments complicates post-crisis governance. These effects are not observed following normal recessions or severe non-financial macroeconomic shocks.
Manuel Funke, Moritz Schularick, Christoph Trebesch, Saturday, November 21, 2015 - 00:00
Jamal Ibrahim Haidar, Takeo Hoshi, Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 00:00
The Abe administration has outlined a desire for Japan to rank among the top three OECD countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking. This column uses the Doing Business ranking itself to identify potential reforms the country could pursue to improve its position. Several politically viable, non-judicial reforms could quickly and easily move Japan up in the ranking. The approach highlights how the Doing Business rankings can be used to inform policy reform discussions.
James A Robinson, Ragnar Torvik, Thierry Verdier, Monday, July 27, 2015 - 00:00
Economists have long understood that policy chosen by politics is unlikely to be socially optimal. This is because politicians face the probability of losing power and may discount the future too much, or act to improve their re-election probability. This column explores these issues taking into account the fact that future government revenue is uncertain. Public income volatility acts to reduce the efficiency of public policy. This has important implications for developing countries that rely on income from volatile sources, such as natural resource extraction.
Nauro F. Campos, Fabrizio Coricelli, Friday, July 17, 2015 - 00:00
Greece’s reluctance to implement ‘the structural reforms required for debt sustainability’ is a recurrent theme in the debate on the EZ Crisis. This column qualifies this conventional wisdom by reassessing the relationship between Greece and the EU over the past four decades. Although Greece has implemented structural reforms that were substantial enough to bring about a turning point in its relationship with the EU, these reforms have been overly localised, badly sequenced and implemented by short-sighted political elites. The role that structural reforms can play in solving the current crisis should not be overestimated.
Roland Bénabou, Davide Ticchi , Andrea Vindigni, Sunday, April 19, 2015 - 00:00
Christoph Trebesch, Helios Herrera, Guillermo L. Ordoñez, Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 00:00
Alan S. Blinder, Mark Watson, Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 00:00
Timothy J Hatton, Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 00:00
In the recent European Parliament elections, right-wing populist parties made significant gains. Commentators have linked the rise of these parties to growing anti-immigration sentiment in the wake of the crisis. This column examines the extent to which public opinion has in fact shifted against immigration. Survey data shows that there was no Europe-wide surge in anti-immigration opinion between 2006 and 2010, although there was a marked change in Spain, Greece, and Ireland. This suggests that populist parties’ success cannot be attributed to anti-immigration sentiment alone.
Dani Rodrik, Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 00:00
The design of international institutions is shaped by a fundamental trade-off; governance is pushed down with one hand and pulled up with the other. An intermediate outcome, a world divided into diverse polities, is the best that we can do.
Hans Gersbach, Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 00:00
Incumbent politicians have a host of advantages in US elections; members of the US Congress are typically re-elected about 90% of the time. This column argues that such a head start can often be bad for the country, with leaders focusing on short-term populist policies rather than the greater good. It suggests raising the bar for incumbent candidates.
Riccardo Puglisi, James M. Snyder, Jr., Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 00:00
Is the US media biased? According to a controversial new book, it is – and, perhaps surprisingly, to the left. This column takes a different analytical approach and argues that the press is actually much closer to the average voter’s sentiments than we might think. Might all these claims that the media is biased in one direction or the other be adding a whole new set of distortions?
Piergiuseppe Fortunato, Ugo Panizza, Saturday, June 4, 2011 - 00:00
Is democracy the most efficient method to guarantee good governance? This column argues that democratic institutions work well only when the electorate is sufficiently educated.
Paul Sharp, Friday, May 16, 2008 - 00:00
Economic globalisation is a political phenomenon. This column presents new evidence on the Anglo-American wheat trade in the eighteenth century and explains how politics, war, and natural disasters thwarted economic integration.
Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke, Ronald Findlay, Monday, March 10, 2008 - 00:00
Globalisation is fundamentally political, not technological. This is the lesson from a new book tracing 1000 years of international trade history. Here the authors use lessons from the past to identify challenges for globalisation in the 21st century.