Letter from France – Le Déluge
Alan Kirman looks at the role of easy access to information in shaping radical political changes in the US and Europe.
Letter from America - On becoming superannuated
In which Angus compares the experience of dealing with the UK and US pension authorities and discovers that while some are worse than others, ‘... no one looks forward to dealing with bureaucracies.’
Letter from Germany — Brexit, seen from Berlin
Writing a few days (17 June) before the British referendum on continued EU membership, Michael Burda at the Humboldt University of Berlin reflects on the externalities involved in that decision.
Letter from America - A special edition from Stockholm and Washington
In this, his fortieth Letter from America, Angus reflects on some of the lesser-known consequences of being a Nobel laureate.
Online Issue 172
Letter from France - Unintended consequences
In his latest letter, Alan Kirman reflects on a difficult year for France and at the disturbing perception of ‘immigrants’ that has emerged from it.
Letter from America - Horse, a hippo and middle-aged angst
In his latest letter, Angus comments on the appeal of Donald Trump to the many voters disenchanted with the Washington political establishment as well as on a disturbing trend which sees legal opioids being marketed to a new class of addicts.
Letter from Germany — Dispelling three myths on economics in Germany
In his latest Letter from Germany, Michael Burda at the Humboldt University in Berlin argues that the state of economics in Germany is being badly misrepresented in the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ media.
Letter from America — Adverse selection emerges from the weeds
In his latest Letter from America, Angus shows how the opposition to healthcare insurance draws heavily on the concept of moral hazard while being curiously blind to adverse selection.
Letter from France - A golden year for French economists
In his latest Letter, Alan Kirman discusses two strands in the French approach to economics as represented by Thomas Piketty and Jean Tirole.
Letter from America - It’s a big country, and how to measure it
In this Letter from America, Angus describes recent efforts to record the significant differences in regional price levels across the USA. The task is technically complex and also raises political sensitivities.
Letter from Germany - The World Cup, Exportweltmeister, the Hartz Reforms (and Marshall wins?)
In the first of his ‘Letters from Germany’, Michael Burda ponders Germany’s transition from post-unification ‘sick-man’ to ‘export world master’.
Letter from America - America wakes up to inequality (again)
Angus Deaton argues that while the reduction of inequality has never been high a prioritiy in US public policy, recent developments have at least forced it back into focus. But when it comes to action there is nothing to match the radicalism of a century ago.
Letter from France - La France: the sick man of europe
In his latest letter, Alan Kirman argues that the widespread view of France as an economy heading for serious trouble is based upon a very selective reading of the evidence.
Letter from America - the NIH, the Supremes and the Economists
In his latest letter, Angus Deaton shows how economists, perhaps inadvertently, have helped to limit the levels of inequality in some aspects of US life.
Letter from Germany – From ‘Sick Man of Europe’ to ‘Reluctant Hegemon’: Germany 1993-2013
In what is sadly his last Letter from Germany Ray Rees reports on the dramatic transformation of its economy following unification.
Letter from America - A Harvard graduate student is playing dice with your future
Angus Deaton stresses the advantages of assessment by publication-related metrics, but warns of the dangers to diversity.
Letter from France - La France en Diffiulté
Alan Kirman looks at the difficulties faced by Francois Hollande and his colleagues in pursuing their own version of 'austérité'
Letter from America - Your wolf is interfering with my t-value!
Angus Deaton reports on the creeping regulation affecting academic research in US universities.
Letter from Germany - The Euro Crisis: A View from Germany
In this letter, Ray Rees1 argues that Germany has made substantial, but unrecognised, transfers to some members of the eurozone and that the country’s caution about fiscal co-ordination should be supported.
Letter from America – Weathering the storm, April 2012,
In his Letter from America, Angus Deaton argues that most commentary on the US recession is focused on its likely relevance to the forthcoming presidential election. By way of contrast, Angus looks at its impact on those more directly affected.
Letter from France - The Politics of Nuclear Energy, January 2012,
The politics of nuclear energy: In France, which generates most of its electricity from nuclear sources, the recent accident at Fukushima has provoked strong reactions. In his latest letter, Alan Kirman explains how the French electoral system is likely to turn the future of nuclear energy into a critical political issue.
Letter from America - Shutting up shop, at least for now?
Arguing against recent criticisms that economics cannot answer major questions, Angus Deaton’s latest Letter from America shows that economists understand a great deal about how the world works.
Letter from Germany - what's in a footnote
In his latest Letter from Germany, Ray Rees looks at plagiarism in high places.
Letter from America – the unequal benefits of teaching
In his latest Letter from America, Angus Deaton looks at the growing income inequality in the USA and reflects again on the fiscal difficulties faced by some US states that he highlighted in his previous Letter.
Letter from France - The recent pension reform in France
Alan Kirman reviews the recent upheavals in France over changes to pension schemes and points out a number of misconceptions — on the part of protesters and government
Letter from America - Dispatches from the gloom: or the moon over Texas
In the second of this year’s letters, Angus Deaton looks at the impact of the recession on university and state finances when the administrators of both follow their own version of balancing the budget.
Letter from Germany: Old Problem - News Crisis
In his latest letter, Ray Rees looks at the scandalous developments surrounding the Bavarian State Bank which he sees as a warning of what can happen when banks are run as public enterprises.
Letter from America — ‘Dear Sister...’ from the AEA to the RES
Angus Deaton has just completed a term as President of the American Economic Association. In his latest letter, he reflects on recent developments within the AEA.
Letter from France — All well again on the finance front?
In another letter inspired by the recent crisis, Alan Kirman takes a look at the French origins of the efficient market hypothesis that has been one of its principal victims.
Letter from America - Reforming US Healthcare
In this timely letter, Angus Deaton reviews the prospects for reform to the US health care system — and warns us not to expect too much too soon.
Letter from Germany - Rescuing the Economy and Economic Policy
In this year’s annual letter Ray Rees reveals that Germany is just waking up to the scale of its economic crisis and that some German professors have a very strange view of the state of economics in ‘Anglo-Saxon’ universities. Ray has just retired from his chair at the University of Munich, but continues to be active in the economics faculty as emeritus professor and programme director at the Centre for Economic Studies (CES).
Letter from America — Bankrupt!
In this Letter from America, Angus Deaton captures the contrasting reactions to the present crisis amongst US economists.
Letter from France - Les Universités Françaises
In his own look at the financial crisis Alan Kirman paints a rather unflattering picture of orthodox macreconomics in France and calls for some humility before reporting on the latest attempts to reform the funding of research.
Letter from America — Price indexes and the history and geography of the world
In his latest letter, Angus reminds us of the importance of price indexes in a wide range of economic calculations and of the continuing weaknesses of such indexes, especially when it comes to making allowance for quality.
Letter from Germany - The return of the watering can and some Oktoberfest economics
Have you ever wondered how to construct the optimal incentive contract for staff serving in the chaos of a beer festival? Ray Rees, at the University of Munich, reveals exactly how it’s done at the city’s famous Oktoberfest.
Letter from America:The passions, the politics… and the data
In his latest letter, Angus Deaton comments on the findings of the Gallup/World Poll of people in 150 countries. These show a remarkably consistent link between per capita GDP and various measures of well-being. However, US citizens it seems do worse on happiness and sadness measures than their incomes would predict and they are astonishingly dissatisfied with their healthcare system — even more so than the British.
Letter from France — ça bouge, tous azimuts!
In this latest letter (‘it’s moving but all over the place’), Alan Kirman, at GREQAM Marseille, takes a wry look at France under its new President Sarkozy. It seems that serious change lags some way behind the rhetoric.
Letter from America — On transatlantic vices, or Stern in America
In his latest Letter, Angus looks at the reception of the Stern Report in the USA and finds that it reveals a wide range of differences between the economics professions in America and the UK.
Letter from Germany - Excellence and Incarceration
In this essay Ray Rees, Professor of Economics at the University of Munich, provides an update on the attempt to introduce quality-related funding to Germany’s universities and tells a cautionary tale about the potential pitfalls of experimental economics.
Letter from America — Random walks by young economists
As the annual recruitment of young academics draws to a close in the USA, Angus Deaton reflects on changing fashions in graduate work in recent years
Letter from France - L'environnement et l'économie
Alan Kirman, GREQAM Marseille, looks at the movement of environmental issues up the political agenda in France
Letter from America - American shortcomings: the highs and lows of publication
In his latest letter, Angus Deaton shows how difficult it can be to ensure a serious discussion of research findings, especially when they touch on sensitive issues.
Letter from Germany —Where have all the babies gone?
In Germany, the problems posed by low fertility have become more pressing than in most other European countries. In this essay Ray Rees, Professor of Economics at the University of Munich, discusses a number of policy innovations which might encourage both an increase in female participation in the labour market as well as an increase in fertility.
Letter from America -Trying to be a good hip op consumer
In his latest letter from America, Angus Deaton highlights graphically the problems of asymmetric information in the US market for healthcare.
Letter from France — ‘Paris brûle mais Marseille est calme’
Alan Kirman, GREQAM Marseille, is currently enjoying a spell as Richard B Gibson member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. In this contribution, he reflects on recent disturbances in France.
Letter from America — A president and a prophet: changing minds, or not
In this, his latest letter from the USA, Angus Deaton of Princeton University examines the contrasting reactions to recent radical suggestions on two sensitive issues — the underepresentation of women in science and strategies to combat world poverty.
Letter from Germany —Three Economists, Two Opinions
At a time when the EU’s proposed Constitution has come in for considerable criticism and been rejected (in some quarters at least) as being too ‘Anglo-Saxon’ in its economic orientation, Ray Rees, Professor of Economics at the University of Munich, provides this timely review of three books on the problems facing the German economy.
Letter from America — Enron, economists and the American academy
In this, the latest of his regular letters from America, Angus Deaton reports on the litigation threatening US private universities whose conduct has offended donors and other benefactors.
Letter from France - sauvons la recherche
French academics have recently begun a campaign for the protection and enhancement of university research. In his latest letter from France, Professor Alan Kirman, Université d'Aix Marseille, argues that more money alone is not the solution while its distribution is indiscriminate.
Letter from America - Unequal treatment, unequal incomes, and race
While large-scale income inequality goes largely unremarked in the USA, the same is not true for inequalities in health. In his latest letter from America, Angus Deaton questions the conventional explanation — that largely white physicians discriminate in various ways against ethnic minority patients. In practice, recent research shows, there is an informal apartheid system — some physicians treat whites, and other, different doctors, treat blacks. The problem is that the doctors who treat blacks are generally less well-qualified and have access to poorer resources.
Letter from Germany: ‘In Profile’
In this year’s letter from Germany, Professor Ray Rees, Professor of Economics at the University of Munich, reports on his recent interview by a German magazine. As Ray says, the questions he was asked reveal a great deal about the way that UK attitudes to the EU are seen in continental Europe.
Letter from America - Race, selectivity and privilege in American colleges and universities
In this Letter from America, Angus Deaton, Princeton University, reviews the recent twists and turns in US universities admissions policies and some of the resulting paradoxes.
Letter from France - Reflections on stability and growth
In his annual letter, Alan Kirman, Université d’Aix Marseille III, looks at France’s recent difficulties with the EU’s growth and stability pact and at the government’s incoherent policy towards public spending.
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