Europe's Leisure Trap
By Project Syndicate on June 23, 2006.
Black Friday in the United States traditionally is the day after Thanksgiving that signals the start of the holiday season sale. At daybreak, people line up before department stores to get the special “early bird” bargains. In Europe, black Saturday falls in the last weekend of July, when the French and other Europeans set off in droves for their Mediterranean holiday destinations, and highways get jammed with traffic.
Beyond the Gender Gap
By Project Syndicate on January 31, 2007.
Last Spring, The Economist trumpeted “womanpower” as the driving force for the world economy. But if Europe’s economy is to become more competitive and innovative, it is not enough that women enter the labor market in droves. To reap the full fruits of women’s talents, they must be in more top jobs, too, both in the public and private sector.
China is Buying Europe
In The International Herald Tribune on July 29, 2007.
It's quite fascinating to see the way authoritarian regimes make use of the possibilities free markets offer to expand their global reach. While the West thought that free trade was going to spread democracy across the world, the opposite seems to be happening now.
Wars against Women
By Project Syndicate on May 26, 2008.
Truth is often said to be the first casualty in wartime. But if the real truth is told, it is women who are the first casualties. In conflict zones, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF recently observed, sexual violence usually spreads like an epidemic. Whether it is civil war, pogroms, or other armed conflicts, all too often women’s bodies become part of the battlefield. The victims of large-scale sexual atrocities range from baby girls to old women.
The Cost of the Gender Gap
By Project Syndicate on August 29, 2007.
Working women throughout the world have long complained of the unfairness implied by lower pay than what men receive. But the wage disparity between men and women is more than unjust. It is also economically harmful.
Why We Must Break the Male Cartel in the Work Place
In the Financial Times on April 23, 2008.
The European Union should follow the example set by Norway and Spain and introduce European legislation for gender balance on company boards, at universities and in government. It is the best way to end the culture of gender bias and stereotyping that is still prevalent in many companies and institutions. Isn’t it time we reaped all the fruits that women have to offer?
Does Legalizing Prostitution Work?
By Project Syndicate on January 23, 2009.
Prostitution is virtually the only part of the personal services industry in the Netherlands that works. One can’t get a manicure in Amsterdam without booking an appointment two weeks in advance, but men can buy sex anytime – and at an attractive price.
Going Dutch? Not So Fast!
In The New York Times on May 24, 2009.
In his essay “Warming to the European way” (May 2), Russell Shorto sounds the praises of the Dutch welfare state. However, the Dutch welfare state isn’t as beneficial to low-skilled immigrants as it is to high-skilled workers like Mr. Shorto. In fact, it has suffocated the large group of non-Western immigrants who came to the Netherlands over the past decades to seek their fortune.
Don't Blame the Euro
By EuroIntelligence on June 10, 2010.
With all the turbulence rocking the financial markets and the sharp drop in the euro’s exchange rate, you could almost forget that the single European currency has been quite a success.
Germany is not China
By Project Syndicate on August 16, 2010.
There is little dispute that global imbalances in trade and capital flows are at least partly to blame for the financial crisis and ensuing recession that have rocked the world economy since 2008. But not all imbalances are created equal, so it is important to weigh the consequences of individual countries’ external accounts for global economic stability and prosperity.
The False Panacea of Labor Market Flexibility
By Project Syndicate, March 22, 2011.
We now know that labor-market deregulation does not ensure economic resilience and rapid job creation. On the contrary, the best solution is probably a diversity of labor contracts. A certain amount of labor-market rigidity may make economic sense for jobs that require firm-specific skills and training, alongside greater flexibility for jobs that require fewer skills.
Beware of Runaway Headline Inflation
In VoxEU on May 3, 2011.
The latest figures from the US show that the consumer price index rose 0.5% in March, whilst the core personal consumption expenditure price index rose only 0.1%. This column explains the roles of these competing measures and argues that US monetary policymakers should pay close attention to headline inflation. It warns that neglecting headline inflation risks feverish boom-and-bust cycles with prolonged periods of high unemployment.
U.S. Monetary Policy and the Saving Glut
In VoxEU on March 24, 2011.
Is U.S. easy monetary policy in the early 2000s to blame for the global saving glut? This column argues that the Federal Reserve’s policy triggered the refinancing boom and ensuing spending spree, which spurred economic growth and savings in China. The prolonged decline in long-term interest rates in the mid-2000s is largely to blame for the housing boom in the United States.
Lost in Transmission
In VoxEU on June 21, 2011
With the US economy still faltering, some are suggesting it may be time for a third round of quantitative easing. This column explores the transmission mechanism of monetary policy and how it has broken down in recent years. It argues that, in this climate, the Fed would be wise to avoid another bond-buying programme.
The Global Saving Glut Will Hold Bond Yields Down
In VoxEU on August 8, 2011.
As fears mount of another phase in the global crisis, this column points out that despite the growing uncertainty, US Treasury and German Bund yields have actually declined in recent weeks. The reason, it argues, is the global saving glut theory.
Real Money in China, Money Illusion in America
In VoxEU on November 20, 2011.
Are the Chinese prone to money illusion? This column uses a unique Chinese dataset and finds that, unlike their American counterparts, Chinese people are more likely to base decisions on the real value and not be fooled by inflation.
The Perils of Loose Living
Foreign Policy, October 11, 2011.
For decades, Americans have looked to monetary policy as an engine of economic growth -- and suffered the dire consequences.
How China's Boom Caused the Financial Crisis
Foreign Policy, January 17, 2012.
The immediate cause of the housing bubbles in the United States and the eurozone periphery was not regulatory oversight failure, but the precipitous drop in interest rates in the early 2000s. Without China's rise, China and other emerging economies' savings would not have depressed long-term interest rates worldwide.
The Zero Man
Foreign Policy, April 3, 2012.
Although Alan Greenspan has taken the fall for the 2008 financial crisis, Bernanke was the ideologue who provided the intellectual backing for the aggressive rate cuts in the early 2000s that set us up for the Great Recession.
Only Germany Can Save Europe
Foreign Policy, April 24, 2012
Through innovation, moderation, and sheer hard work, Germany turned itself from the sick man of Europe at the end of the 1990s into one of the few Western economies that seems truly globalization-proof. Now Berlin has an opportunity to use its newfound economic leadership to rescue its neighbors from the worst of the euro crisis.