Political Economy

  • The odds of a Trump presidency are improving.

    The U.S. May Get Trumped

    This Great Graphic is a 90-day history of the "betting" at PredictIt that Trump becomes the new US President.  With Cruz suspending his campaign, the odds of Trump have risen just above 40%. 

    The US national interests and challenges to those interests do not change much from year-to-year, and this may help explain the continuity in US foreign policy (including foreign economic policy).  Trump's campaign style emphasized a break from the conventional approach.

    view 0

  • Authoritarian rule is growing in China.

    Passing on Reform Opportunities on Purpose

    China is experiencing the most sustained domestic political crackdown since Tiananmen Square. Much attention has been devoted to the increasing state repression being directed at lawyers, journalists and civil society activists. However, there is a separate and more fundamental concern.

    The authoritarian rules of the game that have held sway since the beginning of the modern reform era are steadily breaking down. For all of the problems associated with China’s existing system of authoritarianism, worse consequences will emerge as these rules give way.

    view 0

  • The Republican's elephant in the room is free trade.

    History Repeats: The Republicans' Free Trade Mess

    Free trade has become the Republican elephant in the room, thanks to Donald Trump.  The GOP front-runner has helped make trade one of the hot-button issues of the 2016 presidential race. Moreover, it is tearing the Republican Party apart – just like it did in the wake of the U.S. Civil War.

    view 0

  • The U.S. election seems interminable, but is that a good thing?

    How Long Should Election Campaigns Last?

    There’s increasing speculation there will be a July 2 election in Australia this year, called shortly after the May 3 budget. Or will it be later in the year? If so when will it be called?

    Well, who knows? Perhaps not even the prime minister. Certainly not the treasurer.

    Regardless of whether the election ends up in July or September, the campaigning has begun, and the general community is well aware we are in an “election year”.

    So is it better for the economy to have a short or long election campaign?

    view 0

  • Alternatives to college tuition are becoming top campaign priorities.

    Government Handouts to Harvard Alumni Deprive Poorer Students

    Tax breaks for elite colleges cost the taxpayer billions, which would be better spent on making public colleges free.

    The bestselling Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell made headlines recently with a series of Tweets about national Government subsidies of private universities in the US, including Harvard, Princeton and Yale. His objective was to expose the imbalance between private and state college subsidies.

    view 0

  • New anti-lobbying rules in the U.K. blunt the good and the bad.

    Treating All Lobbying the Same may not be the Best Policy

    Lobbying is often seen as a dirty business – a profession of backroom deals that promotes immoral special interests to the greedy. Therefore, you might be tempted to cheer a new anti-lobbying rule that is about to come into effect, banning public money from being used for lobbying in the UK. Scotland is also debating slightly more stringent lobbying rules of its own.

    Yet not all lobbying is the same, and it is not always dodgy. By tarnishing all lobbying with the same brush, we could be in for badly informed public policy.

    view 0

  • The U.S. presidential campaign is a mess fraught with political risks.

    The U.S. Presidential Campaign's Rising Political Risk

    Whether Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or somebody else takes the White House, pragmatism is likely to be the eventual winner. Dan Steinbock looks ahead to how an American presidency led by either of the two leading contenders will deal with China and Asia, including on matters of trade and geopolitics.

    In the US presidential election, the leading contenders – Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump – are now seeking to consolidate their lead from Super Tuesday’s multiple state contests.

    view 0