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Economics and Finance

Economics and Finance

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Experts, pundits, and politicians agree: public debt is hindering growth and increasing unemployment. Governments must reduce debt at all cost if they want to restore confidence and get back on a path to prosperity. Maurizio Lazzarato’s diagnosis, however, is completely different: under capitalism, debt is not primarily a question of budget and economic concerns but a political relation of subjection and enslavement. Debt has become infinite and unpayable.

The United States and other advanced economies in the Eurozone and elsewhere face severe fiscal problems. The United States is on an unsustainable dynamic path; absent corrective fiscal policies, federal deficits and debts relative to gross domestic product will continue to increase dramatically. In this book, experts consider possible fiscal reforms aimed at addressing the debt problem, focusing on entitlement programs, budgetary issues and processes, and individual and corporate income tax reform.

A Mechanism Design Approach

Dynamic allocation and pricing problems occur in numerous frameworks, including the pricing of seasonal goods in retail, the allocation of a fixed inventory in a given period of time, and the assignment of personnel to incoming tasks. Although most of these problems deal with issues treated in the mechanism design literature, the modern revenue management (RM) literature focuses instead on analyzing properties of restricted classes of allocation and pricing schemes.

Auctions are highly structured market transactions primarily used in thin markets (markets with few participants and infrequent transactions). In auctions, unlike most other markets, offers and counteroffers are typically made within a structure defined by a set of rigid and comprehensive rules. Because auctions are essentially complex negotiations that occur within a fully defined and rigid set of rules, they can be analyzed by game theoretic models more accurately and completely than can most other types of market transactions.

A Retrospective Analysis of U.S. Policy

In recent decades, antitrust investigations and cases targeting mergers—including those involving Google, Ticketmaster, and much of the domestic airline industry—have reshaped industries and changed business practices profoundly. And yet there has been a relative dearth of detailed evaluations of the effects of mergers and the effectiveness of merger policy.

Marriage in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900

Since Malthus, an East–West dichotomy has been used to characterize marriage behavior in Asia and Europe. Marriages in Asia were said to be early and universal, in Europe late and non-universal. In Europe, marriages were supposed to be the result of individual choices but, in Asia, decided by families and communities. This book challenges this binary taxonomy of marriage patterns and family systems. Drawing on richer and more nuanced data, the authors compare the interpretations based on aggregate demographic patterns with studies of individual actions in local populations.

The global financial crisis has prompted economists to rethink fundamental questions on how governments should intervene in the financial sector. Many countries have already begun to reform the taxation and regulation of the financial sector—in the United States, for example, the Dodd–Frank Act became law in 2010; in Europe, different countries have introduced additional taxes on the sector and made substantial progress toward a banking union for the eurozone. Only recently, however, has a new field in economics emerged to study the interplay between public finance and banking.

An Emerging Paradigm

Financial crises have some common storylines, among them bursting asset bubbles, bank failures, sharp tightening of credit, and downturn in trade. They are also different from one another. Some start with sudden reversal of international capital flows, others with domestic credit implosions. A challenge to economic research is to integrate common as well as disparate threads into a coherent analytical framework that is at the same time empirically testable.

Theory and the Measurement of Economic Relations

Econometrics is a study of good and bad ways to measure economic relations. In this book, Bernt Stigum considers the role that economic theory ought to play in such measurements and proposes a formal science of economics that provides the means to solve the measurement problems faced by econometric researchers. After describing the salient parts of a formal science of economics, Stigum compares its methods with the methods of contemporary applied econometrics. His goal is to develop a basis for meaningful discussion of the best way to incorporate economic theory in empirical analysis.

Implications for Education Financing and Economic Policy

The mobility of students in developed countries has dramatically increased over the last fifty years. Students do not necessarily remain in their countries of origin for higher education and work; they might be born in one country, attend university in a second, and find employment in a third.

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