Robert Barro and Steven Levitt, in their role as popular columnists, promoted a Harvard graduate student’s article which refuted Amartya Sen’s claim that discrimination accounted for the 100 million “missing women”. In his role as editor, Levitt published the article in the Journal of Political Economy. Now that the article’s central claim has been refuted – most notably by its author – it’s time to tell the ‘morality tale’.
Policy makers must learn from history, but they should know which historical episodes to look to. Central bankers seem to have been focusing on the 1930s, but here one of the world’s leading macroeconomists suggests that the 1970s provides more appropriate lessons.
The democratic peace – the regularity that democracies do not go to war with each other – is one of the most robust findings in political science. This column presents recent research showing that democratic leaders unable to seek another term in office behave like autocrats. Accountability to voters in the next election lies at the heart of the democratic peace.
If only they will promise to continue the series, this could get really, really funny.
On a more serious note, what a lot of non-Swedes miss about the place is that regulations of, say, alcohol sales can only work if they resonate with the public. Systembolaget, to stay with this example, was a result of popular movement activity, not top-down state paternalism. And as an asthma sufferer I’ve learnt to appreciate the Swedish ban on indoor smoking. I’d almost hope that Mr. Larsen catches COLD.
Oh, and my answer to DN’s internet poll “Would you like to live in Denmark” is that thanks to the internet, I have already filled in my Anmeldelse om indrejse file. ðŸ˜›
I just wonder: When was the last time a political party shed most of its parliamentary group, its policies and now its name within a year?
Surely, there must some case on the lunatic fringe? (Which is another way of saying that I’m …uhm… sceptical about
Ny Liberal Alliance’s chances).
…at least according to Peggy Noonan, approvingly quoted by Greg Mankiw:
Neither party ever gets it quite right, the balance between the taxed and the needy, the suffering of one sort and the suffering of another. You might say that in this both parties are equally cold and equally warm, only to two different classes of citizens.
Now, as we all know, the U.S. is not Denmark or Sweden (even if the Swedes generally like to see themselves as the better Americans and the Danish party system these days in many ways is structured along the value dimension instead of the economic dimension, making it even more American than the U.S. party system), but to a Scandinavian this juxtaposing of “taxpayers” and “needy” as separate groups is misleading. Even in the U.S. most of the needy pay some form of taxes, and taxpayers are happy to rely on a number of publicly financed services and transfers.
What is true, is that even the Scandinavian welfare states depend on efficient production and if the welfare states were purely redistributive, they and the economics would be in severe crisis. (Scandinavian reading visitors are referred to Andreas Bergh)
Just a purely linguistical consideration: Am I the only person who do not see the increasingly popular term “drawing a line in the sand” as an expression of determination and stability?
After all, sand is generally rather unstable and fluent.
Hvis vi vil lære af erfaringerne fra de senere års succes med flexicuritymodellen, bør dagpengeperioden forkortes fra 4 til 2½ år for at reducere den ledighed, der må forventes i de kommende år.
Både den høje dækningsgrad og den høje beskatning tilskynder fremtidens ældre til tidligere tilbagetrækning og kan forstærke det fald i arbejdsudbuddet, der følger af den fremtidige befolkningsudvikling. Det er vigtigt, at den økonomiske politik indrettes på en måde, der giver den enkelte en økonomisk gevinst ved at udskyde tilbagetrækningen.
One thing I noted during my time in Sweden is that there is a tendency to see the period between 1960 and 1980 as the Golden Age of the welfare state and to argue that the big welfare project somehow lost its direction since then. It is true that Sweden, like the other Nordic countries, saw high growth levels during the 1960s, and that the country in relative terms has dropped in the international wealth tables.
But has the welfare state been hit?
Again, there is a tendency to assume that this is the case (as in 8 out of 10) but as the Swedish Association of Local and Regional Authorities points out, welfare services have in fact been expanded significantly since 1980.
So, why do perception and reality diverge so dramatically? (I don’t have an answer but I’m not surprised by the result).
HT: Gissur Erlingsson who also can’t offer a good explanation.