Friday , October 18 2019
Home / Tag Archives: Cross-country Comparisons (page 4)

Tag Archives: Cross-country Comparisons

Why I’m not a progressive

I am a utilitarian. Many (most?) utilitarians are progressives. So why am I not a progressive? I recently ran across three news articles that help to explain my skepticism of progressivism. First I'll briefly summarize the key takeaways, and then I'll explain what I believe they tell us. Here is the New York Times on building infrastructure in New York: The Times observed construction on site in Paris,...

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Ryan Murphy on government effectiveness and growth

A decade ago I wrote a paper that looked at several definitions of neoliberalism, and found that what I called "egalitarian neoliberalism" was especially closely correlated with civic virtue. This model was based on the various indices of economic freedom, with the sign on size of government inverted (so that bigger government was a plus, not a minus as in the typical economic freedom indices). For example,...

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The Wonder of International Adoption: Adult IQ in Sweden

In Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, I showed that nurture effects are small within the First World.  But I also freely conceded that the nurture effects of growing up outside the First World are probably large:The most important weakness of behavioral genetics, though, is simply that research focuses on middle-class families in First World countries. The results might not generalize. Twin and adoption...

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Four Decades of Middle Eastern Disaster: The Proximate Cause

Counter-factual history is really hard.  If World War II hadn't happened, one could easily imagine it being replaced by a global thermonuclear war in the 1960s.  But the history of proximate causes is much easier.  Let A, B, C, and D be highly specific major events.  A good historian can credibly determine that A caused B, B caused C, and C caused D, so if not for A, D almost certainly wouldn't have...

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The Curious Absence of American Emulationists in the Third World

After World War II, virtually every Third World country had a major political faction that looked on the Soviet Union as a model society.  What path should their nation take?  The answer was obvious: Emulate the Soviet Union.  With minor allowance for local conditions, they sought to copy Soviet institutions and policies.  Despite the fiery anti-colonial nationalism of the day, members of the Third World's...

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New Reflections on the Evolution in France

I just returned from a month in France.  I stand by everything I said during my last visit in 2008, but have plenty to add:1. The biggest change is the ubiquitous police and military presence.  Teams of militarized police and policified military patrol every tourist site and every public function, plus numerous random locations.  It wasn't just Paris; even small cities like Bayeaux were on guard.  I've never...

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Neoliberalism is making the world much more equal

It's puzzling to me that so many progressives view the term 'neoliberalism' with disdain. A new article by Cardiff Garcia shows that the world is becoming much more equal. And that trend is being spurred by less between country inequality---within country inequality has actually risen slightly: It seems likely that much of the reduction in between country inequality is caused by market reforms in places...

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How long can the China boom continue?

[I wrote this post 10 days ago. Tyler Cowen blogged on the same subject today, so I figure I better post it before it becomes old news.] China's been booming since it started moving away from communism in the late 1970s. In recent years the growth rate has slowed, from double digits to about 6.5%. Some people expect it to slow much further in the near future. The Financial Times has an interesting graph...

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Saving, cost control, and infrastructure

There's been a lot of recent talk about increasing federal spending on infrastructure. In my view this misses the point. There are two effective ways to get more infrastructure; cost control and increased saving. Here's Matt Yglesias: Mass transit construction costs in the United States appear to be far higher than what European countries pay for comparable projects. The Second Avenue Subway in New York City, for example, is being built at a cost of nearly $1.7 billion per kilometer...

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Capitalism has a PR problem

Here's one of my favorite Deirdre McCloskey remarks, from her Bourgeois Virtues:I don't care how one defines capitalism, as long as it's not defined as evil incarnate. Unfortunately, that's exactly how it is often defined. Here's a recent example from Yahoo.com:Satellite photos and testimonies of defectors show there are now about 400 mostly outdoor markets, called "jangmadang," in the North. Recent surveys of refugees suggest most ordinary North Koreans resort to market activities for a...

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