Thoughts of the Week

Created 2000-01-01
Modified 2000-03-27
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Thoughts of the Week--Scratch

J. Bradford DeLong
delong@econ.berkeley.edu
http://econ161.berkeley.edu

 

NY Times Fortune Worldlink Other Reviews
April Taxes   LA Times-Microsoft

Blueprints-Tools for Thought

Pomeranz
May EITC End of American Triumphalism   Face-Time
June Greenspan's Record Innovator's Dilemma     Hubs and Spokes: A Telegeography Reader ISBN 1886142238
July   Pace of Economic Growth Meltzer Fallout   Accidental Theorist
August   East Asia's Rapid Recovery     Phil and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing
September   Technology: Barriers to Entry NAFTA's Effects   Innovator's Dilemma
October   Clinton's Economic Legacy      Inefficient markets
November   Neoliberalism and Its Discontents What have we learned from the Crises of the 1990s    
December   IP Land Grabs      
January   Technology Stocks' Earnings      

Sanwa Proposal

2000-XX-XX: Discussion of the Role of Private Equity Capital...

2000-XX-XX: Debating Mark Weisbrot on the Role of the IMF. What good are the so-called "Bretton Woods Institutions"--the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization? Both Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader think they are bad things. Why?

2000-04-08: Getting Cable Modems; Difficulties with obtaining high-speed internet access; why the cable modem is likely to lose out to phone company-installed DSL lines.


What Is Truly "New" About Our "New Economy"? The changes in business organization and form--the new business ecology of the Silicon Valley System--is the most important aspect of the "new economy"

For April 6--tie-in to Tax Day--FEDERAL TAXES TODAY ARE HIGHER THAN EVER. How come, twenty years after Ronald Reagan was supposed to have broken the mold of American politics with his massive 1981 tax cut, taxes as a share of GDP are higher than ever before? The answer has three parts: first, the Reagan administration's failure to cut spending created a deficit, and over time the existence of the deficit generated enormous pressure to raise taxes back up; second, the deficit--and other causes--slowed productivity growth in the 1980s and 1990s, the estimating agencies projected this growth slowdown into the far future and made the deficit problem appear bigger than it has turned out to be in reality; third, the sharp increases in income inequality since the beginning of the 1980s mean that our still-progressive tax system raises more revenue.

Microsoft in historical perspective.

For May 4--EAST ASIA'S RECOVERY HAS BEEN REMARKABLY RAPID. Two years ago many observers were saying that East Asia's financial crisis showed the bankruptcy of its model of development, and that economic growth in East Asia would not resume without fundamental structural change. There has been little fundamental change, yet growth in East Asia has resumed. This is a powerful point for those who saw the principal origins of the crisis in New York--a "capital panic"--and not in flaws in East Asian economies.

For June 1--ARE TECHNOLOGY STOCKS' REPORTED EARNINGS TO BE TRUSTED? What would the profits of technology companies look like if one made correct allowance for both the fact that stock options are a cost and the fact that written software is an addition to the firm's capital stock?

For June 29--THE REST OF THE INDUSTRIAL WORLD ISN'T LIKE US. Why has the U.S. been the only industrialized country to experience a full-fledged boom in the 1990s?

For July 27--GOOD CENTRAL BANKERS. For the past two decades the U.S. has had very good central bankers at the head of its central bank. What makes Volcker and Greenspan better than previous U.S. central bankers like Arthur Burns or William McChesney Martin? What makes Volcker and Greenspan better than central bankers in other countries.

For August 24--NAFTA HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE--FOR MEXICO. Back in 1993 there were all kinds of predictions that NAFTA would do horrible things to the American economy. Yet if you look at the American economy today it's hard to find much of an effect of NAFTA on the U.S. in either direction. But NAFTA has had a big positive impact on Mexico...

For September 21--NEOLIBERALISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS. What have the effects of the IMF been over the past several decades. If these effects truly are positive--as they look to have been--why are so many people mad?

For October 19--CLINTON'S ECONOMIC LEGACY. How much of a difference did the Clinton Administration really make for the economy?


WHY IS THE U.S. THE CENTER OF THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY REVOLUTION? Our memory chips are made in Malaysia, or LCD screens are made in Japan, the world wide web was invented in Switzerland by a British researcher. So why is the center of the information technology revolution 40 miles south of San Jose?

HOW FAST IS ECONOMIC GROWTH? More than three years ago the Boskin Commission reported that official statistics were overstating inflation. The Boskin Commission's report was a political weapon in a fight to reduce the rate at which government benefits and tax brackets were adjusted. But there are serious analytical issues here, for if inflation is overstated that means that real economic growth--improvements in material standards of living--are understated...

THE NASDAQ VS. THE DJIA. The expectations of market share and profitability that underpin current valuations of both the NASDAQ and the DJIA cannot both be correct...

HOW MUCH MORE GLOBAL ARE MODERN COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES MAKING THE ECONOMY?

WHAT DO COMPUTERS DO? Just what, exactly, are the efficiencies that firms get from investing in computers?

SOFTWARE PATENTS AND OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAND-GRABS

WHAT POLICIES ARE NEEDED TO SUPPORT THE CONTINUING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY REVOLUTION?


I like these a lot--especially the tech ones--especially if there are ways to
quantify them. Let's start with one of those. I'd need the first one April 4.
Does that work for you?


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University of California at Berkeley
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