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39

This is a good question. To be concrete, I think it's easier to pick a single number - this is arbitrary, but I'll go with the figure of $10,000 offered in the proposal by Charles Murray (one of the most prominent conservative supporters of a universal basic income). I'll assume that this is offered to every adult in the US age 18 and over, expanding ...


16

Most of the same considerations apply to countries as apply to businesses and people, plus a couple of extra cons Pros of Being Debt Free No interest payments Not beholden to someone else (financial freedom) Cons of Being Debt Free Buying things on (interest free) credit can save a little money Paying for things in installments can match costs to income ...


12

Isaac Sorkin, a grad student at Michigan, has addressed this. Here is Miles Kimball blogging it, link. Main argument there is that previous work measures short run elasticities, which are less responsive than in the long run. You can surely find more by checking Sorkin's citations.


11

One reason is the inflationary gain problem. Let me give an example with simple numbers. I make \$100 in income and pay 20% tax of \$20. I have \$80 left, which I invest in a stock. The stock goes up in value at the same rate as inflation, about 3.5% a year. After 20 years, it's worth about \$160, but \$160 has the same value now as \$80 did when I ...


10

There is an interesting report that circulated during the Clinton administration, when we predicted we'd pay off all the debt, that I think answers your question. (here's a public radio article about it) The main takeaway is that government bonds are the safest and most liquid asset. Its existence is necessary for a large number of financial institutions (...


10

To the extent that there is an economic explanation for their findings, it's something along the lines of costs of changing prices and employment are large enough relative to the increase in the minimum wage observed that producers choose instead to take a large amount of the cost of minimum wage increases on themselves. The alternatives would be 1) they ...


8

Yes, sugar tax! This is probably as controversial as tobacco tax was back in the days. If you walk through a supermarket, you will find that half of the food section is food full of sugar. Sugar is what makes you fat, not fat itself. It has been known for a while, at least since the professional sports were invented. Yet the lobby of the enormous sugar ...


8

You can find a didactic exposition of Mirrlees (1971) -- including derivations of optimal tax schedule formulas for different social welfare and utility function -- in section 4.2 of "The Economics of Taxation" by Bernard Salanié (2003, First Edition). I bet it is still somewhere in the second edition too, but I do not have a copy of it so I don't know in ...


8

Source:- Bankers cost this country £456.3bn in fraud In the UK, where the government bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group, the total outstanding support explicitly pledged to Britain’s banks stood at 456.3 billion pounds ($730 billion) at the end of March, or 31 percent of GDP, the National Audit Office said in a July ...


8

I'm not an expert on this, but as a Singaporean, here are some factors off the top of my head (plus some Googling), explaining why Singapore is different from other first-world countries (in terms of revenue and expenditures). In 2014, the personal income tax contributed only about 14.6% of government revenues (Source). In contrast, in Canada for example, ...


7

First, we need to assume that the minimum wage is an "effective constraint", i.e. that in the cases examined people are paid the minimum wage. I guess this holds. Second, the negative relation between demand for labor (for the services sold by workers) and wage (its price), depends on an assumption of a smooth such relation. In turn, such a smooth relation ...


7

The burden of taxation is shared among suppliers and demanders according to the price elasticities of supply and demand. The more elastic side carries less of the tax burden. To understand this, note that the tax effectively increases the price demanders pay and decreases the price suppliers get. Elasticity tells us how demanders and suppliers react to this ...


6

Pierre Dubois, Rachel Griffith, and Aviv Nevo have a nice and well-executed AER paper where they argue that differences in obesity rates across countries can be due to differences in food consumption patterns. For instance, obesity rates are the highest in the United States at 30.0% (as you mentioned), compared to 14.5% in France and 23.6% in the United ...


6

In any discussion of obesity-related policy, it helps to call out a couple of assumptions: Assumption: A healthy lifestyle will reduce a person's weight. Everyone and their brother "knows" this to be true, but the science behind it is sketchy, at best. As several others have pointed out, obesity is not well-understood, medically, and it is entirely ...


6

We could distinguish between two kinds of "wage subsidies": A) The government pays to the firm part of the wage cost, usually social security fees. B) The government pays to the employee a markup on his wage. In scenario A, labor supply is not affected but labor demand shifts outwards: the tendency should be higher employment and higher equilibrium wage ...


6

The best book in my opinion for your case is definitely Intermediate Public Economics by Jean Hindriks and Gareth D. Myles. It is often used as a standard text for public finance at your level and covers most of the material you need in an interesting and accessible way.


6

This idea in the title of your question sometimes falls under the name of consumer sovereignty.† Macmillan Dictionary of Modern Economics (edited by David W. Pearce, 1992): consumer sovereignty. The idea that the CONSUMER is the best judge of his or her own welfare. This assumption underlies the theory of consumer behaviour and through it the bulk of ...


5

One example of monetary policy is the Bank of Japan buying the Nikkei as part of its asset purchasing program. Typically, a substantial share of citizens' wealth is connected to returns of their national stock market. Hence, it is generally not a wise move for a fiscal authority to invest public funds (not tied to pension schemes) in broad baskets of ...


5

No one else has mentioned another possible explanation: that there was an increasing labor shortage in New Jersey at the time of the minimum wage increase. This caused minimum wage employment to increase. This was not a result of the minimum wage increase but of the demand increase. I.e. the demand curve moved up and to the right. This caused the ...


5

Here is an answer based on the following interpretation of the SWF : there is no "true" SWF, but SWFs are observable in principle, they simply represent the preferences of the policy decision maker. Under this interpretation, the policy recommendation are relevant despite depending on the specification of the SWF, precisely because different decision makers ...


5

Suppose your country holds debt equal to thirty percent of GDP and that the government is obliged to pay interest of five percent per year on that debt. This implies that each year the cost of servicing the debt is 1.5% of GDP. Thus, if the country's GDP grows at a rate of 1.5% then it can afford to service the debt indefinitely without the debt/GDP ratio ...


5

The people who do the planning do explicitly account for the value of time and convenience to transit users. At least, in all the systems I've worked on. (source: I have had jobs where I worked on exactly this, for London, for the Netherlands, and for international train travel) Interchanges are modelled with penalties which cover: the time taken to move ...


4

Not a serious answer, but these two incendiary quotes were by two Nobel laureates (Wall Street Journal, 25th April, 1996) and so perhaps worth listing here. James Buchanan: The inverse relationship between quantity demanded and price is the core proposition in economic science, which embodies the presupposition that human choice behavior is sufficiently ...


4

A new report by the Roosevelt Institute answers exactly that using a Keynesian, Stock-Flow-Consistent model calibrated to the US. According to their result, when distributional changes are considered, an UBI would considerably stimulate the economy. The Executive Summary reads: How would a massive federal spending program like a universal basic income (...


4

In "Uncommon Sense", by Gary Becker and Richard Posner, Posner, going off of Becker's comment, suggests that while a fat tax would be regressive, poverty and obesity are correlated more because of a lack of salience about the causation between soft drinks and obesity. To remedy this, he actually suggests a complete ban on the sale of soft drinks with sugar ...


4

The ratio of government debt to GDP is a useful indicator because, broadly, the larger a country's GDP, the larger is the tax revenue the government could potentially raise to service the debt while maintaining other government expenditure at an acceptable level. Thus a very high debt / GDP ratio would raise doubts about the government's ability to service ...


4

The US is in a privileged position of producing a currency that people in other countries want to use (as reserve). There's even a French name for that. Anyway, a result of that is cheap credit for the US government: Many believe that this dollar dominance has allowed the United States to live beyond its means, running sizable current account deficits ...


4

The objective is to show that, as long as $f'(n\hat\theta)\ne \alpha$, a firm can always engineer a package $(p',\hat\theta')=(p+\Delta p,\hat\theta+\Delta \hat{\theta})$ such that (i) a caring consumer strictly prefers this package, and (ii) the firm makes positive profits. 1) Your maths are correct: the inequalities are always false when f is increasing ...


4

The second welfare theorem does not necessarily involve a government as such. It does not matter for the theorem who redistributes the resources. Nevertheless, in practice this will most likely often involve the government.


4

$$ \frac{\partial\frac{T(Y)}{Y}}{\partial Y}= \frac{T'(Y)}{Y} - \frac{T(Y)}{Y^2} $$ This can only be smaller than 0 if $$ T'(Y) < \frac{T(Y)}{Y} $$ In other words, the marginal tax rate needs to be smaller than the average tax rate. This can't happen because you start with an average tax rate of zero and a positive marginal tax rate. From then on, in ...


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