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Analysis and Commentary

A Tale of Two Countries

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia russianeconomy.org
Monday, November 18, 2002

China grows at 8% a year, while the IMF tells Russia, which cannot even recover from the Great Contraction of the 1990s, to reduce inflation by a few percentage points.

Analysis and Commentary

Market, Shmarket, WTO

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia russianeconomy.org
Wednesday, November 13, 2002

In 2002, Western governments unleashed an inconceivable attack on the idea of the market economy.

THE POPULATION BOMB REDUX: Is Population Growth a Problem?

with Nicholas Eberstadt, Paul Ehrlichvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

In the past century the earth's human population has quadrupled, growing from 1.5 billion in 1900 to about 6 billion today. By 2050, it is estimated that the global population will reach 9 billion. In 1968, a young biologist named Paul Ehrlich wrote a best-selling book called The Population Bomb, which sparked an ongoing debate about the dangers of overpopulation. He argued that population growth was destroying the ecological systems necessary to sustain life. So just how worried should we be? Is population growth a problem or not? And if so, what should we do about it?

GOING AROUND IN CIRCLES: The Future of NASA

with Chris Chyba, Timothy Ferris, David Morrisonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, October 25, 2002

The space program used to mean one thing: the effort to put American astronauts on the moon. That effort is becoming ancient history. We haven't sent anyone to the moon in thirty years. So what is NASA's mission today? What sort of space exploration is worth pursuing today and tomorrow? And is NASA the right institution for the job?

The Right to Private Property

by Tibor R. Machanvia Analysis
Tuesday, October 1, 2002

If there is one really serious intellectual and cultural problem with capitalism, it stems from the lack of a sustained and widely known, let alone accepted, moral defense of the institution of private property rights.

Few doubt, in today’s world, that a society with a legal infrastructure that lacks this institution is in serious economic trouble. The failure to respect and legally protect the institution of private property—and its corollaries, such as freedom of contract and of setting the terms by the parties to the trade—has produced economic weakness across the globe. But many also believe that this institution is not founded on anything more solid than the arbitrary will of the government to grant privileges of ownership (for the latest statement of this position, see Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel, The Myth of Ownership [Oxford University Press, 2002]).

Without a moral, prelegal defense, the institution of private property, which is the source of a great many benefits to us all, will forever remain vulnerable to the critics, starting with Karl Marx, who said that “the right of man to property is the right to enjoy his possessions and dispose of the same arbitrarily, without regard for other men, independently from society, the right of selfishness.” This essay argues that, contrary to widespread academic sentiments and impressions, the institution of private property rights fully accords with a sensible conception of human morality, indeed, rests on a solid moral foundation.

Analysis and Commentary

What Real Appreciation of the Ruble? A Postscript: Is Real Depreciation Setting in?

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia russianeconomy.org
Monday, August 12, 2002

Data published by the Central Bank of Russia showed that the real effective exchange rate (the real trade-weighted exchange rate) of the ruble had only modestly increased 4.9% during the first half (H1) of 2002 compared with H1 of 2001 and a smaller 1.2% compared with H2 of 2001. The data are suggestive of a possible shift in direction, from real appreciation of the ruble to real depreciation of the ruble.

Analysis and Commentary

Bush's Wall Street Reform Program Merits Support

by Arnold Beichmanvia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, July 29, 2002

There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the securities market.

Analysis and Commentary

Getting the Macroeconomic Balances Right? Or Achieving High Growth? Are the Two Compatible in Russia?

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia russianeconomy.org
Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Increasing the share of private income in GDP is the quickest path to higher growth. So long as the network of enterprise socialism enjoys its subsidy and self-subsidy powers, Russia will be hard pressed to turn in sustained high growth.

Analysis and Commentary

What Real Appreciation of the Ruble?

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia russianeconomy.org
Monday, July 15, 2002

Even if there is such a thing as real appreciation of the ruble and if it takes some time for the real appreciation of the ruble to percolate through the economy, the magnitude of the changes over the past year does not warrant the conclusion that a major culprit in Russia's slowing growth is real ruble appreciation.

Analysis and Commentary

How Much Growth is Normal? In Russia? Elsewhere?

by Alvin Rabushka, Michael S. Bernstamvia russianeconomy.org
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Russia's sustained contraction during 1991-1998, followed by a trend of declining growth during the past three-and-a-half years, should be set in the context of an economy defined by a low level of private income, about one-quarter of GDP (or a high degree of socialism, about three-quarters of GDP). In the realm of socialist economies, 3-4% annual growth may well be normal.

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Economic Policy Working Group

 
The Working Group on Economic Policy brings together experts on economic and financial policy to study key developments in the U.S. and global economies, examine their interactions, and develop specific policy proposals.

Milton and Rose Friedman: An Uncommon Couple