Tag Archives: economics

Three American-based Economists Share Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize for Economics went to three US-based academics: Joshua D. Angrist, David Card, and Guido W. Imbens. Card earned his award for work on labor economics, while Angrist and Imbens contributed to the analysis of causal relationships.

Card, 65-years old, is a University of California-based professor of economics, while his partner, Angrist, is 61 and the Ford professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Imbens, the youngest of the three at 58, is based at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he is also a professor.

According to the Nobel Prize committee who chose the laureates, the three winners ” provided us with new insights about the labor market and shown what conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn from natural experiments.”

The committee added that the approach the researchers took to exploring social questions had “revolutionized empirical research.”

Is Remote Working Here to Stay?

Much has been written about the shift to remote work since coronavirus emerged.  A year into the Covid-19 era little progress has been made on creating the conditions to emerge from pandemic mode: Vaccination programs have gone slow in many Western countries, and new variants of the virus have emerged in the United Kingdom, South African and Brazil, calling into question the efficacy of the vaccines that are currently on the market.

Traditional wisdom would posit that those factors will have an outsized impact on bringing workers back to the office. But while Covid-19 may have sparked the shift to remote work, there is no indication the trend will reverse itself on the day after the pandemic.

Not many people would choose this…
over this

According to Forbes, the number of workers permanently working from home is expected to double in 2021, with up to 70 percent of the workforce predicted to maintain arrangements to work from home at least five days a month – regardless of developments surrounding Covid-19.

“The rise of remote will lead to people re-prioritizing what is important to them,” said Chris Herd, founder and CEO of Firstbase, a tool to help companies transition to remote working.

Herd told Inc.,  “Organizing your work around your life will be the first noticeable switch. People realizing they are more than their job will lead to deeper purpose in other areas.”

Herd says remote work is beneficial for both employers, who can focus on outcomes and eliminating “senseless tasks,” and for employees, who have the ability to work when they want, spend time with their families and concentrate on their health and exercise.

Early signs appear to validate Herd’s analysis. Commercial real estate values have plummeted in urban centers around the world, with rental prices down 30 percent in New York, large swaths of empty office space in downtown  Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, and London-based HSBC announcing it would slash office space around the world up to 40 percent.

Freakonomics Author Levitt Says Not to Worry About Sluggish Global Economy

Steven Levitt, professor of economics at the University of Chicago and renowned author of the provocative and sometimes startling bestseller Freakonomics, told attendees at an economics leadership forum in India that there is no cause for alarm over the poor image of the global economy.

No Fear

There is no reason to fear, Levitt explained, “It doesn’t feel like ‘The End’.”

“The US economy is even growing a little,” Levitt noted, referring to a two percent expansion in the last quarter.

As a matter of fact, “economies around the world have grown so much since World War Two, — unless there’s something horrific on the horizon which I don’t see — people will look back on these days as nothing more than a blip,” Levitt said.

Levitt added that, “We’re certainly not looking at something like the Great Depression.” Levitt also wrote an acclaimed sequel to Freakonomics, called SuperFreakonomics.

Rogue Economist

Proud of his nickname “rogue economist,” Levitt loves to challenge and question prevailing attitudes and assumptions about everyday life. For instance, he believes people are much too worried about terrorism.

Levitt decried the fact that governments spend enormous amounts of money combating terrorism when it is a “minor problem in the larger scheme of things.”

Car Accidents Worse Than Terror Attacks

“We can’t ignore the fact that many more people die in car crashes each year — in fact it really puts to shame (the casualty toll from) terrorist attacks.

“It is only our reaction to terrorism that is so extreme that it makes the problem look bigger than it actually is,” said Levitt.

Levitt was the recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal in 2003, an award given to the most influential economist in America under the age of 40.

First Visit to India

This was Levitt’s first visit to India and mentioned that the chaos he observed truly startled him.

“It’s amazing the country functions at all.”

“But it must be doing something right — the economy is growing like crazy,” he said, referring to the 7.5 percent forecast growth rate for the year.