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Something different

The aggregate demand crisis in eastern Europe is not over

Ryan Hahn's picture

That's my main takeaway from just-released data based on surveys of over 1,800 firms in eastern Europe. In mid-July 2009, firms in six countries were asked whether they had seen an increase, decrease, or no change in sales from the previous year. The numbers then were not pretty—75% of firms reported a decrease in sales (based on an average of country-level data).

Digging up the data on agricultural markets

Mohammad Amin's picture

Considerable effort and attention has been devoted to market-oriented reforms in the manufacturing and financial sectors and in physical infrastructure. While these are undoubtedly important sectors, there is very little by way of research on agricultural market reforms—loosely defined as deregulation of agricultural markets.

Burnishing a tarnished brand

Ryan Hahn's picture

No, I'm not referring to Tiger Woods's recent return to golf. George Soros is trying to rebuild the economics profession from the ground up at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. The site has a ton of interesting videos, including the one below by Nobel laureate George Akerlof (of The Market for Lemons fame).

Is the system of international aid about to collapse?

Ryan Hahn's picture

So says Owen Barder. Money quote:

So we may be on the brink of a collapse of the entire “business model”, as traumatic as the closure of newspapers in the United States (the UK is a year or so behind).  Perhaps we should see this as an opportunity, rather than a threat.  Collapse may be the appropriate response, an opportunity to build a new system from the bottom up.

Do casinos produce anything valuable?

Ryan Hahn's picture

"Are markets simply casinos for betting?" Asli recently asked this question on the All About Finance blog. She argues that financial markets do a lot more than that, and I agree. But there are some markets that come very close to being casinos. Surprisingly, in the wake of the financial crisis, the U.S.

A technical update

Ryan Hahn's picture

Some readers have complained in the past that they have gotten error messages when trying to submit comments to the blog. We've put in a request with our software provider to look into the problem, but in the meantime, please send an email to rru@worldbank.org if you encounter a problem. We'll be happy to post the comment for you (and we'd also like to know how frequently the problem is cropping up).

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