Category Archives: Economics

Ravallion (2018) questions the thesis that globalization has been a major driving force of inequality. While this is the conclusion of two recently published books (Bourguignon, 2016 and Milanovic, 2016 ), Ravallion argues that their interpretation of the data is […]

Let me leave aside for a moment our talk about scientists and papers, and bring up a topic that, at first sight, might seem totally unconnected: Ronald Coase’s economic theory about the firm and the allocation of property rights. […]

Conspicuous consumption can be broadly defined as the type of consumption that does not satisfy a direct need or want, but rather, a desire to be regarded as someone that occupies a higher position in a hierarchy. For example, I […]

One of the topics of discussion within behavioral economics is the motivation of effort. Although the typical economic model usually assumes monetary incentives, they do not preclude the existence of other factors, like preferences for being first or psychological […]


In the two previous entries (1, 2) of this series I described the different diagnoses that Marina Garcés and Steven Pinker make of humanity’s current predicament, without concealing my sympathies for the latter’s: with up […]

In many group decisions unanimity is required to ensure that a reform will be adopted only if it benefits all its members. Multinational organizations may be the best example of this. However, when members have incomplete and private information about […]

Are we in the best of the times, as Steven Pinker asserts? Or do we live in a ‘posthumous’ society, to say it with the favourite image of Marina Garcés? As I told in the previous entry, it is […]

Keep in mind the word Enlightenment, because it’s very likely that it will be one of the most fashionable concepts within the next months. At a global level, Steven Pinker’s new book, Enlightenment now, will probably carry the […]

The most used mechanism to guarantee universal education in a country is by providing free public education, where public means both publicly financing and public provision. Milton Friedman (1962) made the case to keep the public funding but make […]

Economics needs theory, lab experiments, historical data and field evidence. Pilot programs and randomized controlled trials are particularly credible from the point of view of internal validity. However, the results of these “proof-of-concept” studies do not necessarily extend beyond the […]