Category Archives: Economics

There are two major impossibility theorems in social choice: Arrow’s theorem (1951) : the only system to aggregate individual preferences into social preferences (e.g., a voting mechanism) that satisfies the properties of transitivity, monotonicity and independence of irrelevant alternatives […]

The share of the world’s population living below the global extreme poverty line has dropped from 42% in 1981 to 11% in 2013. This dramatic change has encouraged the UN to set the goal of ending it by 2030. Can […]

A tax on carbon emissions is an efficient way to make firms and consumers internalize the environmental costs due to climate change. However, there are many other aspects to consider in a transition from a fossil-fueled economy to a cleaner […]

Very frequently, economic analysis must compare future and present magnitudes. Say that under policy A, the stream of payoffs for today and next year is (10, 10), while under policy B it is (13, 6). The total of payoff is […]

In this article I summarize the recently published paper by José Alcalde . In this article, the author discusses the current matching mechanism that is used in Spain to assign medical graduates who pass the MIR exam to residency positions. […]

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 […]