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Rafael Leónidas Trujillo: the dictator who inspired a Nobel Prize

Rafael Leónidas Trujillo: the dictator who inspired a Nobel Prize

Most Latin American countries were ruled, at some point of the twentieth century, by dictators responsible for countless violations of human rights. Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile with an iron fist for almost two decades, was responsible for more than 3,000 executions and hundreds enforced disappearances. During Videla’s dictatorship in Argentina, between 13,000 and 30,000 citizens were…

The importance of financial education in today’s world

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The importance of financial education in today’s world

The financial roots of the 2008 crisis led many EU countries to develop national strategies aimed at improving the financial education of their citizens. In Spain, for instance, the National Securities Market Commission and the Bank of Spain launched a four-year financial education plan that has been renewed twice since 2008. Similar plans were implemented in Ireland, Denmark, France or…

Experiments in economics? You bet!

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Experiments in economics? You bet!

Every year around this time, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel—aka the Nobel Prize in Economics. This year, the Prize went to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” The three economists pioneered the use of randomized…

Does vaccine skepticism affect immunization rates?

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Does vaccine skepticism affect immunization rates?

Believe it or not, vaccination is still a controversial issue in many countries. Despite the scientific consensus that vaccines pose no risk to human health, some parents are still skeptical regarding their safety and effects, leading some of them to avoid vaccinating their children often based on pseudo-scientific arguments. Our World in Data recently released a series of articles that shed…

ECB's latest move won't work

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ECB's latest move won't work

Draghi never disappoints. In his penultimate monetary-policy meeting, the still President of the ECB announced that the Eurozone’s central bank would soon resume the net asset purchase program in an attempt to get inflation back to the ECB’s 2 percent target after some months of lower-than-expected inflation. The Governing Council also agreed to lower the deposit rate to -0.5%,…

The case for legalizing paid surrogacy

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The case for legalizing paid surrogacy

Spain’s government has recently urged the Attorney General to investigate the operations of businesses offering surrogacy services. Despite not providing any evidence to support her claims, the Minister of Justice accused some of these businesses of child trafficking, criminal organization, money laundering, and false documentation. Surrogacy is unlawful in Spain, although companies…

What is that Phillips curve everyone is talking about?

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What is that Phillips curve everyone is talking about?

Federal Reserve’s Chairman Jerome Powell testified last month before the House Committee on Financial Services. As usual, Powell answered questions regarding the present and future of monetary policy. During the testimony, Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked Powell about the weakening of Phillips curve and its relevance for today’s monetary-policy decisions.…

Book Review: The Ethics of Voting

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Book Review: The Ethics of Voting

The Ethics of Voting By Jason Brennan Princeton University Press, 2012. 229 pages, $16.44 Voting in local, national, or supranational elections is in general seen as an act of good citizenship. Even though participation rates vary from country to country, a large percentage of the population in advanced democracies go to the polls quasi-religiously in every election. Yet few people reflect…

What can we expect from ECB’s new president Christine Lagarde?

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What can we expect from ECB’s new president Christine Lagarde?

Habemus praeses. Incumbent IMF chairwoman Christine Lagarde was recently nominated to become the next president of the ECB after the agreement reached by European leaders last week. The French politician will take up the position next November, bringing an end to Draghi’s eight-year mandate. Draghi’s presidency has been characterized by two key aspects. First, during his mandate, the…

Economic freedom and the decriminalization of homosexuality in Botswana

Economic freedom and the decriminalization of homosexuality in Botswana

Milton Friedman used to say that economic freedom is a necessary but not sufficient condition for political freedom. The case of China seems to prove the Chicago School economist right. The Asian country’s successful attempts to increase living standards through free-market policies over the last four decades haven’t been accompanied by reforms aimed at democratizing the country. Yet…

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