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What do Europeans think about immigration?

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What do Europeans think about immigration?

According to a recent YouGov poll, 4 out of 10 EU citizens think the benefits of immigration outweigh the costs[1]. Anti-immigration views are stronger in Sweden and Italy, with around 50 percent of respondents claiming that the costs of immigration are substantially higher than the potential benefits. In contrast, only one-third of the Polish population consider that immigrants have a negative…

Global migration numbers refute the rhetoric of invasion

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Global migration numbers refute the rhetoric of invasion

The anti-immigration wave that has emerged over the last years on both sides of the Atlantic has contributed to spreading a number of mantras about the migration phenomenon on a global scale. I myself have tried to debunk some of the myths related to the economic impact of immigrants on host countries, pointing out that most claims are either false or overstated (e.g., here, here, or here).…

What is Modern Monetary Theory? (III): A Critique

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What is Modern Monetary Theory? (III): A Critique

A widespread idea among MMT proponents is that governments can never go bankrupt. And to some extent, this is true. If a government has the capacity to print money, it can’t strictly default on its debt. Put differently, a government with monetary autonomy will always be able to print money to repay its debt in nominal terms. But at what cost? Imagine you buy a one-year government bond for…

What is Modern Monetary Theory? (II): A Critique

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What is Modern Monetary Theory? (II): A Critique

In the last months, the US political debate has revolved around a number of proposals (e.g., Bernie Sander’s Medicare for All or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal) that, if materialized, would send government expenditures through the roof. Most economists would tell you that, in the long run, these new programs must be financed either by increasing taxes or by trimming other…

What is Modern Monetary Theory? (I): Some Ideas

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What is Modern Monetary Theory? (I): Some Ideas

In an interview last January, Democratic Party’s rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brought attention to so-called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), a theory that challenges the foundations of mainstream economics regarding fiscal and monetary policy. Whereas its supporters see in MMT a solid theoretical framework with which to justify the expansion of public spending, its detractors argue…

What's behind skyrocketing rental prices in Spain?

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What's behind skyrocketing rental prices in Spain?

Last month, Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez was forced to call a snap election after Congress rejected his budget proposal. The call for elections and subsequent dissolution of parliament has not, however, prevented Sánchez’s caretaker government from continuing legislating via executive orders. Even though these executive orders need to be approved by the…

Book Review: The Clash of Economic Ideas

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Book Review: The Clash of Economic Ideas

The Clash of Economic Ideas: The Great Policy Debates and Experiments of the Last Hundred Years By Lawrence H. White Cambridge University Press; 1st edition (April 9, 2012) 438 pages, $39.77   “I’m rather good at it”, said a young John Maynard Keynes to a friend shortly after starting the only economics course he would take in his life; a course that would turn a…

The Bank of Spain warns about the harmful effects of raising the minimum wage

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The Bank of Spain warns about the harmful effects of raising the minimum wage

On December 21 last year, the Spanish government issued an executive order whereby it increased the national minimum wage by an astonishing 22.3 percent for fiscal year 2019. Despite the potentially harmful effects that such a drastic measure could have on Spain’s ailing labor market (the unemployment rate is still over 14 percent), Sánchez’s government didn’t hesitate to…

A European Central Bank Primer (V): What does the ECB’s balance sheet look like?

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A European Central Bank Primer (V): What does the ECB’s balance sheet look like?

As the entity responsible for the conduct of monetary policy in the Eurozone, the ECB has a prerogative that no other financial institution possesses: it has an exclusive monopoly over the issuance of euros. As a result, the ECB’s financial position differs radically from that of any other bank in the Euro area. Today, we will take a closer look at the balance sheet of the Eurozone’s…

A European Central Bank Primer (IV): Transmission Mechanisms of Monetary Policy

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A European Central Bank Primer (IV): Transmission Mechanisms of Monetary Policy

In a previous article, I introduced the concept of long-term neutrality of money, which the ECB defines as a general principle according to which “a change in the quantity of money in the economy will be reflected in a change in the general level of prices. But it will not induce permanent changes in real variables such as real output or unemployment.” Put differently, monetary…

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