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Government bloat: societal divide

Government bloat: societal divide

In his writing regarding the ratio of federal employees to federal contractors (1.5 million : 15 million), economic historian and professor Brian Domitrovic argued that the contractor bubble is rooted in a desire to undermine the private sector. His argument is that federal contractors are in reality federal employees under a different name. The root of Domitrovic’s thesis lies in American…

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…

The death of the “Spitzenkandidaten”

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
The death of the “Spitzenkandidaten”

The European Council killed the "Spitzenkandidaten" process. It was never great, but a return to the old appointment system will have consequences of its own.   A useless circus   The treaties of the European Union, as they stand at the moment, indicate that the results of the European elections need to be taken into account for the nomination of the president of the…

In its war against disinformation, the European Union goes too far

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
In its war against disinformation, the European Union goes too far

The European Union wants to do more to combat the spread of fake news. The tools it uses, however, will hand too much power to the government.   Fighting fake news   When current European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker was asked by German newspaper Bild what advice he would give to his successor (we don't know yet who it is going to be), the Luxembourger said:…

Is a Paneuropean Empire the Answer for Europe?

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Blogger: Kai Weiss
Is a Paneuropean Empire the Answer for Europe?

Reflecting on Karl Habsburg’s Europe, Liberty, and Geopolitics Speech When a royal figure speaks about our future, one listens. This was certainly the case in past centuries, but it is still true today in an age when most kingdoms have vanished from the world. And so it was naturally the case that more than 150 guests at the Hayek Days, which took place in Vienna this year, hung on…

Low entry threshold, or affirmative action: a case study

Low entry threshold, or affirmative action: a case study

Over the 2010s, a pointless drama played out in the American Supreme Court - twice. A young woman, Abby Fisher, filed a personal injury lawsuit against University of Texas at Austin for not admitting her as an undergraduate. In fairness to Fisher, it turned out that the suit was the concoction of adults in her life who wanted it to become the landmark case that would bring down institutional…

Who will succeed Mario Draghi as head of the ECB?

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Who will succeed Mario Draghi as head of the ECB?

The days of Mario Draghi as head of the European Central Bank are coming to an end. Next October, Draghi will cease to be one of the most powerful central bankers in the world after eight years in office. A hero for some, a villain for others, everyone agrees that his mandate will go down in history as one of the most decisive in the short history of the euro as he was forced to cope with a…

Remember Macron’s new food bill? It backfired as anticipated

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
Remember Macron’s new food bill? It backfired as anticipated

Last year, the French legislature passed the “Loi EGalim”, intended to re-establish fairness between food producers and retailers. But none of the “fairness” measures have made anything fairer. Quite the contrary.   What happened   In a piece for FEE back in February, I went through the different dispositions in the bill. One of the flagship policies included…

Mr. Trump, leave the Fed alone

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Mr. Trump, leave the Fed alone

One sometimes wonders if Trump’s irresponsible statements have other objective than to show his bold ignorance on economic and political issues. Last week, the US President lashed out at the Federal Reserve for its stance on monetary policy. In a nutshell, he complained about the dollar appreciating against the Euro as a result of Fed’s policies. This, according to Trump, undermines…

What is the place premium?

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What is the place premium?

Wage differentials within a country can be explained by factors such as work experience, years of education, or career choices. Yet things get more complicated when comparing wages from workers living in different countries. When we do so, we need to take into account an extra factor: migration barriers. This is exactly what economists Michael Clemens, Claudio Montenegro and Lant Pritchett do in…

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