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  • Author: Robert L. Bradley Jr.
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Robert L. Bradley Jr., for many years had to balance loyalty to his employer, Enron, with his belief in Austrian economics. With the collapse of Enron came the opportunity to resolve the conflict in favor of Austrian economics. Bradley chose to undertake the slow development that would produce a definitive study rather than an instant bestseller. He ultimately decided to produce a three-volume treatment. The first of these, the book under review here, deals with two overriding conceptual issues relevant to the Enron collapse and their implications to Enron and earlier debacles. The first is what is the essence of free-market economics and whether the Enron experience undermines the case for free markets. The other is the invalidity of resource pessimism. Later volumes will deal with similar problems such as the Insull holding-company collapse in the Great Depression and then a concluding volume on Enron itself.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Tony Leon
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: On the Contrary is a seamless combination of a memoir of an influential South African politician and a well-researched modern history of his country. The author was the leader of the liberal Democratic Alliance, the leader of the opposition in Parliament.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States, South Africa
  • Author: Meir Kohn
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The most basic challenge for economics is to understand the nature and causes of economic progress. But what exactly is to be explained? What are the facts? One very striking fact is historical—the rapid acceleration in the rate of economic progress since the early 1800s. Another is geographical—the huge differences in levels of economic progress in different parts of the world today. The questions virtually ask themselves. Why did economic progress accelerate? Why is it not universal? On the whole, these two questions have been addressed by two different specialized fields within economics. Economic history has addressed the question of change over time, and development economics has addressed the question of contemporary differences across countries.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: England
  • Author: Meir Kohn
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The most basic challenge for economics is to understand the nature and causes of economic progress. But what exactly is to be explained? What are the facts? One very striking fact is historical—the rapid acceleration in the rate of economic progress since the early 1800s. Another is geographical—the huge differences in levels of economic progress in different parts of the world today. The questions virtually ask themselves. Why did economic progress accelerate? Why is it not universal? On the whole, these two questions have been addressed by two different specialized fields within economics. Economic history has addressed the question of change over time, and development economics has addressed the question of contemporary differences across countries.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: England
  • Author: Ali Al-Sadig
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The surge in foreign direct investment (FDI) flows during the 1990s has motivated a host of recent studies into their determinants. Recently, the level of corruption in the host country has been introduced as one factor among the determinants of FDI location. From a theoretical viewpoint, corruption—that is, paying bribes to corrupt government bureaucrats to get “favors” such as permits, investment licenses, tax assessments, and police protection—is generally viewed as an additional cost of doing business or a tax on profits. As a result, corruption can be expected to decrease the expected profitability of investment projects. Investors will therefore take the level of corruption in a host country into account in making decisions to invest abroad.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Andrei Illarionov
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: One day I asked Milton Friedman a question. That question was in my mind every time we met: “Could he have achieved the same status he did in America if he had lived in Russia—not only in terms of his research, but in shaping his outlook on life and in his under-standing of freedom?” Having kept silent for a moment, he answered: “no.”
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Deepak Lal
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In explaining the acceleration in Indian growth, and to judge if an Indian economic miracle is on its way, it is first necessary to establish when this acceleration began, as this is still subject to controversy. Second it is necessary to identify the sources of this acceleration and to see to what extent these are the results of policy. Third, to provide some reading of the tea leaves until 2030, it is necessary to outline the current constraints on growth. But before that, the current change in Indian economic fortunes needs to be put into historical perspective. This is done in the first part of this article, followed by the next three parts, which deal with the other three broad themes outlined above. As this article is in honor of Angus Maddison, I rely wherever possible on the growth accounting method that he has made so much his own.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Abdoul' Ganiou Mijiyawa
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In 1965, the growth rate of per capita GDP in Niger and Nigeria was 2.1 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, and 2.9 percent in Botswana. From 1966 to 1969, however, Niger and Nigeria recorded a negative growth rate, while Botswana continued to experience a positive growth rate over the same period. In 1990, the growth rate of per capita GDP was 1 percent in Ghana and 5.2 percent in Nigeria. Yet, from 1991 to 1994, the growth rate was negative in Nigeria and positive in Ghana. Why does the trajectory of economic growth episodes differ among countries? In other words, why is economic growth more sustainable in some countries than in others?
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Nigeria, Ghana
  • Author: Kurt Schuler
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Swiss franc is the world's best-performing currency over the last century: it has lost only about 87 percent of its value in terms of gold, compared to 97 percent for the U.S. dollar and more than 99 percent for almost all other currencies. Switzerland's avoidance of wars, which is part policy and part lucky geography, has contributed to the relative stability of the franc. So have the conservative financial habits of its citizens, which have been reflected in the country's generally prudent government finances. But some credit undoubtedly belongs to the central bank, the Swiss National Bank. It has consistently pursued monetary policies that have produced low inflation, and has made few consequential errors since it was established in 1907. Its experience therefore should be of interest far beyond the borders of Switzerland. This centennial volume, by a constellation of 40 Swiss and foreign authors, is a history and an examination of issues in monetary policy the central bank has faced. It is typically Swiss in its occasionally ponderous thoroughness, pleasing design, and high quality.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: France, Switzerland
  • Author: Ike Brannon
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: When it comes to social policy, inertia can be a bitch. While the sentiment may not seem all that profound, its gradual realization by economists and policymakers is beginning to have an impact on public policy. It has already wreaked havoc within the economics discipline.
  • Topic: Economics, Health