Friday, August 27, 2010

Principles of Economics translated - a must watch!

Check out this hilarious movie about Principles of Economics. Something for my macro students to watch!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

International ranking of the most cited Polish economists - I am in the 15th place

By pure chance I have just come across an article in the Polish local daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna about the 30 most cited Polish economists in the international Ideas/Repec ranking. To my surprise, I am now ranked 15th in Poland, which is not too bad at all.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The world's best countries by Newsweek - Poland is No. 1!

In the Newsweek's ranking of the globall well-being, Poland is in the No 1. spot among middle-income countries (and 29th overall). Not bad at all (although my friend Krzysztof Rybinski disagress in this week's Newsweek editorial. But I think this is for encouraging Poles to do even more).

What makes nations happy - it is not only about being rich

Interesting research on Below an abstract:

"What accounts for life satisfaction differences across countries? This column presents new findings from the Gallup World Poll of more than 140,000 respondents worldwide. It suggests the happiest nations are those with strong social support from family and friends, freedom in making life choices, and low levels of corruption."

This paper, however, presents a somewhat different perspective, arguing that absolute income increases happinness forever and that relative income comparisons in determining happiness play a limited role. This means, inter alia, that Poland and EU-10 must have now reached the highest level of relative well-being and happinness in their history, given that their absolute and relative incomes are the highest on record.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why the euro zone will survive

Finally some European has taken up the defense of the euro zone against the merciless agression of the misinformed global markets.

Lorenzo Bini Smaghi (at least his arrogance, which I have personally witnessed, is put to a good use) argues in the article in the Foreign Affairs on "The Future of the Euro. Why the Greek Crisis Will Not Ruin Europe’s Monetary Union"
that the euro zone has done pretty well in dealing with the crisis.

I agree. As I wrote in a previous post, the euro zone will come out stronger from the crisis. As we say in Polish "what does not kill you, will strengthen you".

He also rightly points out the stupidity of the overpaid global financiers, who until the last moment continued to finance Greece at extremely low interest rates.

I disagree with him though that Greece will not have to go through a debt restructuring - for me, it is a given.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More unequal societies are more deficit prone

The European Commission's guys have published an interesting paper on "Fiscal performance and income inequality: Are unequal societies more deficit-prone? Some cross-country evidence" where they find that indeed more unequal societies tend to have higher budget deficits.