Category Quick Posts

Assuming all countries have the same rates, what is the optimal average tariff? Is it 0%, or does a small nominal rate produce better outcomes?

My answer on Quora: I do not believe there is such a thing as a common optimal tariff rate across countries. I also do not believe that a world with zero tariffs will produce better outcomes than having a range of country- and industry-specific tariffs (from zero to above zero). This is because countries differ […]

How does improving basic infrastructure enhance economic growth?

My answer on Quora: Basic infrastructure enhances economic growth in three broad ways: (1) by supporting the production of goods and services, (2) by connecting people to each other and to those goods and services, and (3) by helping people secure basic needs like food, clean water, housing, health care and quality education (a healthy […]

What’s the IMF?

My answer on Quora: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a multilateral/international institution whose primary purpose is to be a lender of last resort to member governments. If one of its member countries is having a financial, banking or related crisis, or is about to have one, the IMF is there to lend that country’s […]

What is the optimal home ownership rate in the US?

My answer on Quora: I think this question just gave some economist out there an idea for her next paper, because, to my limited knowledge on this literature, there do not seem to be many studies that try to answer this question. There may be a reason for that and that reason could be methodological […]

How is China preparing for the expected rapid aging of its population?

My answer on Quora: At least one way China hopes to address some of the needs of its aging population is by providing households with safe financial assets to invest in. The more options available for households to finance (at least part) of their own retirement, the less pressure on public pensions and the more […]

What is your favorite economic principle?

My answer on Quora: Thinking at the margin! The principle here is that decisions are made when considering one step ahead. What impact will this extra move have on X? Will one more A result in B? What would it mean for my budget (or time) if I buy Y instead of X? This kind […]

What is the difference between human and economic development?

My answer on Quora: When economic development is inclusive, the two can be thought to go hand in hand. This is largely because there is no precise definition of economic development. For example, take the Cambridge Dictionary’s definition: The process in which an economy grows or changes and becomes more advanced, especially when both economic and social […]