Category Quora

Will the world eventually come to an equilibrium where all nations will be developed and everyone will be out of poverty?

My answer on Quora: In the United States, the preamble to the nation’s constitution begins with “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…” The idea of “a more perfect union” underpins the ultimate goal of the nation as defined from its inception: to become more perfect with every generation, […]

Why is the US dollar still the currency that matters the most globally?

My answer on Quora: Of all the currencies around the world, the US dollar matters the most globally because it is most readily available, most widely accepted in international transactions, and, crucially, the most trusted. If little country A is selling a commodity, for example, to little country Z, that transaction is most likely to […]

What is the benchmark used to measure the effectiveness of monetary policy?

My answer on Quora: There are different indicators one can look at to help assess if the monetary policy of a central bank is effective or not, but such assessments have been getting harder to make. On the surface On the surface, a central bank can be viewed as effective in its monetary policy if […]

What is a better measure of (Workers’) productivity than GDP (PPP) per hour worked?

My answer on Quora: The ideal measure is output or value-add per worker. I say ideal because true output or true value is hard to measure. GDP has been labelled one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century, but it is not well suited for the 21st century. When output is a physical item, like […]

What did John Maynard Keynes get right about economics?

My answer on Quora: Two things: 1) Fiscal Policy Very simply (and very broadly), Keynes established that fiscal policy can play a role in managing aggregate demand. In plain English: government spending (whether it’s increasing or decreasing) can help the economy from getting too hot or too cold. When it is too hot (resources (capital […]

Why do people have such strong political opinions about economic issues? If we knew what works economically, why wouldn’t all people already support that?

My answer on Quora: Two key points stand out to me on this issue. The first is on what we know about the economy. The second is on how we talk about the economy. We do know a lot about the economy, but we don’t always know what the best way forward is. This is […]

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 […]