Yuan the Conqueror: Chinese currency poised to become global heavyweight, economists say

The global importance of the Chinese yuan seems destined to rise, according to strategists and economists who say flows in the currency will grow over the long term if Beijing continues to gradually open its financial system. The yuan will become more globally important as China further allows foreign capital into the country through selective […]

Economists think antitrust policy should pay more attention to workers

OF LATE, POWERFUL corporations have been pairing up with impressive ardour. Perhaps it is something in the air. Or perhaps it is friendly regulators. On October 22nd America’s antitrust authorities gave their blessing to this year’s latest mega-merger: the union of Praxair and Linde, two industrial-gas giants worth a combined $ 90bn. Despite signs that […]

Economists care about where they publish—to the cost of the profession

LIKE most academics, economists are obsessed with how many research papers they produce, and where they are published. A new paper by James Heckman and Sidharth Moktan from the University of Chicago shows why—and why that might not be good for the profession. The authors analyse the career paths and publication records of researchers at […]

Economists focus too little on what people really care about

A CYNIC, says one of Oscar Wilde’s characters, is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. But, as philosophers have long known, assigning values to things or situations is fraught. Like the cynic, economists often assume that prices are all anyone needs to know. This biases many of their […]

Economists still lack a proper understanding of business cycles

THE aftermath of the 2007-08 financial crisis ought to have been a moment of triumph for economics. Lessons learned from the 1930s prevented the collapse of global finance and trade, and resulted in a downturn far shorter and less severe than the Depression. But even as the policy remedies were helpful, the crisis exposed the […]

Economists understand little about the causes of growth

OVER the past decade economists have been intensely scrutinised for their intellectual failings in the run-up to the 2007-08 financial crisis. Yet had the recession that followed been more severe—wiping a quarter off the GDP of every advanced economy, say—those countries would still have ended up four times as rich per person, in purchasing-power terms, […]