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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

9780199311255 - Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know

The cases for and against hydrofracking

The EPA recently released a report stating that while hydrofracking has not led to significant impacts on drinking water, contamination may occur with “potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water”. In this extract from Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know, Alex Prud’homme breaks down the cases for and against hydrofracking.

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9780199322190_450

One-handed economics

Once again, one of President Obama’s major legislative initiatives is being battered by a hostile Congress. Only this time, it is not Republicans standing in the way of the Administration’s plans, but the Democratic minority in the US Senate holding up the president’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. The TPP is an ambitious trade deal currently being negotiated between eleven countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, United States, Singapore and Vietnam.

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9780199914081

President Obama, the Senate, and state private-sector retirement laws

In a letter addressed to President Obama, 26 members of the United States Senate expressed their support for the private sector retirement savings laws adopted in Illinois and California, and also being considered in other states. In particular, the senators asked that the United States Treasury and Labor Departments resolve three legal issues clouding the prospects of these adopted and proposed state laws.

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Will data privacy change the law?

It is customary to distinguish between three different forms of jurisdiction. As is well known, prescriptive (or legislative) jurisdiction relates to the power to make law in relation to a specific subject matter. Judicial (or adjudicative) jurisdiction, as the name suggests, deals with the power to adjudicate a particular matter. And, finally, enforcement jurisdiction relates to the power to enforce the law put in place, in the sense of, for example, arresting, prosecuting and/or punishing an individual under that law.

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The United States of Excess

Over-consumption in America: beyond corporate power

It is easy enough for critics to trace America’s over-consumption of things like food and fuel to the excess power of our profit-making corporations. Americans consume more food and fuel than Europeans in part because these companies in America are better able to resist taxes and regulations.

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9780199935376

Unequal at birth

Recent events in Baltimore, Ferguson, and other places have highlighted the explosive potential of discrimination and inequality. Much attention has been paid to police practices, the long-term effect of joblessness, and the trauma of the criminal justice system incarcerating large numbers of African-Americans. This focus on the present is understandable. It is also insufficient. There is a need to understand and address the huge disadvantages, and indeed disabilities, imposed on future generations by pre-natal conditions.

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CESIFO-56(4)Cover.qxd

Ten facts about economic gender inequality

Gender is a central concept in modern societies. The promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment is key for policymakers, and it is receiving a growing attention in business agendas. However, gender gaps are still a wide phenomenon. While gender gaps in education and health have been decreasing remarkably over time and their differences across countries have been narrowing, gender gaps in the labour market and in politics are more persistent and still vary largely across countries.

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Field experimenting in economics: Lessons learned for public policy

Do neighbourhoods matter to outcomes? Which classroom interventions improve educational attainment? How should we raise money to provide important and valued public goods? Do energy prices affect energy demand? How can we motivate people to become healthier, greener, and more cooperative? These are some of the most challenging questions policy-makers face. Academics have been trying to understand and uncover these important relationships for decades.

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9780199214235_450

Retail and the royals

With the arrival of little Princess Charlotte of Cambridge earlier this month, retailers will have inevitably experienced an influx of customers purchasing commemorative memorabilia and other royal baby related souvenirs. The UK economy is expecting a huge boost with the excitement generated by the new baby. With the Monarchy estimated to be worth £44 billion, we take a brief look at four ways the Royal family has given the UK’s economy a much needed lift in the past.

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9780198099789_450

How complex is net neutrality?

Thanks to the recent release of consultation paper titled <“Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services,” for the first time in India’s telecom history close to a million petitions in favour of net neutrality were sent; comparable to millions who responded to Federal Communications Commission’s position paper on net neutrality last year.

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Bailey et al-New Perspectives on Industrial Policy for a Modern Britain

Putting industrial policy back on the agenda

As the UK General Election draws near, the economy has again been the over-riding feature of the campaign. Yet the debate itself has been pretty narrow, being principally framed around ‘austerity’ and the reduction of the size of the government’s budget deficit. The major political parties are all committed to eradicating this deficit, with the main question being the time-frame in achieving this goal.

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9780199322190_450

Parliamentary procedure

On May 7, British voters will head to the polls to elect a new Parliament. If mid-April forecasts are correct, the formation of a government will be a bit more complicated than in elections past. The results of those elections will have important ramifications for the conduct of economic policy in both Britain and the European Union. For most of the last two centuries, British governments have been formed by one of the two major political parties of the time.

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9780199914081

Keep the Cadillac tax

The Obamacare “Cadillac tax” is currently scheduled to go into effect in 2018. However, last week, sixty-six members of the House of Representatives, including both Republicans and Democrats, proposed to repeal the Cadillac tax before it becomes effective. The Cadillac tax will be imposed at a 40% rate on the cost of health care insurance, exceeding statutorily-established thresholds. Unions and many of their Democratic stalwarts, otherwise supportive of Obamacare, oppose the Cadillac tax because generous union-sponsored health care plans will trigger the tax.

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Keizer-Multidisciplinary Economics

The euro zone leadership suffers from cognitive closure

The euro zone has still not recovered from the global depression 2009. A major cause is the idea that every member should solve its own problems by lowering prices on all markets, and by reducing the influence of the government. Lower prices stimulate the exports to other countries, which would result in the beginning of a genuine recovery. Because the interrelationships between the various member-economies are quite strong, and the influence of the big euro zone on the global economy is significant, this policy advice has failed so far.

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9780199677771_450

Food security in the twenty-first century

There are currently about 7 billion people on Earth and by the middle of this century the number will most likely be between 9 and 10 billion. A greater proportion of these people will in real terms be wealthier than they are today and will demand a varied diet requiring greater resources in its production. Increasing demand for food will coincide with supply-side pressures: greater competition for water, land, and energy, and the accelerating effects of climate change.

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9780199897865

Greece vs. the Eurozone

The new Greek government that took office in January 2015 made a commitment during the election campaign that Greece would stay in the Eurozone. At the same time, it also declared that Greece’s relations with its European partners would be put on a new footing. This did not materialize. The Greek government accepted the continuation of the existing agreement with its lenders, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank. This was the only way of ensuring Greece would not run out of funding.

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