“THROUGHOUT history, poverty is the normal condition of man,” wrote Robert Heinlein, a science-fiction writer. Until the 18th century, global GDP per person was stuck between $725 and $1,100, around the same income level as the World Bank’s current poverty line of $1.90 a day. But global income levels per person have since accelerated, from around $1,100 in 1800 to $3,600 in 1950, and over $10,000 today.
Economists have long tried to explain this sudden surge in output. Most theories have focused on the factors driving long-term economic growth such as the quantity and productivity of labour and capital. But a new paper* takes a different tack: faster growth is not due to bigger booms, but to less shrinking in recessions. Stephen Broadberry of Oxford University and John Wallis of the University of Maryland have taken data for 18 countries in Europe and the New World, some from as far back as the 13th century. To their surprise, they found that growth during years of economic expansion has fallen in the recent era—from 3.88% between 1820 and 1870 to 3.06% since 1950—even though average growth across all years in those two periods increased from 1.4% to...The history of growth should be all about recessions Faster growth is not due to bigger booms, but to less shrinking
The winners of the big Czech literary prize(s), theMagnesia Litera, were announced a few days ago, with the novel Jezero, by Bianca Bellová, winning book of the year; see also the information page at Czech Lit, or the (Czech) Hostpublicity page. It is cheerfully described in the Prague Daily Monitor report as: "a post-apocalyptic parable of environmental destruction followed by the destruction of human relations and individual souls", so that sounds fun.
In fact, all the winners sound real ... upbeat: 'best Czech prose of the year' went to a novel about: "immigrants who come Europe to seek a better life and lose their illusions", the journalism category was won by a book: "focused on everyday life in the district of the Brno city called Bronx, inhabited by Romanies and poor people in general", while 'the prize for the discovery of the year' went to an autor: "presenting his own experience from hospitals and hospices and from his conversations with the dying and their close relatives".
Still, the prize seems to be very successful: in a preview article at Radio Praha David Vaughan has a Q & A with 'Magnesia Litera's media-savvy founder, Pavel Mandys', aboutMilking the Magnesia Litera Awards to the Maximum.
Shu-Yi Oei (Tulane; moving to Boston College), The Offshore Tax Enforcement Dragnet:
Wall Street Journal op-ed: A Corporate-Welfare Bonanza for Tax-Compliance Firms, by Nigel Green (Founder & CEO, deVere Group):