The United States continues to suffer from a historically weak economic recovery. Monthly GDP and employment numbers remain near anemic. From a historical perspective the economy should be roaring by now given the pronounced contraction in 2008. Many explanations have been offered but the core reason for the U.S.’s slow recovery, and one that will continue to impede prosperity, is the decline in economic freedom and its impact on entrepreneurship, both of which began prior to the recession.
Dishonesty is a pervasive and costly phenomenon. This column reports the results of a lab experiment in which parents had an opportunity to behave dishonestly. Parents cheated the most when the prize was for their child and their child was not present. Parents cheated little when their child was present, but were more likely to cheat in front of sons than in front of daughters. The latter finding may help to explain why women attach greater importance to moral norms and are more honest.
Tyler Cowen, Holbert L. Harris chair in economics and general director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, is launching a new event series, "Conversations with Tyler," in which he will host thought leaders — economists, entrepreneurs, authors and innovators — whose ideas are making an impact on the world.
In a piece on the USNews & World Report's site, William Luther, MA Economics '11, PhD '12, faculty member at Kenyon College and Fellow, Mercatus Center, George Mason University, explains that bitcoin is no more a "criminal's currency of choice" than widely available $100 bills.
In the Washington Post, Tyler Cowen, faculty member, Department of Economics and director, Center for Study of Public Choice, discusses the economic realities underlying restaurants' choices in serving desserts.
CNBC.com reports that Ecuador's Sistema de Dinero Electrónico is soon to become the world's first state-run electronic payment system. Lawrence White, faculty member, Department of Economics and Mercatus Center, comments that although the currency is tied to American dollars, it appears to serve as Ecuador's first step away from that standard.