Skydiver becomes first to land without parachute

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Dowry in Rural India

Gender Matters

Marriage is almost universal in India, and so is dowry. Despite being illegal since 1961, most Indian brides’ families pay a substantial amount of cash and gifts to the grooms’ families at the time of marriage, often amounting to several years of household income. Traditionally, dowry was considered stridhan, i.e., woman’s wealth, and it was indeed a type of premortem bequest as daughters typically did not inherit property from their fathers. Over time, however, dowry has become more of a groom-price that equates the supply and demand of brides and grooms in the marriage market.

Despite its wide prevalence, accurate data on dowry is hard to come by. In fact, even simple things such as the definition of dowry and its trend have been hotly debated in the economics literature. In a new paper, my co-authors, Nishith Prakash and Sungoh Kwon from the University of Connecticut, and I use data…

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Celebrating Friedman and Hetzel

The Market Monetarist

Today Milton Friedman would have turned 102 years. Happy birthday Uncle Milty!

I have over the last couple of years done numerous posts celebrating Milton Friedman so this post will not be long. Instead I will leave the job to Robert Hetzel who I am also celebrating this year as Bob turned 70 years on July 3.

So I find it suiting that my readers should read Bob’s paper The Contributions of Milton Friedman to Economics. Here is the abstract:

Milton Friedman began his teaching career at the University of Chicago isolated intellectually. He defended the ideas that competitive markets work efficiently to allocate resources and that central banks are responsible for inflation. By the 1980s, these ideas had become commonplace. Friedman was one of the great intellectuals of the 20th century because of his major influence on how a broad public understood the Depression, the Fed’s stop-go monetary…

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can hillary turn the page?

orgtheory.net

Hillary’s challenge last night was to articulate her case for why she should be the President. For me that means articulating her governing philosophy. So far — and this includes last night — she has not really done that. She has built her case almost entirely in opposition to Trump. She is right to do so of course. Trump cannot be allowed to occupy the White House. And her safest course to victory may be simply to assert that the alternative is too frightening to contemplate.

Maybe that will be enough. But I actually hold to the idea that the winning candidate for President is always the one who has a clearer view of the challenges and opportunities facing the country and articulates a viable roadmap for how to navigate them. Despite the fact that he is a clown, I am convinced that if Trump wins it will not be…

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The Chinese Miracle and the Economics of Growth

International Liberty

I’m in Shenyang, China, as part of the faculty for Northeastern University’s International Economics and Management program.

My primary role is to talk about the economics of fiscal policy, explaining the impact of both taxes and spending.

But regular readers already know my views on those issues, so let’s look instead at the vaunted Chinese Miracle.

And I don’t use “vaunted” in a sarcastic sense. Ever since China began to liberalize its economy in the late 1970s, economic growth has been very impressive. I don’t necessarily believe the statistics coming from the Chinese government, but it’s unquestionably true that there’s been spectacular progress.

The great mystery, though, is whether China will continue to enjoy rapid growth. In other words, will it actually converge with the United States (right now per-capita economic output in America is more than five times higher than it is in China)? Or will China, like

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