My Blog

Men without work

October 3rd, 2016

In a Financial Times book review, Summers examines Nicholas Eberstadt’s persuasive and important monograph, Men Without Work. Eberstadt’s book highlights that men in the US are doing considerably worse than men in the rest of the industrial world, where even countries with notoriously sclerotic labour markets and bloated welfare systems such as France, and even Greece, enjoy higher rates of prime age male labour force participation. Summers writes that Eberstadt understates the significance of what he studies by not highlighting the fact that, if current trends continue, a quarter of men between 25 and 54 will be out of work by mid-century.

Have big banks gotten safer?

October 3rd, 2016

Lawrence H. Summers and Natasha Sarin and presented a paper titled, Have big banks gotten safer? at a BPEA conference at the Brookings Institution on September 22, 2016 stating, “Since the financial crisis, there have been major changes in the regulation of large financial institutions directed at reducing their risk. Measures of regulatory capital have substantially increased; leverage ratios have been reduced; and stress testing has sought to further assure safety by raising levels of capital and reducing risk taking. Standard financial theories would predict that such changes would lead to substantial declines in financial market measures of risk.”

A Lesson on Infrastructure from the Anderson Bridge Fiasco

May 31st, 2016

Sometimes small stories capture large truths. So it is with the fiasco that is the repair of the Anderson Memorial Bridge, connecting Boston and Harvard Square. Rehabilitation of the 232-foot bridge began in 2012, at an estimated cost of about $20 million; four years later, there is no end date in sight and the cost of the project is mushrooming, to $26.5 million at last count. continue