Public Goods

Let’s play spot the fallacies:

We do not just have governments in order to rob Peter to pay Paul. We have governments because there are things they can provide that the private sector is either unable or unwilling to provide effectively – courts, police, schools, roads, other infrastructure, etc. Conservatives focus so much on . . . → Read More: Public Goods

More On Wealth Inequality

From Vox Day:

However, both works share the same recognition of the intrinsically flawed nature of the three primary forms of government: monarchy, aristocracy and democracy. They also recognize the way these forms tend to degrade over time and transform into the others. Both Plato and Cicero are fundamentally skeptical about democracy, as Plato . . . → Read More: More On Wealth Inequality

The reversal of reforms on the New Pension System?

In December 2002, the NDA made a very big move in pension reforms. They decided that from 1/1/2004 onwards, all new staff recruited into the government would be switched out of the traditional defined-benefit pension and instead placed into a new individual-account defined contribution pension system. This was one of the major achievements of . . . → Read More: The reversal of reforms on the New Pension System?

Rule of law: A pair of stories

One essential feature of the rule of law is transparency. When a government says something, it must say why it said so. This  is important from three points of view:

A government that does not need to explain itself is one that has arbitrary power. When a policeman can tell you that you’re prohibited . . . → Read More: Rule of Law: A Pair of Stories

Shadow Boxing

So if you believe the news, the City of Pittsburgh and its oversight board, the semi-euphemistic Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA), are duking it out.  Trib: State pushes Pittsburgh to keep better financial records and PG: Act 47 panel rejects city’s financial system proposal

If two bureaucracies flail at each other on letterhead, do they make . . . → Read More: Shadow Boxing

Appropriate Regulatory Structure for Development

A. D. Shroff Annual Public Lecture, by C. B. Bhave.

It is a great honour to be invited to deliver the A. D. Shroff Annual Public Lecture. Mr. A. D. Shroff was an outstanding financial thinker and a practioner who took great interest in organisational and ideological issues. He was known to express his . . . → Read More: Appropriate Regulatory Structure for Development

Does Wagner’s Law Make Sense?

Wagner’s law refers to the proposition of Adolph Wagner (1893) that there is a positive relationship between the level of economic development and the size of government. The underlying idea seems to have been that the demand for services provided by government tends to rise strongly as average incomes rise.

I think Wagner’s law . . . → Read More: Does Wagner’s Law Make Sense?

State by State, Year by Year, Employment by Sector by Blue-Red Political Alignment

This preliminary study started with a blog post I did several months ago entitled “New Jersey, the Sorry State”, a deep dive into Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that my state is hardly generating employment outside the government sector.

The blame for this sorry state of affairs I heaped on NJ’s political culture, . . . → Read More: State by State, Year by Year, Employment by Sector by Blue-Red Political Alignment

Difficult Times in Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh was once seen as a state with good governance by Indian standards. In recent years, the problems seen with Satyam, attempts to harass Nimesh Kampani, etc. have led many to question the quality of governance in Andhra Pradesh. Today, John Elliott has an important article in the Financial Times on the difficulties . . . → Read More: Difficult Times in Andhra Pradesh

Does the World Bank’s Rule of Law Index Measure the Quality of Legal Institutions?

The authors of ‘Governance Matters’, Daniel Kauffman, Aart Kraay and Massimo Mastruzzi, tell us that the World Bank’s rule of law index captures “perceptions of the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police and the . . . → Read More: Does the World Bank’s Rule of Law Index Measure the Quality of Legal Institutions?