Expert civil servants devise ever more sophisticated policies to tackle emergencies such as climate change. But when voters lose faith in experts, they vote for anti-elite populist leaders who promise to drain the swamp in the civil service. Gabriele Gratton and Barton E. Lee write that understanding populist voters’ calculations and mistrust is key to designing democratic institutions that can address the most pressing challenges of our times.
In a field experiment conducted with economists on Twitter, the authors find that users who are identifiable as white, women, and PhD students affiliated with “top-ten” universities are more likely to receive follow-backs.
Due to a change in how the FDIC resolves failed banks, uninsured deposits have become de facto insured. Not only is this dangerous for risk in the banking system, it is not what Congress intends the FDIC to do, writes Michael Ohlrogge.
Former special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy Tim Wu responds to the November 27 letter signed by former chief economists at the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department Antitrust Division calling for a separation of the legal and economic analysis in the draft Merger Guidelines.
In new research, Valentino Larcinese and Alberto Parmigiani find that the 1986 Reagan tax cuts led to greater campaign spending from wealthy individuals, who benefited the most from this policy. The authors argue that a very permissive system of political finance, combined with the erosion of tax progressivity, created the conditions for the mutual reinforcement of economic and political disparities. The result was an inequality spiral hardly compatible with democratic ideals.
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