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Minimum wage?

March 18, 2015

A press release from the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) on the minimum wage last Monday brought me back to a vigorous debate among my economist friends in the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF). The debate was so heated that fraternity brothers were accusing each other of being less than academically adequate even if they all have their PhDs.

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WB Philippine Economic Update – January, 2015 Edition

January 22, 2015

Some highlights from WB report:
• The World Bank expects the Philippine economy to grow at 6.5 percent in 2015 and 2016 despite a weak global economy. Read the rest of this entry »

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What disturbs me most about this Pope

January 13, 2015

Francis disturbs me because he is the Pope of the doable, and this makes him difficult to ignore. How can I share his quotes and not follow the Pope?

MANILA, Philippines – Popes usually speak the big words. Read the rest of this entry »

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The impact of a China slowdown

November 29, 2014

China has driven global growth, which has averaged a paltry 3% a year since 2008. So the knock-on effects of a Chinese slowdown on the global economy would be significant. The OECD reckons a two-percentage-point decrease in the growth of Chinese domestic demand for two years would reduce world GDP by 0.3 percentage points a year. Including market corrections (a 10% decline in global equity prices and a 20-basis-point rise in equity risk premiums), global growth would be around half a percentage point lower. Countries with stronger links to China, like Japan, would be more severely affected, while GDP in America and the euro area would decline by a quarter of a percentage point.

http://www.economist.com/news/economic-and-financial-indicators/21635039-impact-china-slowdown?fsrc=scn/fb/te/ed/pe

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Higher minimum wages bring economic well-being

November 17, 2014

“Here’s the bottom line: Regardless of the size of a country’s economy, its current economic situation, or the time frame chosen, people lead better lives as the minimum wage increases.”

“Although correlation does not prove causation, the evidence we have assembled strongly suggests that higher minimum wages do indeed work to the financial betterment of society as a whole. Even if some low wage jobs disappear as minimum wages rise, the end result is greater economic security and prosperity overall for people who live and work in countries with the higher minimums.”

Scholars Strategy Network, November 2014: “Evidence that higher minimum wages improve economic well-being: Research brief,” by Michael Krassa and Benjamin Radcliff (2 pages, PDF)

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Lesson from 6 years of global economic crisis? Keynes was right

November 4, 2014

Now that the Federal Reserve has brought its program of quantitative easing to a successful conclusion, while the French and German governments have ended their shadow-boxing over European budget “rules,” macroeconomic policy all over the world is entering a period of unusual stability and predictability. Rightly or wrongly, the main advanced economies have reached a settled view on their economic policy choices and are very unlikely to change these in the year or two ahead, whether they succeed or fail. It therefore seems appropriate to consider what we can learn from all the policy experiments conducted around the world since the 2008 crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

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DOLE thumbs down proposal to cut SME’s minimum wage

September 14, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has rejected a proposal to allow small and medium enterprises nationwide to pay workers less than the prescribed minimum wage rates. Read the rest of this entry »

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UN trade body criticises free trade

September 10, 2014

The UN’s trade body has joined a chorus of criticism of globalisation, warning that developing countries reap little value from taking part in global supply chains and that the costs of joining free-trade agreements may outweigh the gains. Read the rest of this entry »

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Costly mistakes in our nation-building

August 27, 2014

Big mistakes in nation-building arise out of unwise decisions. Small mistakes that serially get repeated are big mistakes.

I have often dealt with such mistakes in my discussions of policy reforms. Today I will be blunt and talk of them as bad decisions. They cost our nation a great deal of distress and pain. They deter and alter for the worse our march toward economic and social progress. Read the rest of this entry »

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Indonesia’s new president

August 27, 2014

Indonesia’s constitutional court has cleared the way for the country’s newly elected president to take office. Foreign and local media accounts of who Joko Widodo is will make many of us president-envy. I am writing about him today because I think we ought to know how the new leader of a regional competitor works. Read the rest of this entry »