Economic Perspectives

Does Behavioral Economics Matter?

10/27/16

The New Republic (yes it still exists) has a piece about whether behavioral economics will have as much influence in a Clinton administration as it did in the Obama administration. The unspoken assumption of the piece is that behavioral economics actually had a big influence in the Obama administration. Here's the thing:  as far as I can tell, behavioral economics has been basically irrelevant in the Obama administration.

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Is There a Student Loan Debt Crisis?

06/23/15

I've been a skeptic for some time about claims that we have a student loan "crisis" in the United States. For individuals mired with student loan debt, it is very much a crisis, of course.

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Lessons For Consumer Protection From The World Of Inclusive Capitalism

04/16/15

Lately I have been teaching courses with names such as "Global and Economic Justice" and "History, Impacts and Regulation of Consumer Credit" instead of "Bankruptcy," "Secured Transactions" and "Chapter 11 Reorganizations." So I have been reading different books and listening to different speakers.

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Can We Count on Macro-Economists to Analyze the Impacts of Inequality?

04/15/15

Prior to the crash, only a very few macro-economists were studying consumer borrowing and fewer still were investigating inequality of income or of wealth as an important macro-economic factor. Work in macro-economics is done at academic institutions, the Fed, think tanks and government and private enterprises. Historically, very few PhD dissertations in macro-economics dealt with consumer finance or consumer spending or inequality issues.

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Quantifying the Benefits of the Fresh Start

04/06/15

I recently discovered a not-so-new paper that provides a useful answer to a question I've asked before:  Who benefits from consumer bankruptcy, and to what degree? This is a real challenge for policy-making, and well-supported answers are essential to greasing the wheels of reform.

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How the Disappearance of Locally-Owned Banks Hurts Rural Economic Development

01/20/15

In preparation for some upcoming projects with sociologists, including my new collaborator Rob Mayer (Utah) and on another project, Alan Burton (UNM Sociology professors and UNM law student), I am beefing up on my sociology research. Alan directed me to a recent article, Restructuring the Financial Industry: The Disappearance of Locally-Owned Traditional Financial Services in Rural America.

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Local and State Treasurers Can Build Wealth in Struggling Communities

11/05/14

Sometimes you can beat the door down with efforts to get Federal and State officials to tackle problems, but at the end of the day, locals can best get the job done, quietly and quickly.

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