Social security reform in the United States continues to be a pressing and contentious issue, with advocates touting some form of a centralized or a privatized system of personal accounts. In general, centralized systems offer low administrative costs, but are potentially subject to political mismanagement and appropriation. Privatized account systems, on the other hand, offer higher yields with more flexibility, but may prove too expensive and logistically daunting to implement. Uniting learned and outspoken proponents on both sides of the debate, this volume provides the first comprehensive analysis of the issues involved in administering a system of essentially private social security accounts. The contributors together come to startlingly similar conclusions, generally agreeing that a centralized system of accounts could deliver the benefits of privatization in a feasible and cost-efficient way by accessing administrative mechanisms already in existence. This is perhaps the most far-reaching synthesis yet envisioned of functional and implementable social security reform.
From Thomas Piketty to David Harvey, scholars are increasingly questioning whether we are entering into a post-capitalist era. If so, does this new epoch signal the failure of capitalism and emergence of alternative systems? Or does it mark the ultimate triumph of capitalism as it evolves into an unstoppable entity that takes new forms as it engulfs its opposition?
After Capitalism brings together leading scholars from across the academy to offer competing perspectives on capitalism’s past incarnations, present conditions, and possible futures. Some contributors reassess classic theorizations of capitalism in light of recent trends, including real estate bubbles, debt relief protests, and the rise of a global creditocracy. Others examine Marx’s writings, unemployment, hoarding, “capitalist realism,” and coyote (trickster) capitalism, among many other topics. Media and design trends locate the key ideologies of the current economic moment, with authors considering everything from the austerity aesthetics of reality TV to the seductive smoothness of liquid crystal.
Even as it draws momentous conclusions about global economic phenomena, After Capitalism also pays close attention to locales as varied as Cuba, India, and Latvia, examining the very different ways that economic conditions have affected the relationship between the state and its citizens. Collectively, these essays raise provocative questions about how we should imagine capitalism in the twenty-first century. Will capitalism, like all economic systems, come to an end, or does there exist in history or elsewhere a hidden world that is already post-capitalist, offering alternative possibilities for thought and action?
The past three decades have been characterized by vast change and crises in global financial markets—and not in politically unstable countries but in the heart of the developed world, from the Great Recession in the United States to the banking crises in Japan and the Eurozone. As we try to make sense of what caused these crises and how we might reduce risk factors and prevent recurrence, the fields of finance and economics have also seen vast change, as scholars and researchers have advanced their thinking to better respond to the recent crises.
A momentous collection of the best recent scholarship, After the Flood illustrates both the scope of the crises’ impact on our understanding of global financial markets and the innovative processes whereby scholars have adapted their research to gain a greater understanding of them. Among the contributors are José Scheinkman and Lars Peter Hansen, who bring up to date decades of collaborative research on the mechanisms that tie financial markets to the broader economy; Patrick Bolton, who argues that limiting bankers’ pay may be more effective than limiting the activities they can undertake; Edward Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote, who study the social dynamics of markets; and E. Glen Weyl, who argues that economists are influenced by the incentives their consulting opportunities create.
The world of national and international scholarships is more competitive than ever. Top students from across the county vie for a limited number of awards that provide the funding needed to participate in elite programs that can help launch the careers of those who receive the recognition. Scholarship foundation leaders have an insider’s view of the selection process, and experienced advisors prepare students to navigate applications and interviews. Both perspectives are represented here in this new collection emphasizing the importance of engaging a diverse group of students, institutions, and programs in the process as well as expanding the educational experience for students as they apply so that everyone benefits, no matter what the outcome.
In 1990, Carmelo Mesa-Lago, the foremost authority on social security in Latin America, concluded that all of the region's programs were imperiled, especially those in the most advanced nations. His study of twenty countries, originally sponsored by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, critically reviews major financial problems, low and uneven population coverage, erosion in benefits, increasing costs, and the impact of social security on development.
In words that eerily echo current U.S. debates, Mesa-Lago analyzes virtually all social insurance programs: old age, disability and survivors' pensions; health care; occupational hazards; family allowances; and unemployment. For social security specialists, this impressive study will serve as a comprehensive regional handbook on the legal, administrative, and financial features of Latin America's programs. Students of comparative policy and applied economics will find Mesa-Lago's methodology, analytical framework, and policy recommendations invaluable.
In this volume, specialists from traditionally separate areas in economics and finance investigate issues at the conjunction of their fields. They argue that financial decisions of the firm can affect real economic activity—and this is true for enough firms and consumers to have significant aggregate economic effects. They demonstrate that important differences—asymmetries—in access to information between "borrowers" and "lenders" ("insiders" and "outsiders") in financial transactions affect investment decisions of firms and the organization of financial markets. The original research emphasizes the role of information problems in explaining empirically important links between internal finance and investment, as well as their role in accounting for observed variations in mechanisms for corporate control.