Unemployment Linked to Drop in Fertility

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Understanding trends in fertility is one of the most important tasks for demographers. Population growth, or the lack thereof, is linked to economic activity. For instance, as a general rule, wealthy countries have lower fertility rates than poor ones. That is why the “problem” of overpopulation is a self-correcting one; as the developing world becomes more advanced, we will expect its fertility rate to fall. Continue reading

China’s Disastrous One-Child Policy

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Since 1979, China has engaged in a gigantic social experiment the likes of which humanity has never seen. Stemming from fears of overpopulation and an inability to feed its own people, the communist Chinese government imposed a one-child policy. Recently, China announced an end to the policy; any couple can now have two children, provided that one of the parents is an only child. Continue reading

Bitcoin Meets Google Trends and Wikipedia

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Bitcoin, the digital currency du jour, is a bit of an economic curiosity. Unlike gold, it has no intrinsic value. Unlike a currency issued by a country, its price is not affected by GDP, inflation, interest rates or any other typical macroeconomic indicator. So what gives Bitcoin value, and what is behind its incredible price volatility? Supply and demand. And since supply is already predetermined by an algorithm, demand is the biggest factor driving both its value and volatility. Continue reading

Why Is a Socialist Allowed to Teach Economics?

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

We don’t cover economics regularly because it is not traditionally considered science. Furthermore, the field too often generates research and commentary that employs more voodoo than a witch doctor. It is largely for these reasons that economics is often referred to as the “dismal science” and why President Harry Truman wanted to meet a one-armed economist. Continue reading