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Noah Smith

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Put a stop to economic growth? Huge mistake

One of the more pernicious ideas now coming into vogue is that societies should voluntarily halt their economic growth. In a recent New Yorker...

What’s powering the economy? Frankly, it’s a mystery

The U.S. economy’s steady growth – the longest stretch since World War II without a recession – is something of a mystery. Last summer,...

The case against government incentives

There have been two prominent instances in recent years of governments offering huge monetary incentives in exchange for an office or factory. Both have...

Can we deflate bubbles before they bust?

Economists may be finally closing in on the reason for asset bubbles. How to pop them before they grow too large, however, is a...

The dollar is down, but not out as world’s reserve currency

The U.S. dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency might be weakening. In the last few years, the fraction of global reserves denominated in...

How second-tier U.S. cities catch the superstars

For the past three decades, one of the central stories in the U.S. economy has been the rise of superstar cities. As the country...

U.S. economy keeps defying the recession odds

It’s impressive how well the U.S. economy has held up during the past year. As early as 2018, leading indicators were suggesting a heightened...

Want to save the middle class? Rework unions

If the U.S. is going to make a big dent in income inequality and raise living standards for the middle class, it’s going to...

Long work hours a waste of time

In the sitcom “The Office,” a bumbling manager spends much of his time distracting the hapless employees of a paper company’s local sales branch....

The case for higher taxes at the very top

The New York Times recently released a dramatic infographic showing how much less progressive the U.S. tax system has become since 1950. When the...
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