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A Comparative Analysis of Climate Change Performance: Democracy vs. Authoritarism

As part of a new initiative between the Harvard Economics Review and the Columbia Economics Review, we will regularly showcase a selection of the Harvard Economics Review’s online articles on our website. We hope you enjoy “A Comparative Analysis of Climate Change Performance” by Mirza Uddin as much as we did! The impact of anthropogenic activity, both at the industrial and private level, continues to exacerbate the issues surrounding climate change in today’s society. The possibility of future progress grows breaker due to limited action by nations to thwart the detrimental effects of climate change. In fact, even after numerous studies have proven the existence of climate change, such as those by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)[i], a number of national leaders continue to deny that human activity is the cause of these pressing issues. Scholars of political science have offered a number of different insights into distinct factors that may be impacting climate change performance within individual nations. One particular area of interest is the discussion regarding whether democracies or authoritarian regimes are able to create effective climate change policies. An extensive analysis of political science research reveals that democratic nations tend to have superior performance in the realm of climate change policy relative to autocracies and that a certain degree of public participation must be adopted by authoritarian regimes in order to create KEEP READING >>

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A Cure for the ACA

“It will be repealed and replaced and we’ll know […] that’s what I do, I do a good job”, so were the words President-Elect Trump spoke during a 60 Minutes interview on November 13th. Elected on a platform which promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (henceforth “ACA”), Donald Trump benefited from a wave of right-wing populism aimed primarily at the bureaucracy of the Washington Elite. To that end, Obamacare came to embody all which Trump vowed to fight in his mission to “Drain the Swamp”: a government program which sought to benefit public welfare through compulsory payments but which failed to live up to its initial promises of widespread prosperity. Even worse for its proponents, Obamacare premiums rose in nearly every state in past October, continuing a sad trend seen throughout the 44th President’s two terms which has seen coverage costs rise by nearly 50% since 2008. Though hundreds of analyses have already been undertaken as to why Obamacare has fallen short on its KEEP READING >>

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John Kenneth Galbraith

The Columbia Economics Review is proud to present the following article by Mohammed Rishad Karim, a student at Stuyvesant High School and the winner of our Fall 2016 High School Student Essay Contest. Among a number of impressive entries, Mohammed's analysis of John Kenneth Galbraith’s achievements was selected after extensive deliberation by our High School Essay Competition board. KEEP READING >>

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Just for Fun: Taxing the Hamilton Stairs

One of the major problems that students attending classes in Hamilton face is that they see unusually high traffic on stairways during the few minutes before and after class. This creates a bottleneck situation due to a large number of students competing for a tiny space (two narrow stairways) during specific time periods. Naturally, one solution would be to divert some of the students away from the two stairways by offering them alternative ways of transportation. The only alternative route would be the Hamilton elevator, which is equally congested and incredibly slow and inefficient. Some might argue that the school should increase capacity – building a new stairway. However, the extra capacity will not cause additional students to use the stairs because the total number of students taking classes in Hamilton is fixed. Moreover, this tactic can be rather difficult to implement, as the school is likely unwilling to spend extra money to renovate the building and build an entire new KEEP READING >>

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The Future of Marijuana on Campus

Marijuana legalization has been a divisive issue in the United States for decades, yet it appears to have finally turned the corner.  While marijuana is still prohibited under federal law, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington - and last week, California, Nevada and Massachusetts - have all legalized the recreational usage of marijuana and the commercial sale of marijuana with a license.   Foreign countries are also easing their stances on marijuana.  Canada is poised to legalize the drug in spring 2017, opening itself up to a $5 billion-dollar industry.   For college students, marijuana legalization may seem like a dream come true.  In 2015, daily marijuana usage on college campuses reached its highest percentage since 1980, even as the consumption of alcohol, narcotics, and amphetamines declined.  Moreover, the rapid growth and diffusion of small dispensaries in states that have legalized marijuana has removed barriers to access.  Colorado, for example, has over 900 licensed KEEP READING >>

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