About Editor in Chief

What’s in a name? John Stuart Mill, the noted 19th century thinker, once suggested that economics studies not humans, but “Economic Man.” Today that same idea is expressed in the term Homo economicus, the alien cousin of Homo sapiens, who is narrowly driven by self-interest and guided by unlimited rationality.

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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 >>

A Republican Plan for Family Care?

By: Mitchell Mikinski In mid-September of last year, Donald Trump did something surprising for a Republican presidential nominee: he unveiled a paid family leave program, crafted and created by his oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump. It was a landmark about-face for a party that has championed first and foremost business goals for the better part of half a century. It also came in the course of an election year that saw his campaign marred by accusations of sexism, while simultaneously having to run against a ticket topped by a woman who already had a more robust version of the same plan. The roots of these policies stem from more than just political pressure and competition in 2016. Indeed, paid family leave has been a present in America since 2002, when California  created its own program. However, since then, the policy has struggled to catch on across the country.Currently only 5 states have laws on the books that mandate paid family leave. Of those, only 3 have fully implemented KEEP READING >>

Fall 2016 Journal

Our Fall 2016 edition is here! Read on to find out about the decline of the agricultural sector in Puerto Rico, the social and economic effects of spending cuts vs tax increases, and contraception's effect on wages. Our hard copies will be here soon so hang tight and we'll let you know when you can pick them up. https://issuu.com/columbiaeconreview/docs/final_fall_2016   KEEP READING >>

A Fishy but Honest Market

By: Mitchell Mikinski When most people think of commodities, they think of the major global players like crude oil and gold. Indeed, you would be hard pressed to find a day on CNBC where the price of oil was not flashed in red or green lettering next to the screaming face of Jim Cramer. But despite crude’s gargantuan media following, its direct relevance to the everyday American is questionable at best. After all, I can’t seem to remember the last time I rolled home a barrel of crude oil, fresh off a tanker from the Strait of Hormuz. I can, however, remember the last time I wanted to grab some fish & chips or coconut shrimp. This is a feeling most Americans understand: the US spends $60 billion on seafood annually and consumes 15.5 lbs of it per capita. One of the purest forms of this obsession is the all-display seafood auction.  The auctions work in an almost comically simplistic way: The fish are caught and unloaded directly into the auction area. After they go through KEEP READING >>

Italian commerce: Partnering the Old and the New

By Francesco Grechi Data released on August 31st signaled a pleasant note for the Italian economy: a 0.2% drop in the unemployment rate from July 2015 (11.6% to 11.4%). These numbers come as confirmation of a year-long downwards trend, considered by analysts to be a good omen for the nation’s stagnant labor market. Yet not to sound too pessimistic, any notion of relief should be considered very relatively. The Southern European country still has the fifth highest unemployment rate in the EU-28, and has attracted the attention of many commentators over recent financial instability. And this comes without mentioning perhaps the most pressing issue the country is facing: its colossal youth unemployment rate. According to the same data mentioned earlier, the youth unemployment rate currently resides at a whopping 39.2%. To make this more palpable, approximately 1.8 million young Italians are actively searching for,but cannot find, jobs. So, in a time where many interpret the downwards KEEP READING >>

Puerto Rico and its Colonial “Promise”

By Gabriel Kilpatrick Much attention in the media has been given to the recent developments in Puerto Rico; indeed the news has been rife with coverage of blackouts and a rapidly spreading Zika outbreak. However, the development receiving the most attention is the island’s deteriorating economic situation. With the Commonwealth facing an increasingly dire inability to strike a deal with creditors over its exploding debt, as well as a decade long period of disturbingly-low economic growth, President Obama and Congress took action. The result was H.R. 5278, Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, or “PROMESA”. The legislation creates a seven member Oversight Board with broad authority over the island’s finances and a mandate to manage Puerto Rico’s $70 billion-plus of taxpayer-funded public debt and avert economic catastrophe. This move is not unprecedented; similar measures were undertaken in the wake of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing in 2013. However, important KEEP READING >>

An Analysis of Ted Cruz’s Balanced Budget Amendment

The Columbia Economics Review is proud to present the following article by John Staunton, a student at Bronx High School of Science and the winner of our Fall 2015 High School Student Essay Contest. Among a number of impressive entries, John's analysis of Senator Ted Cruz's economic proposals was selected after extensive deliberation by our executive board. As 2016 has begun, so has the Republican nomination process taken off. Of the many candidates running for office, Senator Ted Cruz has a considerable chance of winning the Republican nomination. One position he is “an emphatic advocate” for is the Balanced Budget Amendment. On face, the economic benefits seemingly include an efficiently run government; however, another look reveals that a Balanced Budget Amendment would disable the government from continuing public investments and destroy a stable point of investment for banks, both of which have catastrophic effects on the economy. Understanding the effects of the KEEP READING >>

Re-Thinking Abenomics

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began his second stint as Prime Minister by promising to jolt the Japanese economy out of its two decade-long slumber with a bold mix of monetary stimulus, and fiscal policy, and structural reform. However, his third “arrow” -- structural reform -- has not really come to fruition. Abe’s plan seems to have been to rely on more politically palatable fiscal and monetary expansion. He hoped that large, combined bouts of fiscal and monetary stimulus would mask Japanese structural problems and lead Japan to a recovery, bolstering his popularity in the process. However, good politics does not always translate to good economics. Two years on, his plan has largely failed and government officials have become increasingly anxious. The Prime Minister has two options moving forward: he can either try more of the same or take another, braver stab at structural reform. Abe’s economic package, or “Abenomics” as it has became known, caught the attention of the world as an KEEP READING >>