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When Robots Do It All and Leisure is Mandatory

August 28, 2017
Engineers insist that sometime between 2030 and 2050 is when fiction will become reality, and artificial intelligence (AI) will exceed that of a human. Economists have a different answer - it will be at least another 100 years before that point. Who is right?

U.S. | Weekly podcast: autos, employment and income

August 26, 2017
Weekly economic update focusing on the major economic indicators to be released the week of August 28, 2017. Special topic: the state of the auto market

The effects of wage flexibility on activity and employment in the Spanish economy

August 25, 2017
Together with Greece, Spain was the European country with the highest unemployment increase during the Great Recession, despite a fall in GDP similar to that in other economies. Objective of this paper: to quantify the macroeconomic effects of the changes in the labour market since 2012.

U.S. | Natural Interest rate: uncertainties and policy implications

August 24, 2017
Structural factors explain the secular decline in the natural interest rate. Although the natural interest rate will edge up, it will remain below historical average. Monetary policy normalization will be achieved with a low federal funds rate

The importance of ICT in society’s needs: An empirical approach though Maslow’s lens

August 24, 2017
The aim of the Watch is to point out the importance of ICT in developing and emerging countries from a demand-side perspective. We find that having a cell phone and internet access are gaining importance among individuals’ basic needs. Younger people consider ICT-related needs more basic than older people do.

China | Taming China’s shadow banking sector

August 22, 2017
China’s shadow banking sector evolved rapidly over the past few years as regulators and financial institutions played a “Whack-A-Mole” game. It occurs in the context of China’s ongoing financial liberalization. Our empirical analysis indicates that the current financial deleveraging and regulation tightening will drag on growth but the impact should be limited.

Mexico | Should the corporate income tax rate be reduced?

August 22, 2017
A few days ago Coparmex presented a document containing a series of tax policy proposals. I believe that some of them are right, while others require more discussion. Here, I refer to one in particular: Coparmex proposes a gradual reduction of the corporate income tax rate from its present level of 30% to 24.6%, which is the average rate applied in the OECD countries

Renewable Energy: the answer is blowing in the wind

August 21, 2017
The use of fossil fuels in electricity production is being eroded by the rapid expansion of clean energy. At the global level, installed capacity to generate electricity through wind energy has increased fivefold since 2007, reaching 487GW in 2016. Wind energy is becoming more competitive.

U.S. | Weekly podcast: residential construction and home sales

August 19, 2017
Weekly economic update focusing on the major economic indicators to be released the week of August 21, 2017. Special topic: residential construction

U.S. | Auto Industry Chartbook (August 2017)

August 15, 2017
Despite supportive economic fundamentals and generous incentives, demand for new vehicles continues to slow down. Consumers continue to show a strong bias towards light-trucks, which reached 63% of total sales in July. The alternative fuel segment continues to expand, a substitution effect is taking place between hybrid-gasoline and increasingly reliable PHEV and BEV.

Electric vehicles: has their time come?

August 14, 2017
Did you know that the electric vehicle (EV) was invented in the nineteenth century, around fifty years before the internal combustion equivalent? In the 1910s, a third of automobiles circulating in the US were electric.