About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Author archive for Emmanuel S de Dios

What, me worry?

Duterte’s creeping authoritarianism, however, is being implemented in full view of an apathetic crowd.

Who drew first?

Alfred Marshall is frequently credited with the supply-and-demand diagram, so much so that the familiar graph of equilibrium in the market for a single good is called the “Marshallian cross” . Here as in many other cases, however, Stigler’s Law of Eponymy holds.

Comments on a presentation by John Collins

We would have wanted a calm, dispassionate discussion until we found a safe and humane way to proceed. That is not forthcoming, however, and even as we discuss matters here, in the meantime, the lives of mostly poor people are surely being snuffed out.

Charisma and its limits

While democratically elected leaders normally have the duty to serve the people, here it is the people who think it is their duty to serve the leader.


Barely noticed in our part of the world, Kenneth Arrow, probably the greatest economist in the second half of the last century, passed away on 21 February 2017.

A law that produces criminals

The recent revelation that rogue police have been using the “war on drugs” as a cover to extort from business people is more than enough reason for the administration to pause and radically rethink its whole approach to the drug problem.

Crossed lines

This following question could come up if a student is particularly bright and observant, or if she just wants to make trouble...

Not human

The true scandal of the current drug war is that it is run by old men who operate on old ideas and obsolete knowledge. It therefore subjects citizens to what is ultimately an unnecessary—and therefore unjust—ordeal.

Letter to the Board of Regents on the age requirement for the UP Presidency

There is nothing in the law, the Charter, the Code, or the University's cherished traditions to suggest that advanced age must be a factor in the administration of the University's affairs.

Gon: not forgotten

It’s literally true Gon Jurado was with the School of Economics from its birth. He joined the faculty in 1965, as soon as he finished his M.A. from the department, the same year this institution was established as a separate academic unit.


In the well-received film Heneral Luna, the eponymous hero asks the question: “Negosyo o kalayaan? Bayan or sarili? Pumili ka!” This quote is now regarded as the definitive meme for patriotism -- ethical behavior is equated with self-abnegation, the sacrifice of individual well-being.

A city is not a country

Size -- whether measured by area or population -- is the biggest difference between a city and a “real country.” Size correlates with heterogeneity in the population, their activities, their environment, and therefore their needs and opinions.