About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive May 2017

What, me worry?

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

How can Marcos’ martial law be ‘good’?

The economy collapsed, crime went up, real wages went down, corruption became world-class, extrajudicial killings were at their highest (until this administration). Not to mention torture and disappearances. If that is good, I don’t know what bad is.

‘As the world turns’ — external events that eventually affect us

Although some happenings in major capitals of the world might seem totally disconnected to us, they can affect our experience directly or indirectly. In these developments, we are perfect bystanders. We have no influence on how the events unfold.

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.

Looking at the issue of foreign aid

In a way, it is good that this whole brouhaha about the Philippines turning down the European Union’s aid—280 million euros worth over a three-year period—has come to light. In a way. Because it forces the country to look at the whole issue of foreign aid and its importance to us, and our development.

Unintended consequences, or the folly of uncritical thinking

A close reading of why some policies resulted in bad, unintended outcomes reveals a defect in design. A design defect could arise from the selfish myopia of reform proponents who focus mainly on seeing their own gains. Or it may be due to a firm belief about the justness of their cause.

Conglomerates and inclusion

Whether it is banking, real estate, retail and supermarket trade, food service, broadcasting and media, power generation, energy, infrastructure -- you name it, conglomerates are in it. Is conglomerate dominance to be feared? No, on the contrary.
Canlas on Dutertenomics

Canlas on Dutertenomics

While funding a vigorous infrastructure roadmap is a good long term investment for the country, the authorities should make sure that supportive fiscal measures, such as tax reforms for generating higher revenue, are carried out to veer the nation away from getting further mired in debt.

‘Resource curse’

Dominguez, from all indications, is a terrific finance secretary. But it looks like, despite his denying it, his ties to the mining industry, though they may not be legal, continue to be binding.

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.

Living life well, or general education versus professional education

For some time now, a controversy on the content of education in the University of the Philippines has been raging. It is, in a way, the battle of the ages on the nature of education.

Impure altruism and other donor attraction factors: a study based on a database of NGOs in the Philippines

This study uses panel data on a sample of non-government organizations to estimate the factors that motivate donors to contribute to them. The results of empirical estimation suggest that a mix of conventional and tax factors influence donors.