Ironic Temperament and Economic Policy

In one of his best-known poems, William Butler Yeats wrote that there are times when things fall apart and the center cannot hold; when the best seem to lack all conviction and the worst run about full of passionate intensity. A pithy summary, perhaps, of the times we are living in Puerto Rico.

Fiscal Situation Update: Fiscal Year 2009-2010 Budget

This Fiscal Update Report prepared by the Center for a New Economy (CNE) presents an independent analysis of the proposals contained in the Governor’s budget request for fiscal year 2009-2010. The analysis is based on CNE’s evaluation and interpretation of the budget data, rather than the Administration’s, and may incorporate estimates made by CNE’s staff or by other private sector analysts.

Assessing Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Performance

In 2008, the Center for the New Economy, in fulfillment of its mission to provide rigorous, independent analysis to policymakers, the press, and the public at large, established a fiscal analysis program to monitor and keep track of important fiscal trends affecting the Puerto Rican economy. As part of that program, we developed a series of budget performance indicators, which we have updated with data from the budget for fiscal year 2009-10.

The Great Recession of 2009

Some economists in the U.S. have started to talk about the Great Recession of 2009 when analyzing the current economic downturn. In the U.S. alone, home equity lost, between 2006 and 2008, $4.2 trillion; the value of retirement assets has declined by $2.3 trillion; while other investments and savings show losses of an additional $2.5 trillion.

Asset Building in Puerto Rico: A Study of Children Development Accounts in Caguas

In this paper we examine the establishment and operations of a CDA program in Caguas, Puerto Rico. This program affords us an opportunity to test whether asset-building policies can provide a new approach to social welfare in Latin American countries and Hispanic communities in the United States, a middle way between paternalistic, government-based social programs on the one hand and so-called neo-liberal approaches on the other.

Puerto Rico’s Anemic Private Sector

Professors Steven Davis and Luis Rivera Batiz, in an analysis conducted for their contribution to the book The Economy of Puerto Rico: Restoring Growth, published in 2006 by the Center for the New Economy and the Brookings Institution, found that a “truly striking feature of Puerto Rico’s economy is the underdeveloped state of its private sector.” According to their analysis, private sector employment rates in Puerto Rico are less than half the U.S. rates in recent decades.

The Dangers of (de)Globalization

Between 1870 and 1914 the world lived the high point of the first era of economic globalization. The globe was effectively connected through railways, steamships, and telegraph lines.

The Rule of Law and the Enforcement of Contracts

The rule of law is one of the most important institutions for economic development. For Friedrich von Hayek, Nobel prize winner in economics, the rule of law meant that “government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed beforehand – rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its coercive powers in given circumstances and to plan one’s individual affairs on the basis of this knowledge.”