Monday, 7 August 2017

I have a beef with the claims this paper makes regarding economic rent

"[...]The model, which is calibrated to the euro area as a whole and also to individual euro member countries for 1980–2003, performs well vis-à-vis the data.[...]For the euro area as a whole, our model suggests that some 18% of collected tax revenues are extracted as rents, which corresponds to public spending and tax privileges equal to 7% of output produced. If we assume complete rent dissipation, these values are also social costs of rent seeking.3 At the individual country level, Ireland and the Netherlands exhibit essentially zero rent extraction and rent seeking, followed by Finland. Greece, Portugal and Italy exhibit the highest rent extraction and rent seeking, followed by post-reunification Germany."

No way rent seeking in Ireland and Netherlands was/is zero or near zero. Less rent seeking compared to the other euro countries, yes. But not zero or near zero.

Rent seeking / Economic rent = rent from natural monopolies, finance & insurance, patents, and the grey economy of political favors.

Finland's basic income trial

~In February, Finland’s biggest union said the experiment was unaffordable and would encourage some people to work less while driving up wages in undesirable professions.~


~The union, which represents almost 1 million members, or a fifth of the Finnish population, said the model being tested is, “impossibly expensive, since it would increase the government deficit by about 5 per cent” of gross domestic product.~

5% is NOTHING 

Let's see it from their POV. UBI helps those sectors in which union presence is low or absent, thus increasing wages in direct employee/employer negotiations. And since a percentage of the population might drop from the regular workforce, that could potentially translate into lower union memberships.

Read the story here