This is Noel Maurer's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Noel Maurer's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Noel Maurer
I'm a university professor.
Interests: My current research asks whether foreign governments or international institutions can improve economic governance. Is it possible to alter a country’s property rights system from the outside? This research has two prongs. The first is a historical work, tentatively entitled Imperial Experiments: Intervention, Economic Growth, and Property Rights, which tests various hypotheses about the success and failure of American attempts to improve economic governance outside the United States and protect the property rights of U.S. investors before World War II. The second is a series of contemporary case studies about attempts to alter nations’ internal economic governance from the outside: bilateral investment treaties, investor protection clauses in trade agreements, conditional loans, the “mortgaging” of export revenues, vulture funds, and military intervention. I also watch a lot of baseball, enjoy very bad music, and do a lot of travelling. The travel tends to be either in total luxury, or to places where I need to wear body armor and live in constant fear of, well, death.
Recent Activity
Image
Spain, you might have heard, is a sunny place. Strangely, the designers of Spain’s early renewable policies did not realize this. They established a feed-in tariff, in which utilities have to buy all generated renewable electricity at a fixed price.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
When we left the Catalan secession crisis last October, the secessionists had backed down. They decided that setting up a parallel state would come at too high a cost. But we warned: “There is the possibility that the crisis will... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
It has been an exciting week in European politics. I’m in Spain, where a corruption scandal just brought down Mariano Rajoy. Spain is near Italy, where the President just refused to ratify a ministerial appointment and then agreed to a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
I wrote this almost a week ago, but forgot to hit “post.” With today’s further fall in the peso to 25 per dollar, it sadly remains relevant. So ... Why is Argentina going to the IMF at all? Why not... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
Back in February, I noted that the Argentine president has too much power, which might be a cause of Argentina’s bad governance. It turns out that I noted the same thing back in 2008. Cristina had just lost a Congressional... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
That’s “amendable,” not “amenable.” Too many observers have recently declared that Mexico’s energy reform is safe, because it was enshrined in the Mexican constitution as an amendment. And why would they be wrong? Amendments certainly look difficult to change. It... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
The Trump Organization recently sent a letter to the president of Panama in regards to a legal dispute over a Trump-branded property. The letter listed some putative irregularities in the legal proceedings and asked the President of Panama to intervene... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
In 2011, John Quiggin hypothesized that we were on the verge of eliminating old fashioned tyranny, “in the historical sense of absolute rule by an individual who has seized power, rather than acquiring it by inheritance or election.” I can... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2018 at The Power and the Money
11
Image
It is astounding to realize just how much power the President of the Argentine Republic possesses. This came home to me while I was checking over how President Macri recently tightened the immigration laws. Context: Argentina has a rather liberal... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
The rash of earthquakes afflicting Oklahoma is old news. The cause appears to be backwash from fracking operations being pumped into old abandoned oil and gas wells. Lubricated rocks slip, and thus earthquakes where none were before. But now Groningen,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
In 2015, I predicted that Colombia would not chop three zeros off the peso until the May 2018 presidential election. The last time around, Congress balked at the cost of replacing the bills. In 2016, though, the Colombian central bank... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
Lyman Stone has a post up about population growth in the Caribbean. It’s interesting stuff; worth reading. But it suffers from a historical mistake. I am hesitant to point out this mistake because Lyman has recently been beaten up by... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
Back in March of 2016, we suggested that a Trump administration could repeal NAFTA and claim that Mexico was paying for the wall via higher tariffs. A static back-of-envelope calculation implied that the U.S. would receive about $2 billion a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
In 1790, North Carolina ceded its western territories to the federal government in payment for the federal assumption of its revolutionary debts. In March 1796, the Southwest Territory unilaterally declared that it was now a state. The legislature elected two... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2018 at The Power and the Money
New information emerged fast regarding that drone attack in Syria. From the Washington Post: Nobody seems to know who was responsible. Yesterday we noted that the Islamic State controlled no more territory; experts suspect a different rebel group was responsible;... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2018 at The Power and the Money
One day we have to continue our fisking of Ghost Fleet. I don’t like panning anything, but the book was full of howlers. Fine for fiction, but it was dispiriting to see so many people take it so seriously. But... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2018 at The Power and the Money
Image
The pension reform passed the lower house yesterday on a vote of 127-117. The legislative process has been fine, notwithstanding the near-fistfight on the floor and a lot of disingenuous rhetoric from the government. In those terms, and those terms... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2017 at The Power and the Money
Image
It is summer in Buenos Aires. And it is proving to be a hot one. Political violence right before Christmas is a recent Argentine regularity. In December 1999, a protest by workers owed back salaries in Corrientes province grew out... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2017 at The Power and the Money
Image
There is nothing really new in the piece. I am just laying out my thoughts, because I am a little confused. Which I suppose is standard for anyone trying to think about Brexit. Specifically, I am confused as to why... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2017 at The Power and the Money
Image
Last post presented evidence that upward mobility was quite widespread in late 19th-century Argentina. The question is why? What made it so easy for immigrants to make America? Leticia Abad (Middlebury) and Blanca Sánchez-Alonso (UCEU) give one plausible answer. But... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2017 at The Power and the Money
Image
Argentina, it is probably unnecessary to say on this blog, is a country of immigrants. Moreover, it is a country of immigrants from almost the same places as Brooklyn got immigrants back in the day, as this photograph shows. Argentines... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2017 at The Power and the Money
Image
The long Twitter debate between Pseudoerasmus and Gabe Mathy was triggered by an essay in Jacobin by my friend and colleague Suresh Naidu. He wrote a piece about what North America would have been like had the native population avoided... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2017 at The Power and the Money
24
Image
Today Argentina is not known for having a large black population. Being a country of Europeans is a deep part of Argentina’s national identity. The census stopped recording race in 1869. A bit more than 80 years later, when Josephine... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at The Power and the Money
Image
Mostly, it isn’t. But there is a sign of a disturbing history deep in the genetic heritage of most Puerto Ricans. And contrary to the popular belief, there may be some trace of the same history in Argentina. Some background.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2017 at The Power and the Money
Image
In the last post, I discussed Canada’s mysterious productivity gap with the United States. It appears to have been rather long-lasting. The current explanation is that the gap derives the fact that Canada is a smaller market and firms therefore... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2017 at The Power and the Money
26