Marijuana Industry

Weed lover’s Paradise, entrepreneurs profit spree, the marijuana industry has most everyone seeing green.

By the first semester of 2018 recreational marijuana will be legal in Canada. Besides being a weed lover’s paradise, it represents a huge investment opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors. According to cannabis research firm ArcView, legal marijuana sales in North America are expected to grow 26% annually through 2021, a market worth nearly $22 billion. Globally, this number could reach $200 billion. As reported by the Brightfield Group, together the US and Canada will make up more than 86% of global cannabis sales in 2021. European markets will follow with 12% of sales, dominated by Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.

No economics in the title

Economics’ Missing Women

It should not come as a surprise that there is a problem with gender representation in the field of economics. At the American Economic Association meeting this January, during an mostly-woman panel, researcher after researcher presented their work revealing patterns of gender discrimination in our discipline and, for the first time, the leaders of the AEA made an announcement that they would take these concerns more seriously.

No economics in the title

Merkel Ceteris Paribus? 

Whereas the international media considered the German election boring and prearranged, the outcome in fact contained dramatic results. At first sight, nothing much changed: Chancellor Angela Merkel will stay in office and appears to be a constant in German politics. The person Merkel seems to matter whereas the other parties appear to be negligible variables and the distribution of seats in parliament a sideshow. Building a new government will prove a challenge however, with a far-right party in the parliament for the first time since 1949 holding nearly 12.5% of all seats.

No economics in the title

The Catalonian Referendum and the Struggle of Democracy

No one putting a foot in Barcelona can get away from Catalan culture. No one can skip the “calçots -with their sauce, please-”, la “sardana”, the “Castells” and the many other things that differentiate Catalonia from the rest of Spain. Yet, no one that goes to Galicia could miss Galician, or miss a “Queimada”. No one going to Andalusia could miss the different accent, nor the “feria de Abril”, or the “migas de la alpujarra.” Evidently there is no such thing as a homogeneous Spanish culture. As Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the opposition, said just a few weeks ago, it is a “nation of nations.” Though this might be disputed by many, no one can deny that Spain is formed by regions, or autonomous communities, as is stated in the constitution. These regions have their own voice in education and public health, some even have their own regional police (Mossos or the ertzaintza) and many have substantial control over tax revenues. Yet these regional powers are not universal and vary considerably. Certainly, there are a number of regions that match the Oxford Dictionary definition of nationhood: “A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory.” No one that knows about the Iberian history could rightfully deny this, though of course some of them will.

No economics in the title

The Biology of Our Political Beliefs

Have you ever wondered what is wrong with people who have political views so different from yours? Have you ever experienced frustration in discussing politics with friends who seem to stick to their ideology, irrespective of the evidence you might bring into the discussion? You are not alone, I guess, and you might find some interesting answers in a new prolific line of work in political science that connects political orientations to biological predispositions. A bunch of academics have indeed started tackling with some serious and scientific effort the question we always end up asking ourselves when we deplorably decide to talk politics with some people: what’s their problem?! In particular, this research tries to understand how genetic and biological components might be interacting with environmental factors in shaping our political beliefs. I was exposed to some of this research in a fascinating IAST (Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse) seminar held two years ago by Professor John Hibbing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I will present some of the main experiments and results.

No economics in the title