Monday, September 19, 2016

Macro Musings Podcast: Ryan Avent

My latest Macro Musings podcast is with Ryan Avent. Ryan is a columnist at The Economist magazine. He has previously been the news editor, economics correspondent, and online economics editor for The Economist. He is the author of The Gated City. His work has appeared at the Journal of Economic Geography, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Republic, Bloomberg, Reuters, and many other places.

Ryan has a new book that just came out titled “The Wealth of Humans: Work Power, and Status in the 21st Century” He joined me to talk about his new book, his work, and some of the pressing macroeconomic issues of the day.

We begin our conversation by covering what it is like to be a journalist at The Economist. We then move on to his new book, which makes the case that the economy is undergoing a transformative change because of the digital revolution. Ryan notes that while this change is ultimately a plus for the longrun, over the short-to-medium run it present challenges for the way we live and work. Work gives us meaning and income, but Ryan argues it is not clear what work will be like going forward as increased smart technologies displace labor. Will we, on the margin, move into new jobs or into more leisure?  We discuss possible solutions to smooth the transition to this new long-run state.

Ryan just returned from the UK so we also spend some time discussing Brexit and the economic and social forces behind it. We also discuss the Eurozone crisis and why it has persisted for so long. 

Finally, we cover the challenges with inflation targeting, the safe asset problem, and the futility of central banks trying to raise rates when global bond markets are pushing yields down. Once again, a fascinating conversation throughout.

You can listen to the podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or your favorite podcast app. You can also listen via the embedded player above. And remember to subscribe since more shows are coming. 

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