Editors’ Briefing: This Week in Political Economy (May 4–May 12)

A whistleblower alleges fraud in the audits of Silicon Valley companies; AT&T acknowledges that hiring Michael Cohen was a “bad mistake”; new analysis finds that Amazon has not been consistent with the stated selection criteria for HQ2; and a majority of Americans back a constitutional amendment that would outlaw Citizens United. This week in political economy.   

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What Prompts Young People to Invest in Their Human Capital? New Data on DACA and Dreamers Offers Some Stark Evidence

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program—a deportation deferral initiative for immigrants brought to the United States without documents as children—provided a large shock to returns to education for a substantial population of at-risk youth. A new NBER paper finds an extraordinary impact of DACA on Dreamers’ decisions to finish high school, go to college, or get pregnant as teenagers.  

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Populism and Time Inconsistency

This recent VoxEU.org column analyzes the recent ascendance of populists across the international stage through the lens of the concept of ‘time inconsistency’—that is, the possible mismatch between what might be optimal today and what might be optimal over the longer term. Populist leaders, according to Mario Blejer and Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi, are time consistent in their constant objective of maximizing their own power. The authors propose some commitment devices to guard against populist abuses.  

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