Paul Romer on a Culture of Science and Working Hard | Conversations with Tyler Podcast Summary

Paul Romer on a Culture of Science and Working Hard | Podcast Summary

Paul Romer on a Culture of Science and Working Hard | Conversations with Tyler

In this engaging conversation, Paul Romer, a prominent economist, discusses the shortcomings of economics, the necessity of mass testing for COVID-19, and the potential for reopening schools and Major League Baseball.

He also shares his thoughts on charter cities and his proposed reforms for the World Bank.

Macroeconomic Response to Crises

The macroeconomic response to the current crisis by the Fed has been commendable, reflecting lessons learned from past economic crises.

However, theoretical rational expectations macro has had little impact on policy.

Reopening Businesses and Institutions

Frequent testing could allow for the safe reopening of businesses and institutions.

For instance, testing everyone in nursing homes could significantly reduce the death rate from COVID-19.

Similarly, frequent testing could allow for the reopening of Major League Baseball and colleges.

I think frequent testing in nursing homes might be all it would take to cut the death rate in half. – Paul Romer

Charter Cities

Creating new cities could be a solution to the current impasse on migration flows.

These new cities could be places that people want to go to, without threatening existing countries.

Reforming the World Bank

The World Bank needs to be reformed to better serve developing countries.

It should focus more on providing technical advice and less on providing loans.

It should also be more open to new ideas and less bureaucratic.

The Role of the FDA

The FDA’s regulations are too restrictive and are unnecessarily hindering innovation in testing.

These regulations need to be reevaluated to allow for more rapid progress in testing.

The Importance of Data-Driven Approach

There is too much emphasis on models and not enough on the facts themselves in both economics and epidemiology.

A balance between theory and data is needed in these fields.

The Role of Government Funding

Tests are a public good and should be funded by the government.

If the government were to invest more in testing, we could have all the tests we need.

The Failure of Competition Policy

The failure of competition policy and the lack of support for necessary regulations have led to harmful actions, particularly in the context of the opioid crisis.

Economists should have been more vocal in advocating for regulations.

The Deregulation of Financial Markets

The deregulation of financial markets, particularly the role of Alan Greenspan in advocating for reduced regulation, led to the financial crisis and has made our financial system more fragile.

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