Posts byEd Westerhout

I am an economist specialised in the economics of ageing. I am affiliated with the University of Amsterdam, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis and Netspar. Further, I lecture a course on ageing and economics, I am author of 'Economen kunnen niet rekenen' and I write columns and blogs. For more info see

(Too) Expensive Prescription Drugs

As is well-known, longevity increases throughout the world. This is mainly due to the advance of medical technology, which also includes prescription drugs. Now, this is an interesting category from an economic point of view. Given that drugs can make the difference between alive or dead or, somewhat less extreme, a life without too much

Viva El Niño!

Ethiopia, El Niño-influenced drought continues to affect millions of people, deepening food insecurity, malnutrition and water shortages in affected areas. [..] It is projected that in 2016, 2.2 million children under age 5 and pregnant/breastfeeding mothers will be moderately malnourished and 450,000 children will be severely malnourished (UN-OCHA, 13 April 2016). A major problem of

Helicopter Money

The world is changing. After the financial crisis of 2007/2008, economic growth was supposed to recover, but it did not. Central banks all over the world cut interest rates sharply to just above zero percent. It did not help either. Then, quantitative easing was invented: if the standard recipe does not work, why not try

Interest Rates Are Low, So Let Us Reduce Them!

Economic growth does not get into gear yet. Declining prices for oil and materials have hindered economic growth. Consequently, official forecasters have reduced their growth expectations for the current year. Parallel to this, inflationary expectations tilted downwards. Eurostat even reported a deflation of 0.2 percent in the month of February. Mario Draghi, the President of

Secular Stagnation

We thought the crisis was fading out. We thought we had suppressed a financial crisis, a global economic crisis, a debt crisis and a Eurozone crisis. After all, economic growth rates were starting to increase, world trade starting to recover and unemployment rates starting to fall. But November 2013 Lawrence Summers made it very clear

When Robots Meet Piketty

Why not think about robotics? The topic is hot (witness these five recent studies: ). It is also the time of the year to look ahead. And, probably the most compelling reason, the topic is fascinating, multifaceted and potentially revolutionary, not only by adding things that yet don’t exist, but also by changing various aspects