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Delving into the forces that shape our living standards
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Cyclists make their way over the Burrard Bridge bike lane in Vancouver. (Brett Beadle/Brett Beadle for The Globe and Mail)
Cyclists make their way over the Burrard Bridge bike lane in Vancouver. (Brett Beadle/Brett Beadle for The Globe and Mail)

Economy Lab

Best economy reads: Bike lanes and house prices Add to ...

A roundup of the best economic posts on the Web



Local bike paths mean higher house prices

Some residents of Sydney disovered a pleasant surprise after controversial bike lanes were installed on their street - higher property values:

"On April Fool's Day Fairfax Media posted a video affirming that the new inner Sydney cycleways have had a positive effect on property prices. It was no joke. It seems that having a bikeway right outside your front door is good for your health and the value of your house."

Beware of runaway headline inflation

A study on VoxEU says central banks should not be content will basing policy solely on core inflation:

"The latest figures from the US show that the consumer price index rose 0.5% in March, whilst the core personal consumption expenditure price index rose only 0.1%. This column explains the roles of these competing measures and argues that US monetary policymakers should pay close attention to headline inflation. It warns that neglecting headline inflation risks feverish boom-and-bust cycles with prolonged periods of high unemployment."





Bin Laden's war against the U.S. economy



Ezra Klein of The Washington Post suggests Osama bin Laden may have been the most expensive enemy the United States ever faced:



"So why, when I called Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a counterterrorism expert who specializes in al-Qaeda, did he tell me that "bin Laden has been enormously successful"? There's no caliphate. There's no sweeping sharia law. Didn't we win this one in a clean knockout? ... Apparently not. Bin Laden, according to Gartenstein-Ross, had a strategy that we never bothered to understand, and thus that we never bothered to defend against. What he really wanted to do - and, more to the point, what he thought he could do - was bankrupt the United States of America. After all, he'd done the bankrupt-a-superpower thing before. And though it didn't quite work out this time, it worked a lot better than most of us, in this exultant moment, are willing to admit."



Service with a smile: A new growth engine for poor countries



Another from VoxEU

"Services have long been the main source of growth in rich countries. This column argues that services are now the main source of growth in poor countries as well. It presents evidence that services may provide the easiest and fastest route out of poverty for many poor countries."



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