Summer Reading: 3 Academic Takes On Trump

Researchers are having a field day positing what Trump means for the U.S. and markets.

August 8, 2017

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inflation eagleU.S. President Donald J. Trump continues to confound convention – uncertainty about his policies and even his political future has provided fodder for an endless stream of pundits and experts on the news. But academics are also closely following the Trump presidency as they seek to analyze and prognosticate on where he might take the U.S. in the future. Below are the top three papers that have appeared over the past month alone (and if I’ve missed a good paper you’ve seen feel free to share in the comments below):

Trump’s “Big-League” Tax Reform: Assessing the Impact and Constitutionality of The President’s Proposed Changes – Ryan J. Clemens

In this paper Clemens looks at Trump’s tax reforms to assess their impact and, importantly, how corporate decision-making adjustments in response might impede their effectiveness. What’s interesting here is that he uses the experience of Canada’s income trusts as well as reactions to Bush’s Homeland Investment Act, as a benchmark for considering Trump’s plans. He also looks at whether the proposed “border adjustment tax” is constitutional. Download it here.

 How Should the E.U. Respond to Brexit and Trump?: The Lessons from Trade Wars – John C. Coffee, Jr.

Columbia University Law Professor, John C. Coffee Jr., considers the potential for trade wars around the world, particularly in Europe where the combined forced of Brexit and the Trump presidency have laid a hostile foundation for trade. Coffee looks at 3 game theory models – the Chicken Game, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and the Stag-Hunt Game, to create possible scenarios for moving forward in the EU. In a trade war is in the cards, then policymakers will need to tread carefully and find a path to cooperation and compromise in an increasingly risky environment. Download it here.

Constitutional Rot – Jack M. Balkin

Yale’s Jack Balkin defines constitutional rot as the kind of decay that is presently afflicting the U.S. political system, making it less democratic over time and more oligarchical. It’s the kind of dysfunctional that goes beyond mere political gridlock and presents itself as a group of politicians more interested in serving themselves than the public interest. And it’s not just about Trump – it’s a rot that has been in place for years. Download it here.


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