Announcements, Politics

Our Winter 2022 Issue

On behalf of the Stanford Economic Review Editorial Board, we are honored to present the tenth volume, winter issue, of Stanford University’s undergraduate economics journal. The 2021-2022 academic year has been a transformative time for our publication: We changed our name to the Stanford Economic Review, launched the commentaries section, expanded our team of writers… Continue reading Our Winter 2022 Issue


Exciting News for 2021-22 and Beyond – Our Name has Changed!

For almost a decade, Comparative Advantage has published incredible research papers from undergraduate students across the globe, serving as a medium to amplify the voices of some of the world’s brightest minds. Starting this year, we are attempting to broaden our publication’s impact by venturing into new territory: the realm of commentaries.  Especially in the… Continue reading Exciting News for 2021-22 and Beyond – Our Name has Changed!


LONG-FORM COMMENTARY: China’s Economic Decline is Imminent—Which Spells Trouble for Taiwan

Andrew Zeng, Stanford University -- Recent scholarship on the question of whether Taiwan will face an imminent invasion from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been divided into two diametrically opposing camps, with neither camp seemingly able to achieve a decisive advantage over the other. The problem stems largely from the fact that the Chinese political system is notoriously opaque; as a corollary, it is nigh impossible to extrapolate its intentions exclusively from its leaders’ speeches and public-facing communiques. So as Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders deny the statehood of Taiwan in increasingly provocative and aggressive terms, the central problem for American and Taiwanese policymakers is to deduce whether their statements are pretense or preparation.


LONG-FORM COMMENTARY: The Mixed Impacts of a $15 Minimum Wage and Exploring Alternatives

Kyle Feinstein, Stanford University -- Raising the national minimum wage by 107% to $15 per hour would increase the wages of many jobs, particularly in rural communities where some employers have monopsony power. However, a minimum wage of $15 per hour would also contribute to unemployment, widen disparities in the labor market, and reduce the hours worked for small businesses. Because of these effects, it may be necessary to consider the alternative policies of setting the minimum wage as a percentage of a city’s average cost of living and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to assist low-income earners.


COMMENTARY: New Crisis, New Plan: Lessons Learned From China’s Response to Its Recent Housing Crisis

Jenna Teterin, Stanford University -- 2008 and 2009. Mortgage defaults, foreclosures, bank bailouts. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These are all words and phrases that come to mind when talking about the housing crisis. The collapse of financial institutions caused by subprime mortgage rates in 2008 and 2009 was felt by the entire United States; more acutely by the over six million American households that lost their homes. But there’s a new housing crisis looming—just not in the United States. The Evergrande Crisis, eponymously named after the Chinese property giant, has introduced a new epidemic of individual and public real estate catastrophes.

Commentary, Health Economics

COMMENTARY: That Time a South American Country Fought Big Tobacco—and Won

VinhHuy Le, Stanford University -- In 2010, the world’s largest tobacco conglomerate descended on an international courtroom ready to fight. Philip Morris International, the company behind cigarette brands like Malboro and Chesterfield, sued the South American country of Uruguay for $25 million. But why pick on a country whose entire GDP at the time was half the size of Philip Morris’ net worth?


LONG-FORM COMMENTARY: Can Doing Social Good Also Be Good Economics?

Neha Malhan, Wellesley College -- Organizations are increasingly being held accountable for their social and environmental impact. While increasing shareholder returns is still seen as the primary objective of a commercial enterprise, advocates of sustainability argue that the interests of all stakeholders need to be served. Yet, in a lot of this debate, the implication is often that doing social good has a cost that must be borne by the enterprise.


COMMENTARY: The Digital African Giant

Chidera Ejueyitchie, American River College -- With talk of self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and metaverses dominating the headlines, it is hard not to fantasize about the exciting technological innovations the future holds in store. But somehow, despite all the buzz, the prevailing vision of a futuristic new world still has a missing piece—a blank spot the size of a continent. This isn’t the first time Africa has been forgotten: The continent has lagged behind through each industrial revolution. Today, the African tech industry is ready to finally put an end to this game of catch up.

Commentary, Health Economics

COMMENTARY: Bigger Is Not Always Better: The True Impact of Hospital Mergers

Richa Upadhyay, Stanford University -- Most people can name the nation’s most prominent health systems such as Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, and Trinity Health. Hospital mergers and acquisitions continue to make the “household names” of healthcare stronger, but such consolidation often comes at the expense of consumers. More often than not, hospital acquisitions fail to improve health outcomes while raising costs for patients and payers due to decreased competition.