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Find a newspaper or magazine article that is related to Dutch Disease. The article must be current (since August 2013) from a legitimate source with a solid reputation (online articles are OK as long as the source is considered legitimate i.e. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist Magazine…). Write a review of the article and then discuss how it is related to the Dutch Disease. Why should we care about the article? How does it relate to our discussions in class or discussion section?

The essay needs to be typed, double-spaced, in times new roman font, with a font size 12 in order to be graded. It needs to be one page with one inch margins in order to be graded (a second page will not be graded). Please attach the article that is reviewed. Put your name in the upper right hand corner of the page. A title is not necessary.

Answer

Article Review

The article under review in this paper is “The New Dutch Disease: Mortgage Debt”. In this article, the Dutch Disease is equated to an “economic malady”; it occurs when a resource windfall ends up affecting other sectors of the economy negatively (Mattich 1). Coincidentally, the country under analysis in the article is the Netherlands, and the Dutch Disease in this case has taken the form of mortgage debt.

According to Mattich, this mortgage debt comes in the wake of a housing bubble in  the Netherlands (1). It seems that this bubble was self-inflicted considering that the government has for a long time been encouraging policies that directly contributed to ever-increasing house prices. Through these policies, Dutch citizens were given access to massive household leverage as well as tax breaks. The trend of inflation could not continue perpetually; at one point, a crisis had to strike (Mattich 1). When the crisis finally unfolded through a slump in prices of houses, the government started tightening its belt, meaning that tax breaks could no longer be provided. This is how the mortgage debt in the Netherlands has turned out to be the latest Dutch Disease.

This article is related to the Dutch Disease in the sense that it provides a scenario where a sudden, unexpected increase in income levels in one sector ends up impacting negatively on the entire economy in the long run. We should care about this article because of the insightful manner in which it describes the Dutch mortgage debt and its impact on the Dutch economy. Such information can be very useful for economists who are keen to identify instances of the Dutch Disease and advocate for corrective measures before its negative effects spread to the entire economy.

 

Works Cited

Mattich, Alen. The New Dutch Disease: Mortgage Debt, 16 August 2013, retrieved from http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/08/16/the-new-dutch-disease-mortgage-debt/  on January 31, 2014.

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