Topic: Economics

Are we witnessing Decoupling 2.0? China and India rising fastest from the global wreckage

Earthquake analogies and tectonic plates have been one of the most ubiquitous clichés of the global crisis, but they remain apt. The last week has thrown up further signs of the historic geopolitical shifts that are under way. The Economist has an excellent essay on the back of the first BRICs summit, exploring the sharp economic […]

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The global crisis is an unavoidable moment in a technology long wave: an optimistic view from Carlota Perez

Is there a link between the current global crisis and the technological long wave that is in the process of transforming the world economy? Carlota Perez, a Venezuelan academic who specializes in the study of technological revolutions thinks there is, and laid it out at a talk at the IPPR last week (download her podcast here). […]

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More evidence that the IMF is going Keynesian on Africa, at least on paper

The IMF shows some encouraging signs of turning policy promises into practice in its new Staff Position Note on how governments in Africa should respond to the crisis. It still wins no prizes for sparkling prose, alas: Overview: ‘Countries will need to weigh their options for fiscal policy responses. Countries with output gaps and sustainable […]

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Putting the history back into economics: good new book from the FT’s Alan Beattie

‘False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World’, by Alan Beattie, the world trade editor at the Financial Times is published tomorrow in the UK and is already doing well in the US. It explores the historical backstory to current economic debates on trade, corruption, the ‘curse of wealth’ in oil and mineral producing nations, […]

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Dambisa Moyo goes stellar – why? Some reviews by fellow Africans and others, including me

The Dambisa Moyo phenomenon shows no signs of abating, with a front page story in the FT and an elevation this month to Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. The publicity is also selling a lot of books – she’s currently 3rd in Amazon US sales rankings for books on ‘policy and current […]

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Big UN conference on the global crisis is postponed – why?

At the last minute, the UN has postponed its ‘Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development’ from 1-3 June to 24-26th June, still in New York. This will allow it time to sort out the draft conclusions and try and convince a respectable number of world leaders to attend. […]

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Fire brigades or arsonists? A UN debate on the economic crisis

I spoke at an UNCTAD symposium on the global crisis in Geneva this week (Oxfam’s pre-conference submission is here). A laudable attempt to get a conversation going with civil society organizations, but a classically frustrating UN event – dozens of developing country delegates mingling with NGOs and others, but any real exchange was deadened by […]

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What would feminist GM crops look like?

I was in a conversation on genetically modified crops with a feminist economist and a leading ecologist the other day (Chatham House rules, so no names, alas). As often happens, the unusual combination of disciplines led to some thought-provoking exchanges. After lamenting the way most new biotech and GM research is top down and biased […]

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Why we need to limit growth and why it needn’t make us less happy

Can you have prosperity without growth? Yes and what’s more, we have no choice, argues the UK’s Sustainable Development Commission in a new report. As you would expect from the UK’s first ‘Professor of Sustainable Development’, author Tim Jackson is a bit of a heretic – particularly impressive because the SDC is an independent advisory […]

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IMF 2.0 or same old, same old – has the Fund really changed its tune?

Has the G20 revived the neoliberal, austerity-wielding IMF of the 1980s and 90s, are has it ushered in a new IMF 2.0 (in the words of Time Magazine) that cares about countercyclical economic policies, public services and jobs? In late April, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Khan wrote to NGOs saying ‘I would like to make it […]

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Why equity matters more than growth: The Spirit Level

‘Growth with Equity’ is motherhood and apple pie in economic policy-making these days. But in a great new book, Spirit Level, authors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argue that ‘economic growth, for so long the great engine of progress, has, in the rich countries, largely finished its work.’ Above a certain average income (the authors […]

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Developing country governments are dragging their feet over the global crisis

What are developing country governments doing to respond to the damage being inflicted by the global economic crisis? Answer, according to two new papers: not much, and they could be doing a lot more. A study from the Overseas Development Institute pulls together the draft findings from studies in ten countries. The ODI finds that […]

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