Economics & Global Affairs

4 Items

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change, C’est Bon

| Dec. 22, 2015
How should one evaluate the agreement reached in Paris December 12 by the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)?   Some avid environmentalists may have been disappointed in the outcome.  The reason is that the negotiators did not commit to limiting global warming to 1 ½ degrees centigrade by 2050, nor will the new agreement directly achieve the 2 degree limit.But such commitments would not have been credible.  What came out of Paris was in fact better, because the negotiators were able to agree on meaningful practical near-term steps.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Full Legal Text of TPP is Now Available

| Nov. 05, 2015
I have written a few columns this year supportive of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  (E.g. "Critics Should Keep an Open Mind,” The Guardian, Oct. 11, 2015.)   Commentators on my column and critics of TPP more generally have expressed great eagerness to know when and where they could read the full legal text of the agreement.  The full text is now available.Many skeptics seem confident in their ability to understand the significance of the detailed legal language even when they have only had a few hours to read it.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

September 22 is the 30th Anniversary of the Plaza Accord

| Sep. 22, 2015
Exactly 30 years ago, on September 22, 1985, ministers of the Group of Five countries met at the Plaza Hotel in New York and agreed on a successful initiative to reverse what had been a dangerously overvalued dollar. The Plaza Accord was backed up by intervention in the foreign exchange market. The change in policy had the desired effect over the next few years: bringing down the dollar, reducing the US trade deficit and defusing protectionist pressures.  Many economists think that foreign exchange intervention cannot have effects unless it also changes money supplies.

Blog Post - Technology and Policy

Africa and Brazil at the Dawn of New Economic Diplomacy

| Feb. 26, 2013

In recent years the major focus of China’s engagement in Africa has been on economic diplomacy. Much of this debate has been influenced by concerns over China’s rise as an economic superpower and the preoccupation with viewing Africa through the jaded natural resource lens. A closer look at Africa’s growing economic diplomacy reveals a more complex picture involving other important emerging market economies as illustrated by economic relations with Brazil. Africa’s relations with Brazil highlight the emergence of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) as a new economic alliance that is reshaping international trading relations.