Economics & Global Affairs

16 Items

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Addressing Commodity Price Volatility in Algeria & Morocco

| June 11, 2016
I recently visited Algeria and Morocco.  Like so many other developing countries, they are dealing with the sharp decline in global commodity prices that has taken place over the last few years.  In meetings in Algiers and Casablanca, I offered four concrete ideas for policies to help commodity-exporting countries deal with global price volatility.  The four proposals, very briefly, are: (1) hedging with options (as Mexico does), (2) commodity bonds, (3) countercyclical fiscal institutions (like Chile’s), and (4) central bank targeting of a currency-plus-commodity basket.

News

New Research on African Regional Integration from the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project

| June 02, 2016

A new manuscript from the STG Project chronicles the adoption of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) Agreement on June 10, 2015. Prof. Calestous Juma and Dr. Francis Mangeni argue that Africa is pursuing regional trade as part of a broader strategy for long-term economic transformation.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Fiscal Education for the G-7

| May 26, 2016
As the G-7 Leaders gather in Ise-Shima, Japan, on May 26-27, the still fragile global economy is on their minds.  They would like a road map to address stagnant growth. Their approach should be to talk less about currency wars and more about fiscal policy.Fiscal policy vs. monetary policyUnder the conditions that have prevailed in most major countries over the last ten years, we have reason to think that fiscal policy is a more powerful tool for affecting the level of economic activity, as compared to monetary policy.

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News

Ukrainian Finance Minister On Making Change Happen In Ukraine

Sep. 30, 2015

Finance Minister of Ukraine and HKS alumna, Natalie A. Jaresko MPP 1989, participated in a conversation with Future of Diplomacy Project Faculty Director R. Nicholas Burns titled “Ukraine: Making Change Happen” on September 23. Minister Jaresko commented on the current state of economic reforms and debt restructuring in Ukraine, pairing her incisive analysis with descriptions of personal experiences working at a high-level in governments in both the US and Ukraine.

A 2014 meeting between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Netherlands

US Embassy, The Hague

Analysis & Opinions

Shunning Beijing's infrastructure bank was a mistake for the US

| June 7, 2015

The Obama administration’s negative response to China’s proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was a strategic mistake. Though some Chinese moves might be destabilising and require US resistance, this initiative should have been welcomed.

The US should be careful about opposing ventures that are popular and likely to proceed. Losing fights does not build confidence. Moreover, the new bank’s purpose — to develop infrastructure in Asia — is a good goal. The world economy needs more growth. Many emerging markets are eager to boost productivity and growth by lowering costs of transportation, improving energy availability, enhancing communications networks, and distributing clean water.

The AIIB offers an opportunity to strengthen the very international economic system that the US created and sustained. The AIIB’s designated leader, Jin Liqun, a former vice-president of the Asian Development Bank, sought advice in Washington. He engaged an American lawyer who was the World Bank’s leading specialist on governance. He also reached out to another American who had served as World Bank country director for China and then worked with the US embassy.

If the AIIB was indeed threatening the American-led multilateral economic order, as its opponents seemed to believe, then its Chinese founders chose a curiously open and co-operative way of doing so.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

A Pre-Lima Scorecard for Evaluating Who is Doing their Fair Share in Pledged Carbon Cuts

| Nov. 19, 2014
Those worried about the future of the earth’s climate are hoping that this year’s climate change convention in Lima, Peru, December 2014, will yield progress toward specific national commitments, looking ahead to an international agreement at the make-or-break Paris meeting to take place in December 2015.The precedent of the Kyoto Protocol negotiated in 1997 is more discouraging than encouraging. It was an encouraging precedent in that countries were politically able to agree on legally binding quantitative limits to their emissions of Greenhouse Gases, to be achieved with the aid of international trading and other market mechanisms.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

The Ibrahim Prize for Excellence Among African Leaders

| Oct. 21, 2013
On October 14, the Mo Ibrahim PrizeCommittee announced, for the second year in a row, that it had not found anyone to whom to award its Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.The Prize is given to a recently-retired Executive Head of State or Government in Africa who satisfies the criteria of having been democratically elected, having left at the end of his or her constitutionally mandated term, and having demonstrated exceptional leadership.  The winner receives $5 million paid over ten years, followed by $200,000 annually for life, which makes it the world’s most valuable annually awarded prizeThe Mo Ibrahim Foundation supports other valuable activities as well, especially the annual rating and ranking of countries in the Index of African Governance, which was also released October 14.

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.