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An alternative index for economic development

By Andres Gomez and Juan Tellez

One of the highlights of this year’s World Economic Forum was the urgency of a new economic measure, able to capture adequately the economic situation of a country. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is not rising up to the challenges of the 21st century. In Davos, Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, IMF Head Christine Lagarde, as well as MIT Professor Erik Brynjolfsson, agreed on this issue and emphasized the value of finding a better measure of progress. Even though this is not the first time this concern has been raised, the increase of inequality, the worldwide crisis on immigration, the susceptibility of emerging markets to the volatility of commodity prices, the economic slow-down of China, the imminent collapse of Venezuela, and Brexit among others, have called the attention of academics and practitioners around the world to put urgently the discussion back again in the world agenda. Several reasons are brought up in this debate, but we specifically want to point out the necessity of a better measure of the economy that allows understanding the dynamics of growth and elucidates economic differences between places (countries, cities, regions).

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Now Seeking Interns for 2016 Summer Program in Albania

The Summer Internship Program of the Economic Growth in Albania Project is now recruiting Master's level students to spend summer in Albania.

The Center for International Development (CID) under the direction of Professor Ricardo Hausmann is conducting a four-year project with the Government of Albania. CID helped the government develop an economic growth strategy, based on increasing economic productivity, fostering regional integration, and positioning the government on sound financial footing. Under the supervision of Professor Matt Andrews, CID has put in place government...

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Integration in the Balkans: Albania and Kosovo

Despite their historic and ethnic ties, trade and investment between Albania and Kosovo remains underdeveloped. To be sure, even if fully developed, Kosovo is unlikely to play a major role in Albanian external economic relations. Nonetheless, increased economic integration between the two countries can serve as the basis not only for enhancing the ties between the two countries, but also for spurring the measures that could act as a springboard for Albania’s integration with respect to other countries in the Balkans as well as with the EU. 

In this report, we examine the...

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Davos16: Latin American countries hit by low commodity prices but their performance is diverging

By Ricardo Hausmann

The World Economic Forum in Davos last week gave me the opportunity to reflect on Latin America, its predicament and the lessons we should extract from the region's recent experience. I was asked to moderate a panel of Ministers from the region. Argentina was represented by my friend, colleague and co-author Federico Sturzenegger, the recently appointed President of the Central Bank. Brazil was represented by the newly appointed Minister of Finance Nelson Barbosa. Chile, Colombia and Peru were represented by my old friends and ministers of finance Rodrigo Valdés, Mauricio Cárdenas and Alonso Segura.... Read more about Davos16: Latin American countries hit by low commodity prices but their performance is diverging

New study on the challenges to developing nostalgic trade among the Albanians living in the U.S.

By Manuel Orozco

The U.S. is home to more than 200,000 ethnic Albanians, about half of whom are emigrants from the Republic of Albania. Despite the significant Albanian population in the U.S., official trade of Albanian goods in the U.S. almost does not exist.

We surveyed about 200 Albanian-Americans and several stores offering goods imported from the Balkan region of Europe in three U.S. metropolitan areas with large Albanian population in order to study their purchasing habits. We found that the willingness to purchase products from the region of...

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New Case Study: Revitalizing the Albanian Electricity Sector

By Ozair Ali

In an attempt to recuperate its dysfunctional electricity distribution system, Albania privatized its sole electricity distribution company in 2009. Disappointed with the results of the privatization, just four years later, the State of Albania renationalized the company.

The case study “Revitalizing the Albanian Electricity Sector” analyzes the key sources of inefficiencies in the electricity distribution sector in Albania and the structural problems of the current state-owned company. It explains how the tariff setting and the failed...

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Interviews with Vizion Plus

By Ermal Frasheri

Earlier this year I conducted two interviews with the Albanian TV station, Vizion Plus. In the first interview, I give an overview of the type of work that CID is doing in Albania and discuss some of the economic challenges and potentials in Albania:

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Thank You, Interns - Now the Work Continues

By Tim O'Brien

The Center for International Development’s thirteen master’s level interns (Team Albania 2015) are returning to Cambridge this week to start the final year of their studies. In Tirana, they have left behind not only their reports and recommendations but living projects that are now tangible instruments for Albania’s economic transition. They take with them fond memories, lessons both large and small, and experiences in governance that will soon become learning tools for the larger community at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

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