News

New interactive website helps chart paths for economic growth

September 26, 2019

James F. Smith - The Harvard Gazette

Let’s say you are a government official weighing economic development strategies. Or you’re an entrepreneur looking for the best place to manufacture your new high-tech device. How do you sort through the mountains of available data to figure out which countries have the know-how to achieve dynamic growth — and which do not?

Researchers at Harvard have built a powerful new tool that will do a lot of the work for you.

The Growth Lab, a program of the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard Kennedy...

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Markets Are Starting to Play a Haunting 2007 Tune

September 18, 2019

John Authers - Bloomberg

...Ricardo Hausmann of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government has made it his life’s work to understand why some economies grow faster than others, and therefore which countries are likely to grow next. He believes the answer lies in economic complexity. To paraphrase, countries that develop complex industries with transferable skills are able to grow much faster. Countries that do nothing more than extract raw materials and don’t diversify (like Hausmann’s native Venezuela), have little chance of growth. Those that develop know-how...

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China Risks, Unlike Mexico Tariffs, Aren't Vanishing

June 11, 2019

John Authers - Bloomberg

...Which countries will manage to notch the fastest growth over the next decade? Nobody can know for certain, but Harvard’s Center for International Development has gone to great lengths to try to find out. Its key insight is that growth hinges on economic complexity. The more different skills a population has developed, and the more adaptable its economy, the better its chances of expansion. The more dependent it remains on one industry, the harder it is to achieve growth. It measures this phenomenon in a fascinating and public...

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Don't Blame Washington for Venezuela's Oil Woes: A Rebuttal

May 2, 2019

Ricardo Hausmann and Frank Muci - Americas Quarterly

On August 2017, the White House imposed financial sanctions on Venezuela, limiting its access to U.S. financial markets. Shortly after, Venezuela’s economy and oil sector collapsed. ​Economists Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Jeffrey Sachs conclude​ ​that the sanctions caused the collapse and human suffering that followed. Is this persuasive?...

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Understanding Venezuela's Collapse

February 12, 2019

Ricardo Hausmann - Harvard Gazette

Thousands of angry demonstrators in Venezuela took to the streets again this week to protest the government of President Nicolás Maduro, two weeks after he was sworn in for a second term following an election that many critics say was rigged. The protests were organized by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly, who has declared himself acting president.

Once one of the richest countries in Latin America with the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela has been in political, economic, and...

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The knowhow path to Sri Lankan development

September 5, 2018

Ricardo Hausmann - DailyFT

When Adam Smith wrote ‘The Wealth of Nations’ in 1776, the richest country in the world was four times richer than the poorest one. Today, Singapore is over 110 times richer than Burundi. What could possibly explain such an extreme divergence of the wealth of nations? 

Economists have shown that these differences are too large to be explained by differences in the availability of land or capital – including human capital. So, they ascribe it to differences in the productivity with which land and capital are used,...

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Planet Money: The Measure Of A Tragedy

June 19, 2018

Ricardo Hausmann on NPR's Planet Money: The Indicator podcast

The Venezuelan economy has collapsed. Years of economic mismanagement and a deepening political crisis have led to a recession that has almost no parallel in recent memory.

But explaining just how bad things have gotten is also really hard because the normal economic indicators that we use to measure a country's economy have started to sound so so unfathomable — 25,000% inflation, for example — that it feels impossible to get our heads around them.

Ricardo Hausmann, a Harvard-based...

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Immigration key catalyst for development

May 17, 2018

Daily FT

Reforming immigration law to allow free movement of people through progressive laws could tackle Sri Lanka’s chronic economic challenges of narrow exports, low Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and limited innovation, a top expert said yesterday, outlining many examples of countries that have experienced growth spurts by opening up their labour markets.   

Prof. Ricardo Hausmann is Director of Harvard’s Center for International Development and Professor of the Practice of Economic Development at the Kennedy School of Government. Delivering...

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