HKS faculty reimagine the world of work

January 28, 2021

Ljubica Nedelkoska in HKS Magazine

THIS PAST YEAR HAS ILLUMINATED the fragility and failures of work in new ways. The coronavirus pandemic resulted in layoffs and furloughs for millions around the world. Some have lost their jobs in struggling or shifting industries and don’t have the skills to explore other fields. Many essential workers—from health aides to grocery clerks—have been forced to make grim trade-offs between personal health and financial security. Unpredictable and stressful schedules, discriminatory and unfair organizational practices and procedures,...

Read more about HKS faculty reimagine the world of work

The pandemic dealt a blow to global trade and revived an old dream: Self-reliance

December 23, 2020

The Atlas of Economic Complexity in The Washington Post

When the pandemic hit, Ghana called on companies to change gears. Shirtmakers switched to cotton masks. A cosmetics lab churned out hand sanitizer. Dress sewers crafted face shields.

Those goods normally came from Chinese factories, but China had largely closed for business. Beijing’s shipments to Ghana plunged by nearly 50 percent in March, sending the West African nation of 31 million scrambling for backups.


Venezuelan oil could become world’s biggest stranded asset, say experts

November 18, 2020

Financial Times

Once a wealthy oil exporter, Venezuela’s hopes of reviving its shattered economy are pinned on huge investment in extracting one of the world’s most carbon-heavy blends of crude.

But concerns about climate change are upending energy markets worldwide, and some experts believe much of the country’s most valuable asset will remain stranded in the ground.

Some insist that Venezuela’s oil has not yet lost its allure. Ricardo Hausmann, a former Venezuelan planning minister in the 1990s now at Harvard University’s Centre for...

Read more about Venezuelan oil could become world’s biggest stranded asset, say experts

Zoom and Gloom

October 8, 2020

The Economist

...Recent research by Michele Coscia of the University of Copenhagen, and Frank Neffke and Ricardo Hausmann of Harvard University, finds that a permanent shutdown of international business travel would shrink global gross product by an astonishing 17% by hindering flows of knowledge across borders. The shift in favour of remote work also looks curiously like an anglosphere phenomenon; workers in mainland Europe have been swifter to return to the office than those in Britain and America.

Nonetheless, the shift will lead to significant...

Read more about Zoom and Gloom

When should we hit the road again?

September 7, 2020

Financial Times

...That business travel was necessary for business success appeared clear before the Covid crisis. The Growth Lab, a research unit at Harvard’s Center for International Development, looked at international travel spending by holders of corporate credit and debit cards between 2011 and 2016. It found that where there was business travel, there were measurable benefits in growth and employment, both in the countries the travellers came from, but particularly in the countries they travelled to.

The transfer of knowledge was vital to business...

Read more about When should we hit the road again?

How should world channel aid to Lebanon in wake of blast?

August 13, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann in Anadolu Agency News

How should the world channel aid to Lebanon in wake of blast? Given the huge humanitarian and economic fallout from the deadly blast, one thing is clear: Lebanon will have to get a large injection of international aid. But with its government in tatters, how, and through whom?

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ricardo Hausmann, founder and director of the Growth Lab at Harvard's Center for International Development, said there is no easy solution for doing this without effective government.

Harvard researchers discover a surprising reason why Zoom and Skype won’t kill business travel

August 12, 2020

Fast Company

Business travel: Turns out it does more than just fill up the front half of the airplane.

It might actually do some good for the world, says a new study out of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Growth Lab, which finds a direct link—of causation, not correlation—between a country’s incoming business travel and its economic growth. The more business travelers a country received, the better its industrial ventures fared...

Read more about Harvard researchers discover a surprising reason why Zoom and Skype won’t kill business travel

‘This Has Changed Everything’: Saudi Economy Shaken by Oil Crash

April 21, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann in Bloomberg

The meltdown in oil markets is turning back the economic clock for Saudi Arabia, putting it on track for the deepest contraction in two decades.

Already under lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s largest crude exporter is bracing for a second impact from the oil rout and unprecedented production cuts negotiated by OPEC and its allies. Both will slash government revenue, and in turn derail a fragile economic recovery. Brent crude traded at under $19 a barrel on Tuesday -- a quarter of the level...

Read more about ‘This Has Changed Everything’: Saudi Economy Shaken by Oil Crash