Opinion

Europe’s Green Future Starts in Ethiopia

February 4, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann - Project Syndicate

The European Union's ambitious new Green Deal promises to make the bloc carbon-neutral by 2050, while creating new jobs and raising living standards. But, given that Europe accounts for only 10% of global carbon emissions, the true test of its green agenda lies in its willingness to help others with their own sustainable development.

The Cure for Populism Is Equal Opportunity

October 25, 2019

Eric Protzer, Paul Summerville - Foreign Policy

he People’s Party of Canada (PPC), a cousin of the populist movements springing up in many advanced democracies, got badly trounced in the recent federal election. Maxime Bernier, the self-styled populist leader and founder of the PPC, even lost his seat in Beauce, Quebec, in the process. The PPC polled less than 2 percent of the popular vote, finished sixth among national political parties, and is now expected to close shop.

The PPC’s stark failure stands in contrast to populist success in other Western...

Read more about The Cure for Populism Is Equal Opportunity

People Value a Fair Opportunity over Equality

October 24, 2019

Eric Protzer, Paul Summerville - letter to Financial Times

Benedict Mander’s report “Chile’s inequality ignites unrest” (October 22) effectively articulates some of the frustrations behind the protests in Santiago: growth that is not inclusive, and a sense of being left behind. But like so much commentary on contemporary political unrest, it then makes the leap of assuming this anger can be chalked up simply to inequality of income and wealth.

This is a common mistake. In fact, behavioural science shows that people do not systematically dislike unequal...

Read more about People Value a Fair Opportunity over Equality

Don’t Blame Economics, Blame Public Policy

September 1, 2019

Ricardo Hausmann - Project Syndicate

It is now customary to blame economics or economists for many of the world’s ills. Critics hold economic theories responsible for rising inequality, a dearth of good jobs, financial fragility, and low growth, among other things. But although criticism may spur economists to greater efforts, the concentrated onslaught against the profession has unintentionally diverted attention from a discipline that should shoulder more of the blame: public policy.

Economics and public policy are closely related, but they are not the...

Read more about Don’t Blame Economics, Blame Public Policy

Indonesia and the Quest for 7% Growth: Overpromise or Underperformance?

April 16, 2019

By Timothy Cheston 
Visualizations by: Nil Tuzcu

Indonesians head to the polls for presidential and legislative elections on April 17, in what is traditionally billed as a clash of titans in the world’s third largest democracy. This time around, voters will find familiar names on the presidential ballot, as Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, faces Prabowo Subianto in the same billing as the 2014 election, with the one exception of Jokowi now having the incumbency of the presidency behind him. If current polls hold, the election appears less of a rematch than a watered-...

Read more about Indonesia and the Quest for 7% Growth: Overpromise or Underperformance?

How Not to Fight Income Inequality

November 14, 2018

Ricardo Hausmann - Project Syndicate

Trying to combat income inequality through mandated wage compression is not just an odd preference. It is a mistake, as Mexico's president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will find out in a few years, after much damage has been done.

Suppose two people hold different opinions about a policy issue. Is it possible to say that one is right and the other wrong, or do they just...

Read more about How Not to Fight Income Inequality

The Albanian Miracle

September 27, 2018

Ricardo Hausmann - Project Syndicate

Five years ago, Albania faced a truly ominous situation. With Greece and Italy reeling from the euro crisis, remittances and capital inflows were falling and the economy suffered a severe slowdown. The fiscal deficit ballooned to over 7% of GDP, financed to a large extent by arrears, as access to external financial markets had collapsed and domestic interest rates were sky high.

In addition, the...

Read more about The Albanian Miracle

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,...

Read more about The knowhow path to Sri Lankan development

Nicolás Maduro will not reverse Venezuela’s economic collapse

August 23, 2018

Ricardo Hausmann - Financial Times

When presenting his economic stabilisation plan on August 17, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro proudly argued that no government has ever done it this way. He should have wondered why. Venezuela is undergoing an economic collapse without precedent outside of war or the fall of the Soviet Union.

This is accompanied by hyper-inflation. Annual inflation is running at over 80,000 per cent and the IMF has predicted it will hit 1m per cent this year. The price of the dollar has added three zeroes in 15 months.

Pages