Venezuelans Deserve Refugee Status

May 30, 2018

Ricardo Hausmann - Project Syndicate

Venezuela is in the news again. Through unprecedented treachery, President Nicolás Maduro awarded himself victory in the presidential election on May 20. Given that the blatantly pro-government electoral council had delisted the three main opposition parties and disqualified two major political leaders, much of the opposition boycotted the process. The two other candidates who participated did not recognize the result, given the many violations that took place. Neither did the United States, Canada, the European Union and most...

Read more about Venezuelans Deserve Refugee Status

Can Venezuela Resurrect Its Economy?

July 26, 2017

Ricardo Hausmann is interviewed by the Council of Foreign Relations 

The misguided policies of President Nicolas Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, along with falling oil prices, have destabilized Venezuela’s economy and triggered shortages of vital supplies, says Ricardo Hausmann, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School and a former minister of planning in Venezuela.

Hausmann argues that it will almost certainly take new leadership in Caracas to introduce the market reforms and debt restructuring he says are needed. “A recovery would...

Read more about Can Venezuela Resurrect Its Economy?

The Hunger Bonds

May 26, 2017

Ricardo Hausmann for Project Syndicate

CAMBRIDGE – Investing often creates moral dilemmas over goals: Should we aim to do well or to do good? Is it appropriate to invest in tobacco companies? Or in companies that sell guns to drug gangs?

The recent popularity of so-called impact investment funds, which promise to deliver decent returns while advancing social or environmental goals, is based on this unease. Foundations often find that these investment vehicles help them to do good both with the money that they...

Read more about The Hunger Bonds

Charting a path towards Lanka’s durable success

March 13, 2017

Ricardo Hausmann for Daily News

It is not just because I am from Venezuela that I see Sri Lanka with admiration and envy. The island has made more progress in human development than any other in South Asia. It has reduced poverty in a pretty dramatic way. It has many reasons to be proud of its achievements. But anything that is worth doing, is worth doing better. The Center for International Development at Harvard University is collaborating with the Government of Sri Lanka to work on a strategy to make progress faster, more sustainable and more inclusive.

In the...

Read more about Charting a path towards Lanka’s durable success

Refugees as Weapons of Mass Destruction

March 2, 2017

Ricardo Hausmann for Project Syndicate

CAMBRIDGE – In the summer of 2015, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper looked set to win his fourth consecutive election, scheduled for that October. Instead, his Conservative Party won just 99 of the House of Commons’ 338 seats. The party did not win a single constituency in Toronto or the entire Atlantic seaboard. Instead, the Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, ended up obtaining the second-largest parliamentary majority in its history – 184 seats – despite having started the electoral campaign in third place.... Read more about Refugees as Weapons of Mass Destruction

¿Cuánto tardaría Venezuela en recuperarse de la debacle económica de estos años?

March 2, 2017

Douglas Barrios, Miguel Santos - Prodavinci

¿Cuánto tardaría Venezuela en recuperarse de la debacle económica de estos años? Es una pregunta frecuente en las conversaciones cotidianas, en los salones de clases y en los foros de discusión dentro y fuera del país. Es también una pregunta sencilla, relativamente intuitiva, cuya respuesta es compleja por diferentes razones. En primer lugar, la pregunta supone que el país corrige el rumbo a partir de cierto punto, mediante una transición política de la que hoy en día nadie sabe a ciencia cierta cómo ni cuándo puede ocurrir. En segundo lugar, no todos entendemos lo mismo por recuperación. ¿Es detener la recesión? ¿Es recuperar el nivel de algún punto reciente? ¿Es volver a nuestro mejor momento? ¿Es alcanzar el nivel o las tasas de algún país que nos sirva de referencia? ¿Cuál es la base de referencia en la que piensan quienes se hacen esta pregunta? Es importante encontrar una definición de éxito que balancee nuestras ambiciones y posibilidades. Por último, aun suponiendo que sabemos a dónde queremos llegar y que ocurre un cambio político capaz de enrumbar al país en esa dirección, está el hecho de cuan factible es una recuperación acelerada.

... Read more about ¿Cuánto tardaría Venezuela en recuperarse de la debacle económica de estos años?

Exploring the Uncharted Export

November 30, 2016

Michele Coscia

Exporting goods is great for countries: it is a way to attract foreign currency. Exports are also fairly easy to analyze, since they are put in big crates and physically shipped through borders, where they are usually triple checked*. However, there is another way to attract foreign currency that escapes this analytical convenience. And it is a huge one. Tourism. When tourists get inside your country, you are effectively exporting something: anything that they buy. Finding out exactly what and how much you’re exporting is tricky. Some things are easy:...

Read more about Exploring the Uncharted Export

The failure of the Misiones on poverty reduction

November 14, 2016

José Ramón Morales, Douglas Barrios - Caracas Chronicles

Social policy planners in Venezuela today are like field doctors in a war zone: if they actually stopped to register emotionally the devastation all around them, they’d never be able to get any work done. Today, Venezuela is undergoing the most brutally painful economic and social calamities probably since the Federal War. Sitting around feeling horrible about it, though, is not a luxury policy planners can afford.


Read more about The failure of the Misiones on poverty reduction

Restructuring Debt in the Dark

October 6, 2016

Ricardo Hausmann & Mark Walker - Project Syndicate

CAMBRIDGE – As the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank begin in Washington, DC, one member country is conspicuously absent: Venezuela. Yet there is much to be discussed about the country’s finances. Indeed, a sovereign-debt crisis is inevitable.

All major sovereign-debt crises of the past – including in Mexico and Greece – have generated changes in the rules, jurisprudence, or strategies adopted by debtors, creditors, and international financial institutions. Most...

Read more about Restructuring Debt in the Dark