World economy poised for oil price upswing, say Davos economists

January 20, 2015

Ricardo Hausmann in the Financial Times

The world economy will receive a significant boost from lower oil prices this year despite fears of deflation and persistently weak spending, leading economists attending the World Economic Forum told the Financial Times.

Ahead of the gathering at the Swiss resort of Davos, which begins on Wednesday, most economists had a more optimistic outlook than the International Monetary Fund, although they recognised...

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Helping Albania break with the past

November 18, 2014

Growth Lab's Albania research project in Harvard Gazette

Leading a nation long considered a model of economic dysfunction, Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania has pushed for change since his election last year. And the change needed in his country is not the electioneering “change” promised by virtually everyone in U.S. politics, but sweeping reforms that remodel institutions and foster the economic revival taking hold oh-so-slowly in the former communist nation.

“We have … the youngest government in the history of Albania,” Rama said during a recent visit...

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Should Venezuela Default?

Should Venezuela Default?

September 5, 2014

Ricardo Hausmann for Project Syndicate

CAMBRIDGE – Will Venezuela default on its foreign bonds? Markets fear that it might. That is why Venezuelan bonds pay over 11 percentage points more than US Treasuries, which is 12 times more than Mexico, four times more than Nigeria, and double what Bolivia pays. Last May, when Venezuela made a $5 billion private placement of ten-year bonds with a 6% coupon, it effectively had to give a 40% discount, leaving it with barely $3 billion. The extra $2 billion that it will have to pay in ten years is the compensation that investors demand for the likelihood of default, in excess of the already hefty coupon.... Read more about Should Venezuela Default?

Reducing Colombia’s large regional gaps

Reducing Colombia’s large regional gaps

August 22, 2014

Eduardo Lora

Colombia is currently one of the most dynamic economies in Latin America. In the first quarter of this year, growth was an impressive 6.4%, and for the full year will reach at least 5%. Abundant oil and mining revenues have been the main driver of the expansion. With a strong fiscal position and a monetary policy that enjoys credibility, the country has avoided squandering this boon. But it still has much...

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Ukraine’s real problem, in four graphs

Ukraine’s real problem, in four graphs

June 8, 2014

Marcela Escobari for the Boston Globe

WHICH WAY will Ukraine turn? With Russia’s recent military aggression taking so much of the spotlight, it’s easy to forget that Ukraine’s political unrest this year began with domestic protests over a question key to the future of its 45 million people: whether to tie their fortunes more closely to Russia, or to Western Europe.

As a former Soviet republic with many Russian speakers,...

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