NEWS/OPINION

New Harvard Research Identifies Business Travel as Driver of Economic Growth

August 11, 2020

CAMBRIDGE, MA– New research from Harvard’s Growth Lab finds a direct link between a country’s incoming business travel and the growth of new and existing industries. The findings, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, support a Growth Lab hypothesis that moving knowhow, the tacit knowledge accumulated and transferred from brain to brain through a long process of imitation, repetition, and feedback, is critical to economic growth, and business travel plays a key part in that process. The research also raises new concerns about the economic implications of the...

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Why Zoom Can’t Save the World

August 10, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann for Project Syndicate

Before COVID-19, spending on business travel totaled $1.5 trillion a year (about 1.7% of world GDP). Now it is down to a trickle, as countries have closed their borders and social distancing has taken hold. Planes have been grounded, hotels are closed, and executives are not earning frequent flier miles. Many travel and hospitality jobs are feeling the consequences. But if this were all there was to it, the impact, however large, would probably be much smaller than the decline in general international tourism, and easily...

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The Road to COVID-19 Enlightenment

June 30, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann for Project Syndicate

 Certainty is like a rainbow: wonderful but relatively rare. More often than not, we know that we don’t know. We may seek to remedy this by talking to people who may know what we want to know. But how do we know that they know? If we cannot ascertain whether they actually do know, we must trust them.

Historically, we have bestowed our trust on the basis of science, experience, or divine inspiration. But what if the knowledge we seek does not yet exist, and even science knows that it does not know what is being...

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Opponents of more IMF lending may have blood on their hands

June 18, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann for the Financial Times

Time is at a premium in a pandemic. China’s slow response to the coronavirus in December and January cost the world dearly. So did the slow response in Europe and the US in February and March. But the world may not have learnt the lesson: the mistake appears to be happening once again, this time at the IMF.  By historical standards, the IMF has responded quickly and massively. In early April, it announced during its spring meetings that a major economic downturn was coming. It hurriedly revamped its rapid financing...

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What Should We Be Preparing For?

May 27, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann for Project Syndicate

Suppose you knew that a hurricane was coming, but meteorologists were uncertain if it would make landfall as a Category 2 or a Category 5 storm. Which scenario should you prepare for?

The problem you face reflects the costs of assuming that it is a Category 5 when it is only a Category 2 and vice versa. The latter scenario implies deaths and destruction that could have been avoided through evacuations, well-supplied shelters, and precautionary shutdowns. The first scenario implies unnecessary preventive costs. In the...

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Target R and Wait for the Vaccine

April 23, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann for Project Syndicate

Opening up the economy means allowing more human interaction and hence greater potential for new #COVID19 infections. Two numbers matter for deciding whether this can be done safely any time soon.

‘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...

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Sri Lanka’s economic recovery from coronavirus

April 17, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann in the Daily Mirror

The purpose of this article is to suggest how Sri Lanka can undertake significant structural reforms in the aftermath of this global pandemic and place herself in a position of increased economic strength.

Apart from the money the government will have to spend towards the medical management of the virus, it will have to spend a significant sum of money on social welfare and also support the corporate sector in the coming months. Economists are unable to estimate the sum of money that will be required for this purpose...

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Nature: How India is attempting to slow the coronavirus

April 10, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann in Nature

Like many nations, India does not have enough kits to test most of its population for the new coronavirus. The country is instead relying on people power: thousands of health-care workers are fanning out across the country to trace and quarantine people who might have had contact with those with COVID-19. People are typically only tested if they develop symptoms.

...

However, further lockdowns could have dire consequences. Strict social-distancing measures mean that people must stay at home, so many cannot work —...

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BBC: Conseguir dinero toma tiempo y esfuerzo, así que centremos la discusión del manejo de esta crisis donde está el dinero: el FMI

April 6, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann interview in BBC

Así lo afirma el economista venezolano Ricardo Hausmann, director del Laboratorio de Crecimiento del Centro de Desarrollo Internacional de la Universidad de Harvard y docente de dicha institución.

"Los países que supuestamente han tenido éxitos iniciales en la lucha contra el coronavirus, como Dinamarca, Japón y Corea del Sur, deben preocuparse por qué tan exitosos han sido el resto de los países en controlar la pandemia", le dice a...

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