News

Lockdown fatigue: The declining effectiveness of lockdowns

March 30, 2021

Patricio Goldestein for VoxEU

Non-pharmaceutical interventions have been key to containing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This column examines whether the effectiveness of lockdowns on the virus’s spread and death toll has changed over the past year, using data from 152 countries from the onset of the pandemic through 31 December 2020. Initially, lockdowns are associated with a significant reduction in the spread of the virus and the number of related deaths, but this effect declines over time. Lockdown does not work as a continuous containment policy in the...

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Brazilian Debt Jitters

March 29, 2021

Frank Muci for Project Syndicate

Brazil seems determined to test the limits of financial markets' tolerance for debt accumulation. It is not hard to come up with scenarios in which the country's debt burden reaches 125% of GDP or more by 2025.

8 Questions with Ricardo Hausmann

March 21, 2021

Ricardo Hausmann with Age of Economics

This interview series is aimed at addressing fundamental issues related to global capitalist civilization with 8 basic questions. The objectives of this project are to shed light on the most salient challenges facing human civilization, explore the role of economics and the inner workings of capitalism, and heighten people’s awareness of both the economic system in which they live and work, and the role of economics in understanding this ever-changing system.

El atlas que Pedro Sánchez debe consultar

February 24, 2021

The Atlas of Economic Complexity in El Mundo

Hay una herramienta económica que debería ocupar un lugar central en la definición de los proyectos que aspiren a los fondos europeos de recuperación y resiliencia que gestiona el Gobierno: el Atlas de Complejidad Económica, un proyecto de la Universidad de Harvard que coloca las capacidades industriales y los conocimientos técnicos de un país en el centro de sus perspectivas de crecimiento. Este mapa permitiría concentrar esfuerzos en sectores con alto potencial para el país.

Can Cheap Countries Catch Up?

February 1, 2021

Ricardo Hausmann for Project Syndicate

CAMBRIDGE – Poor countries are cheap. In 2019, a dollar could buy more than twice as much in Argentina, Morocco, South Africa, and Thailand as it could in the United States. It could buy more than three times as much in Vietnam, India, and Ukraine, and more than four times as much in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Egypt. If a country is cheap, it should be more competitive and thus able to catch up with richer...

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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,...

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The Missing Link in Economic Development

December 29, 2020

Ricardo Hausmann for Project Syndicate

Like the proverbial man with a hammer who sees every problem as a nail, economists study the world through the lens of incentives, and have developed a rich understanding of how market participants make decisions. But although incentives are important, developing countries must do more than institute the right ones.

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.

 

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