NEWS/OPINION

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...

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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...

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New Service Export Data Visuals Offer Pathways to Promote Economic Growth

September 12, 2018

Contact: Chuck McKenney
Emailchuck_mckenney@hks.harvard.edu
Phone: (617) 495-8496
Date: September 12, 2018

Cambridge, Massachusetts – In the study of economic growth strategies, Harvard’s Center for International Development (CID) has added a major missing piece to the data landscape. The Center’s Atlas of Economic Complexity now features trade in services, including tourism, transport, finance,...

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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,...

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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.

Planet Money: The Measure Of A Tragedy

June 19, 2018

Ricardo Hausmann on NPR's Planet Money: The Indicator podcast

The Venezuelan economy has collapsed. Years of economic mismanagement and a deepening political crisis have led to a recession that has almost no parallel in recent memory.

But explaining just how bad things have gotten is also really hard because the normal economic indicators that we use to measure a country's economy have started to sound so so unfathomable — 25,000% inflation, for example — that it feels impossible to get our heads around them.

Ricardo Hausmann, a Harvard-based...

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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...

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