Politics-Proof Economies? E-mail
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 03:30

Michael Spence: Project SyndicateMILAN – Governments’ inability to act decisively to address their economies’ growth, employment, and distributional challenges has emerged as a major source of concern almost everywhere. In the United States, in particular, political polarization, congressional gridlock, and irresponsible grandstanding have garnered much attention, with many worried about the economic consequences.

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Overshooting in Emerging Markets E-mail
Thursday, 20 February 2014 03:30

Michael Spence: Project SyndicateMILAN – Until relatively recently, countries’ so-called middle-income transitions were largely ignored – in part because what was supposed to be a transition often became a trap. A few economies in Asia – particularly Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan – sailed through to high-income status with relatively high growth rates. But the vast majority of economies slowed down or stopped growing altogether in per capita terms after entering the middle-income range.

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The Real Challenges to Growth E-mail
Thursday, 23 January 2014 03:00

MILAN – Advanced economies’ experience since the 2008 financial crisis has spurred a rapidly evolving discussion of growth, employment, and income inequality. That should come as no surprise: For those who expected a relatively rapid post-crisis recovery, the more things stay the same, the more they change.

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The Distributional Challenge E-mail
Thursday, 09 January 2014 03:00

MILAN – Assessing the recent past and looking forward to the near term is a natural end-of-year exercise. When it comes to the global economy in 2013 and 2014, it may well be a necessary one as well.

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What's Stopping Robust Recovery? E-mail
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 03:00

MILAN – The growth map of the global economy is relatively clear. The US is in a partial recovery, with growth at 1.5-2% and lagging employment. Europe as a whole is barely above zero growth, with large variations among countries, though with some evidence of painful re-convergence, at least in terms of nominal unit labor costs. China’s growth, meanwhile, is leveling off at 7%, with other developing countries preparing for higher interest rates.

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America the Reckless E-mail
Thursday, 17 October 2013 03:00

MILAN – The world’s developed countries face growth and employment shortfalls, while developing countries are confronting huge challenges in adapting to increasingly volatile capital flows while adjusting their growth patterns to sustain economic development. And yet America’s political dysfunction has come to marginalize these (and other) crucial issues. It is all very difficult to fathom.

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The Blurry Frontiers of Economic Policy E-mail
Thursday, 19 September 2013 03:30

MILAN – Around the world, policies, technologies, and extended learning processes have combined to erode barriers to economic interaction among countries. Pick any indicator: trade relative to global GDP, capital flows relative to the global capital stock, and so forth – all are rising.

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Decision Time for the Global Economy E-mail
Monday, 19 August 2013 03:00

MILAN – In the dog days of summer, Milan is quieter than many European cities. The locals are away, and, unlike Paris or Rome, tourists do not take their place. Here and elsewhere, people, businesses, governments, and markets take a break, decompress, and reflect. Europe’s economic problems will still be here, waiting for us, in September.

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China's End of Exuberance E-mail
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 16:41

Michael Spence - Project SyndicateMILAN – China’s growth has slowed considerably since 2010, and it may slow even more – a prospect that is rattling investors and markets well beyond China’s borders. With many of the global economy’s traditional growth engines – like the United States – stuck in low gear, China’s performance has become increasingly important.

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The Sino-American Decade E-mail
Friday, 24 May 2013 03:00

HONG KONG – The California summit between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 7-8 comes at a time of heightened tension between the world’s two preeminent powers. But divisive issues – from computer hacking to America’s “pivot to Asia” – must not claim all of the attention. If Obama and Xi lift their heads above the parapets and begin charting a jointly agreed course through the coming decade, they may find that they have much in common.

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Learning About Growth from Austerity E-mail
Saturday, 18 May 2013 11:48

MILAN – In a recent set of studies, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff used a vast array of historical data to show that the accumulation of high levels of public (and private) debt relative to GDP has an extended negative effect on growth. The size of the effect incited debate about errors in their calculations. Few, however, doubt the validity of the pattern.

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Battleground Budget E-mail
Monday, 15 April 2013 11:35

MILAN – The world’s developed economies, of which the United States is by far the largest and systemically most important, face a range of difficult political and social choices. President Barack Obama’s proposed US budget acknowledges and addresses those choices and tradeoffs directly and fully for the first time in the post-crisis period.

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Europe, Italian Style E-mail
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 13:15

Last summer, after two years of growing uncertainty, systemic risk in the eurozone finally began to wane, as conditional commitments came together. Italy and Spain offered credible fiscal and growth-oriented reforms, and the European Central Bank, with Germany’s backing, promised intervention as needed to stabilize the banking sector and sovereign-debt markets.

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Rebalancing the State's Balance Sheet E-mail
Monday, 18 February 2013 13:01

Until recently, relatively little attention was paid to states’ balance sheets. Measurement and reporting were neglected. Even today, states’ liabilities receive considerable attention, while their asset sides receive significantly less.

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Technology and the Employment Challenge E-mail
Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:55

New technologies of various kinds, together with globalization, are powerfully affecting the range of employment options for individuals in advanced and developing countries alike – and at various levels of education. Technological innovations are not only reducing the number of routine jobs, but also causing changes in global supply chains and networks that result in the relocation of routine jobs – and, increasingly, non-routine jobs at multiple skill levels – in the tradable sector of many economies.

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