More in Global Economy


11 months

Is the US Dollar Fading as the World's Dominant Currency?

When I'm talking to a public group, it's surprisingly common for me to get questions about when or whether the US dollar will fade as the world's dominant currency. Eswar Prasad offers some evidence on this question in "Has the dollar lost ground as the dominant international currency?" (Brookings Institution, September 2019). Prasad writes: 

11 months

Analysing the Economic Impact of the Saudi Arabia Oil Attacks

The drone attacks on Saudi Arabia had an important impact on the country’s oil infrastructure, but we should not exaggerate its impact on world supply.

11 months

A Road Stop on the Development Journey

Economic development is a journey that has no final destination, at least not this side of utopia. But it can still be useful to take a road stop along the journey, see where we've been, and contemplate what comes next. Nancy H. Chau and Ravi Kanbur offer such an overview in their essay "The Past, Present, and Future of Economic Development," which appears in a collection of essays called Towards a New Enlightenment? A Transcendent Decade (2018, pp. 311-325). It was published by Open Mind, which in turn is a nonprofit run by the Spanish bank BBVA (although it does have a US presence, mainly in the south and west).

11 months

When the University of Chicago Dropped Football

There was a time when football was king at the University of Chicago. Their famous coach, Amos Alonzo Stagg, ran the program from 1892 to 1932. His teams were (unofficial, but widely recognized) national champions in 1905 and 1913. His teams won 314 games, which means that even after all these years he ranks 10th for most wins among college football coaches. Stagg is credited with fundamental innovations to the way we think about football: the "tackling dummy, the huddle, the reverse and man in motion plays, the lateral pass, uniform numbers."

11 months

Classroom vs. Smartphone: One Instructor Surrenders

It's of course possible both to teach and to learn via a video or a book. But there's an implicit vision many of us share about what happens in a college classroom between a professor and students. It involves how a classroom comes together as a shared experience, as the participants develop both a closeness and an openness with each other. There is an underlying belief that the process of learning through an interwoven reaction and counter-reaction, sustained in this shared atmosphere, is part of what matters for an education, not just a a score on a test of pre-specified learning objectives. 

11 months

Is the US Economy Having an Engels' Pause?

Consider a time period of several decades when there is a high level of technological progress, but typical wage levels remain stagnant while profits soar, driving a sharp rise in inequality. In broad-brush terms, this description fits the US economy for the last few decades. But it also fits the economy of the United Kingdom during the first wave of the Industrial Revolution in the first half of the 19th century.

11 months

Latin America: Missing Firms, Slow Growth, and Inequality

The economies of Latin America have gone through a series of different periods in the half-century or so. There was an "import substitution" period back in the 1960s and 1970s, where the idea was that government would direct industrial development in a way that would remove the need for imports from high-income countries. This was followed by the "lost decade" of the 1980s, a period of very high inflation, slow growth, and defaults on government debt. The 1990s was sometimes labeled as at time of economic liberalization or the so-called "Washington consensus." Starting around 2000, there was a "commodity supercycle" when first a global rise in commodity prices led to faster growth across much of Latin America, but then more recently a drop in commodity prices slowed down that growth.