This year’s gathering of business and political elites in Davos recognised a basic truth—without reckoning with past mistakes.
It will take more than one person—and more than one presidential term—to overcome America’s longstanding challenges.
The most urgent policy priorities have been obvious since the beginning, but they will require hard choices and a show of political will.
For 40 years, US Republicans have been insisting that ‘government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem’. The bankruptcy of this has been laid bare.
For 40 years, elites in rich and poor countries promised neoliberal policies would lead to faster growth and the benefits would trickle down so that everyone would be better off.
GDP figures are often in the public eye but they are insufficient measures for well-being. Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz explains why we need to look beyond GDP. Just under ten years ago, the International Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress issued its report, Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn’t Add […]
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, some economists argued that the United States, and perhaps the global economy, was suffering from “secular stagnation,” an idea first conceived in the aftermath of the Great Depression. Economies had always recovered from downturns. But the Great Depression had lasted an unprecedented length of time. Many believed […]
Today, a quarter-century after the Cold War’s end, the West and Russia are again at odds. This time, though, at least on one side, the dispute is more transparently about geopolitical power, not ideology. The West has supported in a variety of ways democratic movements in the post-Soviet region, hardly hiding its enthusiasm for the […]
US President-elect Donald Trump has announced a big building programme of schools, roads and hospitals. How is he going to do that while cutting back on government spending, as promised? You cannot look at Trump’s proposals as a coherent set of government proposals. They don’t add up. He said he’s going to increase spending on […]
Joe Stiglitz, thank you very much for joining us today. Let’s dive in right at the deep end. People might be forgiven for not following the Eurozone crisis and the euro crisis too closely, and it’s been rumbling on for years. Just to get us started, what in your view are the key problems of […]
For 200 years, there have been two schools of thought about what determines the distribution of income – and how the economy functions. One, emanating from Adam Smith and nineteenth-century liberal economists, focuses on competitive markets. The other, cognisant of how Smith’s brand of liberalism leads to rapid concentration of wealth and income, takes as […]
I wrote at the beginning of January that economic conditions this year were set to be as weak as in 2015, which was the worst year since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008. And, as has happened repeatedly over the last decade, a few months into the year, others’ more optimistic forecasts are being revised downward. […]
Something interesting has emerged in voting patterns on both sides of the Atlantic: Young people are voting in ways that are markedly different from their elders. A great divide appears to have opened up, based not so much on income, education, or gender as on the voters’ generation. There are good reasons for this divide. […]
Last year was a memorable one for the global economy. Not only was overall performance disappointing, but profound changes – both for better and for worse – occurred in the global economic system. Most notable was the Paris climate agreement reached last month. By itself, the agreement is far from enough to limit the increase in […]
The year 2015 was a hard one all around. Brazil fell into recession. China’s economy experienced its first serious bumps after almost four decades of breakneck growth. The eurozone managed to avoid a meltdown over Greece, but its near-stagnation has continued, contributing to what surely will be viewed as a lost decade. For the United […]
This week, Angus Deaton will receive the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.” Deservedly so. Indeed, soon after the award was announced in October, Deaton published some startling work with Ann Case in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – research that is at least as newsworthy as the Nobel ceremony. Analyzing […]
The Third International Conference on Financing for Development recently convened in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. The conference came at a time when developing countries and emerging markets have demonstrated their ability to absorb huge amounts of money productively. Indeed, the tasks that these countries are undertaking – investing in infrastructure (roads, electricity, ports, and much […]
The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors. In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant: it is about […]
European Union leaders continue to play a game of brinkmanship with the Greek government. Greece has met its creditors’ demands far more than halfway. Yet Germany and Greece’s other creditors continue to demand that the country sign on to a program that has proven to be a failure, and that few economists ever thought could, […]
The United States and the world are engaged in a great debate about new trade agreements. Such pacts used to be called “free-trade agreements”; in fact, they were managed trade agreements, tailored to corporate interests, largely in the US and the European Union. Today, such deals are more often referred to as “partnerships,” as in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But […]
When the euro crisis began a half-decade ago, Keynesian economists predicted that the austerity that was being imposed on Greece and the other crisis countries would fail. It would stifle growth and increase unemployment – and even fail to decrease the debt-to-GDP ratio. Others – in the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and a […]