International Economics: Pre-U Economics
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African growth 'to outpace world'

African growth 'to outpace world' | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
Sub-Saharan Africa's economic growth is set to outpace the global average over the next three years, according to the World Bank.

Via Geoff Riley
Graham Watson's insight:

Excellent on developmental economic issues - many thanks to Geoff Riley for first scooping it. There's some excellent theory and analysis as well as fine evaluation here, hinting at factors that might constrain future SSA growth. I'm currently reading "A Good African Story" by Andrew Rugasira and he highlights the low level of intra-African trade as a major drag on African growth. However, what aspect of African growth are highlighted by the article?

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Geoff Riley's curator insight, April 15, 2013 12:33 PM

Great contextual update here - read through the article and find two causes of rapid growth and two evaluation points on the barriers to future growth and development. Read more by following this link: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/04/15/as-africa-s-new-wealth-grows-poverty-must-come-down

International Economics: Pre-U Economics
A collection of articles relating to the 'international' elements of Economics and relating to the Pre-U syllabus
Curated by Graham Watson
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Business and sustainable development – can they work for each other?

Private investment is key to secure the USD 3.3 to 4.5 trillion needed yearly to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. A new OECD report looks at how to ensure that doing good for people and the planet is also good for business.

Graham Watson's insight:
This OECD clip shows that there's a vital role for the private sector to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. A well-animated clip.
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Economic fears fuel growing protests in Zimbabwe - BBC News

Economic fears fuel growing protests in Zimbabwe - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
People take to the streets as Zimbabwe runs out of cash and delays wages.
Graham Watson's insight:

Here we go again - a familiar state of affairs - Zimbabwe appears to be on the verge of yet another economic crisis as banks run out of money, the State struggles to pay its wages and popular protests have started to occur with greater frequency. However, the reality is that ever since the 'nationalization' of the nation's farms, prices have struggled to serve their usual functions.


It has been a dysfunctional economy for a while! But is the end of the Mugabe regime nigh? I'd doubt it.  

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TTIP: EU-US trade deal faces major challenges - BBC News

TTIP: EU-US trade deal faces major challenges - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The EU and the US agree the outline of a trade deal following a week of intensive TTIP negotiations - but there is still a lot of work to do.
Graham Watson's insight:

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has rather disappeared from view - however, this article highlights the fact that negotiations are continuing but that political factors, notably forthcoming elections and Brexit have complicated matters.


However, TTIP has the potential to generate gains from trade but whether it will or not is another matter.  

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Irish economy surges 26% as revised figures take in foreign investment

Irish economy surges 26% as revised figures take in foreign investment | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
GDP growth in 2015 was three times previous estimate after overseas companies were included in value of corporate sector
Graham Watson's insight:
An example of how recalculating GDP can mean that growth figures bear no resemblance to improvements in the standard of living. In this instance, the Irish economy grew by 26% last year as overseas companies were included in its corporate sector boosting GDP. That and aircraft leasing - where Ireland is a world leader - have boosted GDP but it's difficult to see how it increases the well-being of the average Irish citizen.
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The promise of Regrexit

The promise of Regrexit | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
George Soros: After Brexit there has been a swing in sentiment in favour of the EU. Europe’s leaders should seize the opportunity
Graham Watson's insight:

A really interesting George Soros argument that highlights the unintended consequences of the Leave vote - an outpouring of support for the EU. He argues that Britain leaving could be the thing needed to prompt substantive reform of the EU.


I wish that his optimism were well-founded - but, as he notes, the EU can be slow to act, even when prompt action would seem to be in its best interests.

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Brexit to hit eurozone growth, says IMF - BBC News

Brexit to hit eurozone growth, says IMF - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The IMF cuts its economic growth forecasts for the eurozone in the wake of the UK's vote to leave the European Union.
Graham Watson's insight:

News, apparently!


The Brexit vote will slow Eurozone growth over the next two years...well, I never.

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Ghana's long-distance concierge - BBC News

Ghana's long-distance concierge - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
How Ghanaian entrepreneur Kingston Tagoe helps out the expat community.
Graham Watson's insight:

I love the application of technology to the development economics but I have to confess that this sort of story makes me feel slightly squeamish. It's not so much the application of technology that bothers me, more the fact that I loathe the fact that using companies like Beam indicates something about the extent to which there is income inequality.


I'd find the existence of such a company in the UK off-putting - and I say that as someone who doesn't have an entirely unblemished record when it comes to remembering birthdays etc...

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Brexit fears hit India's textile exports - BBC News

Brexit fears hit India's textile exports - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
What is the fallout from the EU referendum vote on India's textile industry? Yogita Limaye takes a look.
Graham Watson's insight:
If you want to see hoe far the implications of Brexit stretch - this article highlights the fact that textile factories in India are concerned. the UK is the largest EU importer of textiles, and there are concerns that the falling pound and Britain seeking to cut better trade deals with all sort of other countries might mean that India loses out to Bangladesh.
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Bruce Fellowes's curator insight, July 6, 3:51 AM
It isn't just trade with Europe that is affected.
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Empowering Communities for Local Development in Myanmar

The Myanmar National Community Development Project (NCDDP) has put people at the center of decision-making. As they get involved in the many phases of the project, community members gain skills and understand the process of improving their communities clearly.
Graham Watson's insight:

More from the World Bank in Myanmar about why empowering local stakeholders is an important part of the development process. The field has moved on a long way from the top-down blueprints of the Washington Consensus and is now much more contextual.


And at least it's not Brexit...

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The EU Budget Smoothie - BBC News

The EU's budget is all the money it gets from member countries, and how it chooses to spend it. Imagine each country's contribution as an ingredient in
Graham Watson's insight:
Every thought of how the EU budget relates to a smoothie. I thought not: however, this clip from the BBC highlights some individual member states get from the EU budget and how that money is subsequently spent.
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AEP: ECB closes ranks with Bank of England to avert Brexit crunch

AEP: ECB closes ranks with Bank of England to avert Brexit crunch | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The European Central Bank has pledged to flood the financial system with euro liquidity if credit markets seize up after a Brexit vote.
Graham Watson's insight:
This article highlights the fact that European banking authorities are planning for every contingency - and in the event of a Brexit vote, there are plans afoot to ensure that liquidity is maintained.
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Behold, the most foolish tax of them all

Behold, the most foolish tax of them all | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it

There are few taxes that are as damaging and counter-productive as transaction taxes. Even before Adam Smith, all economists understood that economic progress is generated by trade: it leads to the division of labour, the division of knowledge and the creation of wealth.

Graham Watson's insight:
This Allister Heath article looks at the notion of a European transaction - or so-called Tobin - tax. He suggests that the idea, first mooted in the aftermath of the financial crisis, is close to collapse. And he's fairly happy with that outcome.
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All Aboard: Policies for Sharing Prosperity in Myanmar

Myanmar has been among East Asia’s fastest growing economies in recent years, but is everyone benefitting from this growth? Rural areas still lag furthest in access to public services. We highlighted six key areas that can help reduce inequality across the country.
Graham Watson's insight:
This is a brilliant animation giving a fantastic overview of how an individual nation, Myanmar, might go about reducing poverty, increasing equality of opportunity and raise living standards.
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What’s the problem with protectionism?

What’s the problem with protectionism? | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
When the economy is in a liquidity trap, normal macroeconomic logic goes out the window, but this doesn’t make it good foreign policy
Graham Watson's insight:

Definite stretch and challenge stuff here - Barry Eichengreen makes a case for protectionism, albeit by his own admission not in a first-best sense, but as a viable economic policy option in a deflationary environment.


However, whether it's politically viable or acceptable in foreign policy terms, is much more debatable.

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TTIP: Why are the talks taking so long? - BBC News

TTIP: Why are the talks taking so long? - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which aims to reduce regulatory barriers between the US and the European Union, is at the end of its 14th round. Why are the talks taking so long?
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A clip looking at why it's proving so difficult to conclude TTIP: it highlights the numerous little impediments to signing the deal.  
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Up to 70% of people in developed countries 'have seen incomes stagnate'

Up to 70% of people in developed countries 'have seen incomes stagnate' | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
New report calculates that earnings did not rise for more than half a billion people between 2005 and 2014
Graham Watson's insight:

Interesting report from the McKinsey Global Institute that highlights the fact that for 65-70% of people in developed economies, the last decade has seen their incomes, almost irrespective of what measure of income is used. However, the extent to which this is true depends upon country-specific policy responses.


Either way, it's a clear indication as to why so many people have started to turn away from traditional party politics in Europe.

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Italy 'facing 20 years of economic woe' - BBC News

Italy 'facing 20 years of economic woe' - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The IMF says Italy faces two decades of stagnant economic growth as it downgrades its forecasts.
Graham Watson's insight:

If you think that it's bad in the UK, spare a thought for Italy, which the IMF predicts will struggle to return to pre-crisis growth levels until 2020, or even 2025. This is because of stagnant growth the risks associated with heavily indebted banks and the moribund global outlook.


However, it might be argued that GDP doesn't capture Italian economic activity as accurately as many of its neighbours, because of a larger informal sector, and also poses questions about whether it is 'growth' or living standards that governments should be looking to advance. Many people quite like the Italian way of life, and might say that economic growth is secondary to this.

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You thought TTIP was dead? With Brexit we’ll get the same thing, on steroids | Nick Dearden

You thought TTIP was dead? With Brexit we’ll get the same thing, on steroids | Nick Dearden | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The most extreme free-market fundamentalists in Europe are now in the driver’s seat in Britain. That’s what ‘taking back control’ looks like in practice
Graham Watson's insight:
Another very interesting article that highlights some of the inconsistent preferences of those people who voted 'Leave'. Depsite all their nonsense about 'taking back control' - what control had we lost? - they have now left themselves open to increased free market ideas, which whilst likely to improve efficiency might not have the distributional consequences that they're after.
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Creating a buzz: Using bees to pull people out of poverty - BBC News

Creating a buzz: Using bees to pull people out of poverty - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
A look at a new scheme in Tunisia that aims to helps impoverished beekeepers produce more honey to help them boost their incomes.
Graham Watson's insight:

An interesting, although not unique, project sees bees as the way out of poverty in Tunisia. That said, nearly fifteen years ago, I had a meal with a German beekeeper in Dar-es-Salaam about a similar project in Tanzania.


Whilst I love Development Economics, and the like the small scale of this, and the hint of the randomised clinical trial (RCT), I worry that the small scale of it is simultaneously a strength and a weakness. Microfinance has a distinctly mixed record when it comes to alleviating poverty.

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Schaeuble warns against EU 'race to bottom' over tax - BBC News

Schaeuble warns against EU 'race to bottom' over tax - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says he opposes a "race to the bottom" of competitive tax cuts.
Graham Watson's insight:

Another interesting article which has a Brexit flavour: in this instance, Wolfgang Shaeuble, is responding to the prospect of there being a series of corporation tax cuts across Europe.


In our case, it's to try and attract companies to continue to locate in the UK; for some of neighbours, it's part of a move to attract business to relocate post-Brexit.


But Herr Schaueble warns that this makes little sense - one wonders what game theorists would make of his warning?

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Hands on with India's £3 smartphone - BBC News

Hands on with India's £3 smartphone - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The BBC is given a first look at a smartphone costing less than £3, set to launch in India next week.
Graham Watson's insight:
This is a sleeper - a story that I first mentioned aeons ago - but then disappeared from the radar. However, there are concerns as to whether a £3 smartphone is commercially viable. If it is - and assuming that it is widely adopted - then does it have the capacity to offer innovative solutions to some aspects of poverty.
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Saving and Borrowing

This week: New Macroeconomics section! Get started with a video that asks -- what caused the Great Recession?
Graham Watson's insight:
Marginal Revolution looks at the causes of the Great Recession, highlighting the reduced ability of the financial sector to act as a financial intermediary between savers and borrowers.
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India overhauls foreign ownership rules - BBC News

India overhauls foreign ownership rules - BBC News | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
India announces a radical overhaul of its foreign ownership rules to attract more overseas investment.
Graham Watson's insight:
This article highlights the fact that the Indian economy still has a lot of unnecessary regulation, but that Narendra Modi is trying to reduce the level of interference. In this case, he has relaxed rules on foreign ownership and hopes to encourage increased FDI.

The interesting area that remains untackled is retailing, where some of the world' largest retailers are still being stymied by rules that insist upon where they source their products.
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The robots are not taking over – the economy continues to generate more jobs

The robots are not taking over – the economy continues to generate more jobs | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The robots are not taking over – the economy continues to generate more jobs By Andrew Sentance Since the start of the industrial revolution in the 18th century, there have been fears that advances in technology would create unemployment.
Graham Watson's insight:
I'm never sure whether I like this sort of article or not - it's accessible, and that's good - but it isn't terribly insightful and to be frank, it could have been written by a strong top year student. In short, Andrew Sentence highlights the fact that the relationship between labour and capital isn't simply one based on substitution - there's an awful lot of complementarity too. Hence, any increase in automation need not be associated with a loss of jobs.
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EU referendum: why the 'in' mindset has proved its worth time and again

EU referendum: why the 'in' mindset has proved its worth time and again | International Economics: Pre-U Economics | Scoop.it
The world benefits from entering into treaties. By working with other countries and global institutions, we become safer and more prosperous
Graham Watson's insight:
I've put this here not because it's about Brexit because it paints a broader overview of the Brexit debate. It suggests that it's part of a wider global argument about openness and the alternative, introspection.  
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