International Economics: IB Economics
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International Economics: IB Economics
A collection of articles relating to the 'international' elements of Economics and relating to IB, Pre-U and A-Level Economics.
Curated by Graham Watson
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Big pharma 'failing to develop urgent drugs for poorest countries' | Business | The Guardian

Big pharma 'failing to develop urgent drugs for poorest countries' | Business | The Guardian | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
Two-thirds of treatments identified by WHO yet to be developed, says monitor group
Graham Watson's insight:

It's interesting to note that the Access to Medicine Foundation  is of the view that big pharma is failing to develop the drugs most desperately required by the world's poorest economies. It seems that they're prepared to focus on the show-stoppers, that deal with HIV/AIDS and malaria, but not more mundane conditions. 

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Fighting malaria: Let's obtain high impact in highest hit countries

The World Health Organization and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership to end Malaria have catalyzed a new country-led approach to accelerate reductions in malaria cases and deaths globally.

Graham Watson's insight:

The WHO looks at how to tackle malaria, noting that a new country-based approach to eradicating the disease is working. The clip mixes microeconomics - in that there are clear references to scarce resources - and an overarching global framework, the Roll Back Malaria initiative, to share best practice, in highlighting how best to tackle the issue and enhance developmental outcomes. 

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German economy contracts for first time since 2015

German economy contracts for first time since 2015 | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
Europe's largest economy contracted from July to September, its first decline in three years.
Graham Watson's insight:

Interesting news for Europe: the German economy shrank during the last quarter - a consequence of the prevailing protectionism and perhaps some of the Brexit uncertainty. And that's not good news for the UK.

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Japan GDP: Natural disasters hit economic growth

Japan GDP: Natural disasters hit economic growth | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
Rising protectionism could threaten exports and the growth outlook for the world's third largest economy.
Graham Watson's insight:

The Japanese economy has contracted again, although in this instance it's attributable to a couple of natural disasters, rather than depressed aggregate demand.

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Conflicted Italy hovers on the brink of renewed hard times | World news | The Guardian

Conflicted Italy hovers on the brink of renewed hard times | World news | The Guardian | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
After a long recession, Italians have enjoyed three precious years of growth: but now the country is stalling again as its populist leaders wrangle with the EU
Graham Watson's insight:

The latest on the Italian economy. 

 

The new Greece, perhaps?

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EU stumbles in plan to levy 3% digital tax on major firms | Business | The Guardian

EU stumbles in plan to levy 3% digital tax on major firms | Business | The Guardian | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
Agreement to take action against companies such as Facebook and Google runs into opposition
Graham Watson's insight:

Despite the introduction of the UK digital services tax in the latest Budget, it seems that the EU is struggling to do the same. And this should be no surprise, given the difficulties of co-ordinating the different member states.

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Eurozone ministers line up behind EU in Italy budget dispute | Business | The Guardian

Eurozone ministers line up behind EU in Italy budget dispute | Business | The Guardian | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
Bruno Le Maire says future of euro at stake as finance chiefs urge Rome to rethink policies
Graham Watson's insight:

The EU versus Italy: only one winner.

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US indictment accuses Chinese firm of stealing trade secrets

US indictment accuses Chinese firm of stealing trade secrets | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
Charges are filed as the US says Chinese economic espionage "has been increasing rapidly".
Graham Watson's insight:

One of the interesting aspects of the ongoing US-China trade war is the way that it shines a light on longstanding areas of disagreement. In this case it's intellectual property rights - and the issue is complicated by the fact that "Micron sued both Fujian Jinhua and the Taiwanese company United Microelectrics Corp for stealing trade secrets."

 

And it's even more complicated by the fact that Fujian Jinhua is state-owned.

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Air pollution and health: How will our children continue to breathe?

Every day 1.8 billion children breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk. In 2016, 600 000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air. A new report of the World Health Organization on Air pollution and child health: Prescribing clean air examines the heavy toll of both ambient (outside) and household (indoor) air pollution on the health of the world’s children.

Graham Watson's insight:

This WHO clip looks at the impact of air pollution on the health of the world's children. It is estimated that 1.8 billion children breathe polluted air, equivalent to 9 out of 10 of the world's children with 600,000 of them dying as the result of polluted air each year. 

 

This is remarkable stuff. Sobering. 

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How Can Countries in South Asia Triple Their Trade?

Trade between countries in South Asia remain among the lowest in the world and only accounts for about 5 percent of the region’s total trade. This is well below their potential, as the benefits of proximity are not being realized due to trade barriers and lack of connectivity. How can South Asian countries increase trade to increase prosperity? Find out in a new report: A Glass Half Full, The Promise of Regional trade in South Asia.

Graham Watson's insight:

I've scooped this sort of thing before - however, this clip highlights the importance of trade for development, and notes that the relatively low level of intra-regional trade in South Asia has plated a role in hindering economic development in the region. 

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World's billionaires became 20% richer in 2017, report reveals | News | The Guardian

World's billionaires became 20% richer in 2017, report reveals | News | The Guardian | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
UBS report shows billionaires increased fortunes by $1.4tn, more than the GDP of Spain
Graham Watson's insight:

The annual UBS report into the super-rich highlights the extent to which the world's billionaires have become richer in the past year. There's the obligatory headline grabber - "more than the GDP of Spain" - but it also highlights the fact that the chances of the 'meek inheriting the Earth' are, on balance, receding.

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A quick guide to the US-China trade war

A quick guide to the US-China trade war | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
A brief guide to how the bitter trade battle between Washington and Beijing has unfolded so far.
Graham Watson's insight:

Like a tweet - except not. The US-China trade war in 300 words.

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Improving Access to Water and Sanitation in Burkina Faso

Water resources are key to Burkina Faso's development and play an essential role in the economy. However, access to safe water and to improved sanitation is still a challenge for a significant part of the country. A new project supported by the World Bank will benefit more than 1.1 million people with improved water supply and 1.3 million people with improved sanitation services in targeted areas.

Graham Watson's insight:

This World Bank animation looks at the importance of improving access to water and sanitation in enhancing developmental outcomes in Burkina Faso. My set will largely revel in my misspelling of it earlier this term, but it highlights the significance of this aspect of the developmental agenda.

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Migrant workers send home £8bn to families

Migrant workers send home £8bn to families | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
The UN says money sent home pays for school, but too much is taken in transfer charges.
Graham Watson's insight:

An interesting footnote to the earlier scoop about the CBI's fears that Brexit is going to deter migrant workers. The UN notes that migrant workers in the UK send home £8bn in remittances, helping to improve the standard of living of their families. This is over 60% of the total amount sent overseas in the form of aid by the UK government.

 

However, the article also raises concerns about the cost of remitting money, with leading providers charging an average of 7% of the value of the transaction, when around 3% would seem to be a reasonable figure. This hints at the fact that the market for transferring money is inefficient and would benefit from increased competition.  

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Apec summit ends without statement over US-China division

Apec summit ends without statement over US-China division | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
There is no formal leaders's statement for the first time amid competing visions for the region.
Graham Watson's insight:

The extent to which the US-China trade war has the capacity to adversely affect global trade is evident in the fact that the latest APEC summit has concluded without a formal statement. This is the first time this has happened, and comes in the wake of public disagreements between the two over the America First policy and China's Pacific ambitions.

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Italy budget: Rome rejects European Commission demands

Italy budget: Rome rejects European Commission demands | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
Italy's cabinet sticks to its big-spending budget plan despite a threat of fines from Brussels.
Graham Watson's insight:

Hold onto your hats - the Italian government has chosen to defy the EU over its budget plans, and has stuck to its guns. As a result, the government plans an expansionary budget designed to "reduce poverty" but that is likely to mean a budget deficit of 2.4% of GDP, and that is what is agitating the EU.

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“When Globalisation Gets Local: Winners and Losers” | LSE GILD (Full Version)

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, major cities are thriving. Deeply linked with one another, they have become magnets for increasing flows of wealth, talent and foreign investment. But at the same time, many places are missing out – often just different regions in the same countries. Drained of capital, skills and ideas, these are the places where economic opportunities are lacking and ‘populism’ can thrive

Graham Watson's insight:

I missed this excellent LSE clip first time around, but it looks at the importance of global capital flows and 'connectivity' in promoting development.

 

Essential viewing.

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Samsung should try imagining a world where big firms respect workers | Global development | The Guardian

Samsung should try imagining a world where big firms respect workers | Global development | The Guardian | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
Two years after migrants working for global electronics firms in Malaysia complained of labour abuses, change seems slow
Graham Watson's insight:

Whilst it's easy to agree with the sentiment associated with this article, as an economist, it also raises some harder questions. 

 

No one doubts that workers' rights are important, but is it appropriate to ask for universal workers' rights - not that I'm arguing that the article argues for this. However, what are the appropriate rights? 

 

Pete Pattisson highlights some aspects of working conditions that are clearly poor, but I'm not convinced by the assertion that "forced labour...is commonplace" in Malaysia. And if you think that the majority of Samsung workers are engaging in a mutually beneficial exchange, then it's harder to justify some of the impassioned rhetoric deployed.  

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Gary Cohn says Trump tariffs are a 'tax on Americans'

Gary Cohn says Trump tariffs are a 'tax on Americans' | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
Donald Trump's former chief economic advisor says the US-China trade war will hurt American consumers.
Graham Watson's insight:

Sense from a former economic advisor to the President. Rare as hen's teeth: but correct.

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Kenyans cash in on avocado craze

Kenyans cash in on avocado craze | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
Exports have almost tripled since 2013 as the fruit's global reputation as a healthy food fuels demand.
Graham Watson's insight:

D&S, development and avocado. What's not to like? 

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US targets Chinese firm over national security fears

US targets Chinese firm over national security fears | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
The US said trade with Chinese chipmaker Fujian Jinhua poses a risk to "national security interests".
Graham Watson's insight:

A reasonable action, designed to protect national security, or another example of unjustified protectionism? If the latter, this sort of intervention is unjustified, and among the most pernicious forms of protectionism, if only because it seems to be unpredictable. 

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US Treasury hits out against 'unfair' EU digital tax proposals

US Treasury hits out against 'unfair' EU digital tax proposals | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
The US Treasury secretary has urged European policymakers to rethink their proposed EU-wide digital tax that would target the likes of Amazon and Google.
Graham Watson's insight:

It appears that the current UK government aren't the only people guilty of 'cakeism' - in our case, over Brexit. Apparently, the US Treasury is upset by the prospect of EU policymakers imposing a digital tax on US tech giants, Amazon and Google. Who would have thought it? 

 

It's the Trump Presidency's approach to trade in a nutshell. 

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US economy grows faster than expected

US economy grows faster than expected | International Economics: IB Economics | Scoop.it
Growth in the third quarter slowed, but not by as much as some had feared.
Graham Watson's insight:

Undoubtedly the best economic growth performance ever. Period.

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Planning for the Storm: Typhoon Resilience in the Pacific

We can’t know when the next storm will hit, so being prepared today saves trouble tomorrow. The IMF is a partner with Pacific island countries in building more resilient response plans and developing innovative strategies to deal with climate change and typhoons.

Graham Watson's insight:

A lovely IMF climate that highlights the damage that natural disasters can inflict - think in terms of potential growth - and how increasing resilience to them, via modern and traditional methods, can enhance developmental possibilities in the South Pacific. 

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Clean and Safe Water for All in Bangladesh

Bangladesh achieved the Millennium Development Goal for access to water supply three years ahead of time. Now, 98 percent of Bangladeshis can access better water sources. Yet, the country faces a number of water challenges such as water quality, depleted ground water level, pollution, and low access to piped water in slums. While there’s still a long way to go to ensure clean water for all, everyone can help by changing their behaviors. In this effort, children are showing the way.

Graham Watson's insight:

What's true for Burkina Faso is also true for Bangladesh, although the latter achieved the MDG for access to water supply ahead of time.

 

This clip looks at how the issue remains a salient one for development - with the issue of waste key. It raises interesting questions too about the pricing of water, both in Bangladesh and globally.

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