Category Global Economy

Competition Challenges in the Digital Economy

From Brookings (with Nirav Patel): Slow productivity growth and rising income inequality have shaped the world economy in a time of rapid technological change. A variety of explanations have emerged to help us understand these related trends, but one overarching theme is the decline in competition. The combination of increasingly concentrated markets, rising market power of large firms, and […]

Africa in the World Cup: Building cohesion through the world’s most-watched sport

From Brookings, Africa in Focus blog (with Mariama Sow): The World Cup, which starts this week, is the most-watched sporting event in the world, having reached more than 3 billion people in 2014. This year, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia will be representing Africa. African teams in the World Cup are rarely predicted to advance beyond the […]

Why do people have such strong political opinions about economic issues? If we knew what works economically, why wouldn’t all people already support that?

My answer on Quora: Two key points stand out to me on this issue. The first is on what we know about the economy. The second is on how we talk about the economy. We do know a lot about the economy, but we don’t always know what the best way forward is. This is […]

Assuming all countries have the same rates, what is the optimal average tariff? Is it 0%, or does a small nominal rate produce better outcomes?

My answer on Quora: I do not believe there is such a thing as a common optimal tariff rate across countries. I also do not believe that a world with zero tariffs will produce better outcomes than having a range of country- and industry-specific tariffs (from zero to above zero). This is because countries differ […]

How does improving basic infrastructure enhance economic growth?

My answer on Quora: Basic infrastructure enhances economic growth in three broad ways: (1) by supporting the production of goods and services, (2) by connecting people to each other and to those goods and services, and (3) by helping people secure basic needs like food, clean water, housing, health care and quality education (a healthy […]

What’s the IMF?

My answer on Quora: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a multilateral/international institution whose primary purpose is to be a lender of last resort to member governments. If one of its member countries is having a financial, banking or related crisis, or is about to have one, the IMF is there to lend that country’s […]

What is the optimal home ownership rate in the US?

My answer on Quora: I think this question just gave some economist out there an idea for her next paper, because, to my limited knowledge on this literature, there do not seem to be many studies that try to answer this question. There may be a reason for that and that reason could be methodological […]