Category Quick Posts

White House Recommendations for the Second Machine Age

The National Science and Technology Council at the White House is preparing for the future of artificial intelligence. In its newly released report, the NSTC outlines twenty three recommendations for the federal government to stay ahead in the second machine age. The overall recommendations prioritize (1) staying in the know on developments and changing milestones in […]

More Global Cooperation, Less Global Governance

A push away from “globalism” that is taking place in many loud pockets of the world is pushing experts to humbly take notice. With the rift between the public and policy-making experts fully exposed, leading voices are trying to re-ground the conversation on “globalism”. First, Lawrence Summers calls for a “responsible nationalism” over a “reflex globalism”: A […]

A Better Job Adjusting

The winners and losers of globalization has been an especially popular news headline in the last year or two. Much can be made of whether or not globalization per se is the culprit of the shrinking middle classes of the U.S. and other advanced economies, and the rising middle classes of China and other developing economies. The pace and ease in […]

The U.S. Earns More From Less

Since 1989, foreigners have owned more assets in the U.S. than Americans have abroad. At the same time, Americans have been earning more income from their $20 trillion of overseas assets than foreigners have been earning from their $28 trillion of U.S. assets. In other words, although the U.S. is a debtor nation, it has a positive net income. This is largely […]

Colonial America was the most income-egalitarian rich place on the planet, until Emancipation and then the 1970s

Going back two centuries before World War 1, income per person in Colonial America was actually higher than Britain and Western Europe, and inequality was much lower. Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson have taken a new approach to assembling historical GDP data. GDP can be measured in three ways that are all supposed to yield […]

Rodrik: Innovation Is Not Enough

Innovation is widely touted as a primary ingredient to growth for an organization and for an economy as a whole. The pace of technological breakthroughs and innovation seems to be advancing at breakneck speeds, but the economy in the US and abroad remains mired in weak growth. Techno-optimists believe we are in for a rapid acceleration in […]

OECD: Productivity Has Been Slowing for Decades

The OECD’s newly released findings from its productivity database focuses its attention on the “productivity paradox” (mentioned in the Record’s previous post). Much is being debated around why productivity growth has been slowing down despite “significant technological change, increasing participation of firms and countries in global value chains and rising education levels in the labor […]

U.S. Productivity May Shrink This Year

For the first time since 1982, productivity in the U.S. economy may decline. A new projection for 2016 by The Conference Board has output per hour worked, a measure of labor productivity, slow down by 0.2 percent. Labor productivity measures how efficient workers are in the production process. In the long run, an economy’s productivity […]

The G7 Is Still Relevant

The G7 Summit is underway in Japan and the global economy is at the top of the agenda, yet the groups unrivaled influence over it is no more. Its share of world GDP has declined from close to 70 percent in the early 1990s to just over 45 percent today. Emerging and developing economies are […]

Wages Are Up and the Fed Is Ready

The Fed has put markets on notice that another increase in interest rates could be expected this June or July. The Fed’s objectives are clear – full employment and stable inflation – but it continues to struggle between improvements in the unemployment rate yet slower than desired inflation. The puzzle is that lower unemployment should lead to higher inflation as […]

Brookings-FT TIGER Index: A Fragile and Fleeting World Economy?

The latest Brookings-Financial Times TIGER (Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery) Index reveals global economic recovery remains weak, uneven, and in danger of stalling yet again. The world economy continues to be beset by mediocre growth, hesitant or impotent policy actions by national governments, and a dearth of confidence among households and businesses. Analysis by Eswar […]

Brookings-FT TIGER Index: The World Economy Remains Adrift in Choppy Waters

The latest update to the Brookings-Financial Times TIGER (Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery) Index reveals a world economy with sharp divergences in growth prospects between the advanced economies and emerging markets, and within these groups as well. Eswar Prasad and myself update TIGER twice a year, around the times of the IMF-World Bank Meetings of finance ministers, central […]

Brookings-FT TIGER Index: The World Economy Continues to Stop and Go

The latest update to the Brookings-Financial Times TIGER (Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery) Index reveals a global economy that appears to be approaching another stall. Stagnant low growth, risks of deflation, and weak consumer and business confidence characterize the world economy today. With the exception of the U.S., U.K. and India, there are […]

Tiger Index: A Shaky Recovery Runs Out of Steam

This article originally appears on the Financial Times website to accompany the Brookings-FT Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery (TIGER). To view a full set of charts, visit the Financial Times or Brookings.   By Eswar Prasad, Karim Foda, and Arnav Sahu The global economic recovery has stalled and become unbalanced, with the U.S. now […]

Tiger index: Better Days Could be Ahead

This article originally appears on the Financial Times website to accompany the Brookings-FT Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery (TIGER). To view full set of charts, see or    By Eswar Prasad, Karim Foda and Arnav Sahu The global economic recovery remains uneven and wobbly but finally appears to have built up […]

Global Burden of Disease

A healthy population is a productive one.  Disease, malnutrition, sanitation and other public health concerns are central to the development of a region and to the productive capacity of a population.  With the advancement of technology, increased availability of drugs and improved governance, death by communicable disease has decreased and average life expectancy globally has increased […]

A Reminder of History

Reading Western news headlines on Egypt leaves me scratching my head wondering: “Are freedom and democracy really that simple?  What does history tell us, and are Egyptians required to repeat it?” In Jan/Feb 2011, Egyptians said no to military autocracy.  In June/July 2013, Egyptians said no to “Islamist” autocracy.  It is clear now in Egypt […]

Call It A Comeback: Egypt’s Economy

Egypt’s democracy. Egypt’s politics. Egypt’s economy. As mainstream popular reaction in the West suggests, the essence of democracy is the vote. As mainstream popular reaction in Egypt itself suggests, the essence of democracy is liberty. Ultimately, the essence of a free and prosperous society is an inclusive political system and an inclusive economy that provides […]

Rates of Interest at the ECB

Today, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a cut in the interest rate that it charges when it lends money to commercial financial institutions like banks. With falling inflation (a signal of a sluggish economy when extra low) and record high unemployment in the eurozone, this drop in the refinancing rate, from 0.75 percent of […]

Check the Record

Young high school students around the U.S. are increasingly interested in economics and discuss the economy more often, but are no more knowledgeable of the subject than they were in 2006. The Nation’s Report Card, released Wednesday, shows that the share of students performing below the Basic level of competency in Economics has declined, yet the increases to […]