Global economy

Gabriel Felbermayr, Aleksandra Kirilakha, Constantinos Syropoulos, Erdal Yalcin, Yoto Yotov, 04 August 2020

In recent years, economic sanctions have increasingly become ‘the tool of choice’ in responses to international political challenges related to geo-political conflicts. But are sanctions successful in achieving their purported objectives? And what are the economic costs of sanctions in a world that is increasingly interconnected with global value-chains and multinational enterprises?  This column introduces a new dataset of economic sanctions that covers all bilateral, multilateral, and plurilateral sanctions in the world from 1950 to 2016 that can be utilised to analyse sanctions policies.

Kaushik Basu, 03 July 2020

Kaushik Basu's time as World Bank chief economist inspired him to think radically about how to change the way the global economy works. He tells Tim Phillips about why public ownership and profit-sharing may be essential, and what we can still learn from Karl Marx.

Simeon Djankov, Dorina Georgieva, Hibret Maemir, 03 July 2020

Countries reform when their neighbours have reformed too, especially in the aftermath of economic crises. This column examines business regulatory reforms during 2004–2019. Previous crisis episodes have generated improvements in the law and administration of registering property, trading across borders, protecting investors and resolving bankruptcy. The current period of post-COVID-19 recovery is propitious for regulatory reform.

Koen Berden, Joseph Francois, Fredrik Erixon, 26 June 2020

Calls for more protectionism have been on the rise for some time now, and have surged again with the Covid-19 pandemic. This column points to similar policies and their negative consequences during the Great Depression. Discussing similarities and differences of the economic situation between then and now and drawing on lessons from the Great Depression, it highlights the very negative consequences of increasing protectionism.

Jean Imbs, Laurent Pauwels, 26 June 2020

Exposure to foreign shocks is often thought to be highly dependent on foreign trade and measures of openness usually build exclusively on measures of direct trade. This column argues that in a world of global value chains, focusing on direct trade gives a distorted view of the exposure to foreign shocks. It proposes a new measure of openness which computes the fraction of gross output sold to downstream customers located abroad. This measure finds most sectors to be more open and this increased openness is estimated to cause rises in productivity and contagion, without observable effects on growth.

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