Geo-Economics and Politics

8 must-read economics stories of the week

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Staff/Remote - RTX326S8

Image: REUTERS/Staff/Remote

Daniel Gomez Gaviria
Head of Competitiveness Research, World Economic Forum
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Geo-economics

Ryan Avent at Medium comments on the productivity paradox and Paul Krugman follows up with a simple model to illustrate the economic arguments in Robot Geometry.

Robots will not only have an impact on productivity but also on labour and work. A lively debate on whether robots should be taxed if they take people’s jobs is reviewed by Robert Shiller in The Guardian.

Despite uncertainty and fear, the global economy is enjoying a synchronized upswing, as reported in The Economist.

Recent economic history also gives reasons to be optimistic about the future. For example, these five graphs at humanprogress.org may change your mind about poverty.

Likewise, a recent update on previous estimation shows the unprecedented expansion of the global middle class.

However, there are complex interactions in an interconnected world. For example, recent research shows how competition from China reduced innovation in the US and this could reduce future growth prospects.

There is also heterogeneity in some of the indicators of human progress, which are important for understanding current debates and the interaction between economics and politics. Case and Deaton report findings on mortality and morbidity in the 21st century among some of these specific groups.

In this context, improving our understanding of heterogeneous outcomes and inequality is crucial. Steven Durlauf discusses a transition from the conventional policy of “redistributing income” to “redistributing membership”, to promote economic integration across communities and intergenerational mobility in his Membership Theory of Inequality.

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