Economic Progress

Top weekend reads on Agenda: Paris Olympics, Japan's negative interest rates, and more

Japan brings an era of negative interest rates to an end with its first hike in 17 years.

Japan brings an era of negative interest rates to an end with its first hike in 17 years. Image: Unsplash/Ryo Yoshitake

Pooja Chhabria
Digital Editor, World Economic Forum
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Economic Progress

  • This weekly roundup brings you top reads for the weekend from Agenda.
  • Consider this: The care economy, encompassing everything from childrearing to retirement homes, is burdened with unpaid work and unfair care arrangements. How can we construct more efficient, equitable care systems?
  • And in the numbers: Japan brings an era of negative interest rates to an end with its first hike in 17 years, a chief economist explains how it will impact the economy.

Look beyond the headlines for these thoughtful expert insights and one-of-a-kind features that put the world's biggest changes into fresh context.

This week, we bring you a new whitepaper outlining how global leaders can prioritize the growing need for care in the global population; an in-depth analysis of why we can't risk leaving behind the least developed countries on the road to digital transformation; a look at the ambitious goals laid out for Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics; and an expert's view on what the end of negative interest rates means for Japan's economy.

The take: Make care an economic priority

There are 8 billion of us (and counting), all of whom need looking after for the better part of our lives. But most economies worldwide have relied for too long on minimal, precarious and unfair care arrangements where women undertake the majority of care work as unpaid labour.

Recent shocks are bringing care back to the top of the global agenda, and a new white paper from the World Economic Forum outlines the importance of working to shape more performant, equitable care systems.

Click here to access the whitepaper on The Future of the Care Economy.


The shift: How innovative solutions can help close the digital divide

1.4 billion people living in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) risk falling behind on digital transformation, which could hold their economic and social progress back for decades.

Growing evidence shows how various pathways, from innovative financing to skills training, can help bridge this growing digital divide.

"LDC governments should commit themselves to digital transformation with strong political will, and the international community should provide them with the support necessary to help them close the digital gap," say experts at the UN Committee on Development Policy and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), which is focused on LDCs.

Learn more:

The opportunity: Will Paris 2024 be the 'most sustainable Olympics ever'?

Organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer promise it will be the greenest in the event's history.

They say this ambition is humanity's "greatest challenge," but it's putting various measures in place—from hosting in existing buildings to putting out mattresses made from recycled fishing nets.

Beyond the Olympics, discover powerful ideas on integrating sustainability, land use, and inclusive design to make cities affordable from the Forum's network of Global Future Council on Cities.

The stat: Japan's first rate hike in 17 years

From 0 to 0.1%: The Bank of Japan has voted to increase its short-term interest rates this month, ending the country's historic era of negative interest rates.

Central banks use negative interest rates as a monetary policy to stimulate economic growth and combat deflation.

While it's unclear if more rate hikes can be expected, you can learn more about the rationale behind negative interest rates and its policy impact in our exclusive interview with Seisaku Kameda, the Executive Economist at the Sompo Institute Plus.

In case you missed it, here are other highlights from Agenda this week:

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Related topics:
Economic ProgressEconomic GrowthSustainable Development
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April 12, 2024

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