Dani Rodrik (for Info only, not official)

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Dani Rodrik

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    ...We began to talk about the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which President Donald Trump has blamed for American workers’ woes and is trying to renegotiate. “I never thought Nafta was a big deal,” the economist said. I was astonished. The expert had been one of the most prominent and vocal advocates of Nafta when the deal was concluded a quarter-century ago. He and other trade economists had played a big part in selling the agreement to the American public. “I supported Nafta because I thought it would pave the way for further trade agreements,” my companion explained. A couple of weeks later, I was at a dinner in Europe, where the speaker was a former finance minister of a eurozone country. The topic was the rise of populism. The former minister had left politics and had strong words about the mistakes he thought the European policy elite had made. ...

    Live Mint on Nov. 21, 2017, 11:22 p.m.

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    ...Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth has slowed precipitously since 2015, but this reflects specific problems in three of its largest economies (Nigeria, Angola, and South Africa). Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Rwanda are all projected to achieve growth of 6% or higher this year. In Asia, the same is true of India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia, and Vietnam. This is all good news, but it is also puzzling. Developing economies that manage to grow rapidly on a sustained basis without relying on natural-resource booms—as most of these countries have for a decade or more—typically do so through export-oriented industrialization. But few of these countries are experiencing much industrialization. The share of manufacturing in low-income Sub-Saharan countries is broadly stagnant—and in some cases declining. ...

    Live Mint on Oct. 18, 2017, 12:20 a.m.

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    ...His goal is to bring down France’s stubbornly high rate of unemployment, just a shade below 10%, and energize the economy. Labour reform has long been on France’s agenda. Practically every French administration in recent memory has tried to rewrite the country’s gargantuan labour code, typically failing in the face of trade union protests. But this time may well be different. Even though the country’s second-largest union has called a general strike, indications are that Macron will have the political support he needs. Macron’s reforms aim at increasing what is euphemistically called labour-market flexibility. ...

    Live Mint on Sept. 12, 2017, 11:39 p.m.

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    ...Trump comes to Hamburg having already walked out of one of the key commitments from last year’s summit – to join the Paris climate agreement “as soon as possible.” And he will not have much enthusiasm for these meetings’ habitual exhortation to foreswear protectionism or provide greater assistance to refugees. More From Livemint » Moreover, the Hamburg summit follows two G20 annual meetings in authoritarian countries – Turkey in 2015 and China in 2016 – where protests could be stifled. This year’s summit promises to be an occasion for raucous street demonstrations, directed against not only Trump, but also Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The G20 has its origins in two ideas, one relevant and important, the other false and distracting. ...

    Live Mint on July 7, 2017, 5:21 p.m.

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    ...Le Pen received more than a third of the second-round vote, even though only one party other than her own National Front—Nicolas Dupont-Aignan’s small Debout La France—gave her backing. And turnout was apparently sharply down from previous presidential elections, indicating a large number of disaffected voters. If Macron fails during the next five years, Le Pen will be back with a vengeance, and nativist populists will gain strength in Europe and elsewhere. As a candidate, Macron was helped in this age of anti-establishment politics by the fact that he stood outside traditional political parties. As President, however, that same fact is a singular disadvantage. His political movement, En Marche!, is only a year old. He will have to build from scratch a legislative majority following the national assembly elections next month. Macron’s economic ideas resist easy characterization. ...

    Live Mint on May 11, 2017, 12:12 a.m.

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    ...Gone are the confident assertions that globalization benefits everyone: We must, the elites now concede, accept that globalization produces both winners and losers. But the correct response is not to halt or reverse globalization; it is to ensure that the losers are compensated. The new consensus is stated succinctly by Nouriel Roubini: The backlash against globalization “can be contained and managed through policies that compensate workers for its collateral damage and costs”, he argues. “Only by enacting such policies will globalization’s losers begin to think that they may eventually join the ranks of its winners.” This seems to make eminent sense, both economically and politically. ...

    Live Mint on April 16, 2017, 10:49 p.m.

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    ...There certainly is much to celebrate. After centuries of war, upheaval and mass killings, Europe is peaceful and democratic. The European Union (EU) has brought 11 former Soviet-bloc countries into its fold, successfully guiding their post-communist transitions. And, in an age of inequality, EU member countries exhibit the lowest income gaps anywhere in the world. But these are past achievements. Today, the union is mired in a deep existential crisis, and its future is very much in doubt. The symptoms are everywhere: Brexit, crushing levels of youth unemployment in Greece and Spain, debt and stagnation in Italy, the rise of populist movements, and a backlash against immigrants and the euro. They all point to the need for a major overhaul of Europe’s institutions. So a new white paper on the future of Europe by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker comes none too soon. ...

    Live Mint on March 23, 2017, 4:12 a.m.

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    ...“The most useful form of citizenship these days,” one analyst lectured her, “is one dedicated not only to the well-being of a Berkshire parish, say, but to the planet.” I know what a “global citizen” looks like: I see a perfect specimen every time I pass a mirror. I grew up in one country, live in another, and carry the passports of both. I write on global economics, and my work takes me to far-flung places. Most of my close colleagues at work are similarly foreign-born. I devour international news, while my local paper remains unopened most weeks. In sports, I have no clue how my home teams are doing, but I am a devoted fan of a football team on the other side of the Atlantic. And yet May’s statement strikes a chord. ...

    Live Mint on Feb. 14, 2017, 11:08 p.m.