Sunday , April 21 2019
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Dani Rodrik’s weblog

Scholars’ letter of support for Ricardo Hausmann

Here is a letter that I have prepared and signed with some colleagues in response to Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s ugly attacks on Ricardo Hausmann. “We the undersigned write to express our dismay at Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s repeated targeting of our colleague Ricardo Hausmann and to express our support for Professor Hausmann. Two years ago, President Maduro ordered Venezuela’s Attorney General to proceed against Professor Hausmann following an article in...

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The Walloon mouse

It appears Belgium's Wallonia has put a nail on the coffin of the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) by vetoing it. The reasons, The Economist puts it, "are hard to understand."  Well, yes and no. Canada is one of the most progressive trade partners you could hope to have, and it is hard to believe that Walloon incomes or values are really being threatened. But clearly something larger than the specifics of this agreement is at stake here. Instead of decrying people's stupidity and...

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How to tell apart trade agreements that undermine democratic principles from those that don’t

I discussed in an earlier post on Brexit how to think about international agreements and the constraints on state action they entail in terms of democratic legitimacy. Since that discussion has relevance beyond Brexit, I've pasted the relevant part here below. The basic point is this: the fact that an international rule is negotiated and accepted by a democratically elected government does not inherently make that rule democratically legitimate. The optimistic argument has been best...

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It’s a war of ideas, not of interests

Mike Konczal has an interesting piece on how the progressives are unlikely to win over Trump’s base of white, male, working class voters – even if they take their concerns to heart and propose policies that will help them.  He thinks progressives lack specificity and clarity on the “specific approaches and programs [that] would convince Trump’s voters to join liberals.” More fatally, he believes the progressive agenda, if successfully implemented, would actually fail to bring these voters...

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How Shimon Peres brought inflation down in 1985

I saw Shimon Peres, who passed away yesterday, only once and it was at a conference on inflation stabilization in Jerusalem in 1990. He had led the national unity government during 1984-86 which had successfully brought down the country's triple-digit inflation. The conference organizer, the great Michael Bruno, had asked him to give an after-dinner speech. When Peres took office, the budget deficit stood at more than 15% of GDP. Everyone at the conference wanted to know how he had...

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From hyper-globalization back to sensible globalization

I had a piece in the New York Times over the weekend that tries to steer our globalization discussion in what I think is a more sensible direction. A brief excerpt: We need to rescue globalization not just from populists, but also from its cheerleaders. Globalization evangelists have done great damage to their cause not just by underplaying the real fears and concerns on which the Trumps of this world thrive, but by overlooking the benefits of a more moderate form of...

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