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Project Syndicate

The Power of AI in Emerging Markets

Artificial intelligence is forecast to contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, delivering socioeconomic value to all sections of society over the coming years. And a substantial share of this total will accrue to emerging economies. KREUZLINGEN – Artificial intelligence is permeating almost every aspect of life in advanced economies. From governments to businesses to individuals, AI’s reach is sweeping, and its...

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Will the Coronavirus Cause a Major Growth Slowdown in China?

Some fear that the timing of China’s coronavirus outbreak – at the start of the country's week-long New Year celebration, and in the middle of traditional school-break travels – will exacerbate the economic fallout from the epidemic. But three important factors may limit the virus’s impact on Chinese and global GDP. NEW YORK – The panic generated by the new coronavirus, 2019-nCov, which originated in Wuhan, one of China’s largest...

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How to Improve on a Good Year for Global Health

The discovery of new viruses, vaccines, and treatments in 2019 was the result of investments in global surveillance, cross-sector partnerships, and scientific advances. At a time when misinformation is calling into question the validity of facts, the world needs to support science more than ever. ZURICH – Measles went “viral” in 2018, infecting nearly ten million people worldwide and claiming 142,000 lives. Poor vaccination...

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A Global Economy Without a Cushion

From 1990 to 2008, annual growth in world trade was fully 82% faster than world GDP growth. Now, however, reflecting the unusually sharp post-crisis slowdown in global trade growth, this cushion has shrunk dramatically, to just 13% over the 2010-19 period, leaving the world economy more vulnerable to all-too-frequent shocks. NEW HAVEN – With the benefit of full-year data, only now are we becoming aware of the danger the global...

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Re-Engineering China’s Economy

The recent “phase one” trade deal between the United States and China does not resolve core outstanding bilateral issues, and the two countries’ strategic rivalry will likely intensify in the medium to long term. But the accord gives China’s leaders a new opportunity to develop better and more open domestic markets. HONG KONG – On January 15, US President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed a “phase one” agreement...

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Winning the Electrification Race

If governments adopt bold policies to help accelerate the production of clean electricity, the world could build a zero-carbon economy fast enough to limit climate change to a manageable degree. But without such measures, a zero-carbon economy will come much too late. LONDON – There is no doubt that by the year 2100, the world will enjoy abundant cheap zero-carbon energy. Coal will be confined to museums, and oil and gas use will...

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Auschwitz in Jerusalem

The conflicting messages delivered at a recent commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz reveal the extent to which today's politics are being defined by the tug of war between nationalism and cosmopolitanism. But when it comes to drawing lessons from the Holocaust, the cosmopolitans retain the moral high ground. BERLIN – Looming over this year’s commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial...

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The Next Big Development Challenge

New strategies for reviving growth in emerging markets will have to be indigenous, rather than coming from Western institutions. But where will such strategies come from, and who will provide the intellectual leadership? CAMBRIDGE – We have suddenly arrived at a tricky stage in global economic development. Emerging markets are losing their dynamism, after a remarkable three-decade-long run during which they caught up rapidly with...

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How to Prevent the Japanification of East Asia’s Economies

Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan were long hailed for their economic dynamism, but now risk following the low-growth path of Japan over the last three decades. To avoid this fate, their governments must adopt a comprehensive set of policies to tackle structural weaknesses. NEW YORK – At the annual meeting of the American Economic Association (AEA) in early January, former US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, former...

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Crumbling Infrastructure – or Crumbling Cliché?

Democratic US presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg unveiled an infrastructure plan that magically settled on the same trillion-dollar price tag that candidate Donald Trump announced in 2016. But is America’s infrastructure really so bad? SAN DIEGO – America’s infrastructure has been crumbling ever since George Washington crossed the frozen Delaware River on a leaky boat. That seems to be a bipartisan “truth.” And every four years,...

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