EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    Emerging Markets

  • Ajay Shah's blog

    RBI vs. Uber, continued

    by Suyash Rai and Ajay Shah. On 22 August 2014, RBI came out with an order which effectively forces firms such as Uber to either shut down, or switch to cumbersome payments mechanisms. On 24 August, we wrote an article Shutting down Uber in India was unwise about the economic thinking in payments regulation. On 15 September, Raghuram Rajan responded to this criticism in a talk, saying: If there is a rule on the book, we don't allow it to be violated simply because the innovation is cool. We think that RBI's action does not even constitute proper enforcement of `a rule on the book'. We think that regulators like RBI cannot pass the buck for bad consequences of rules that are fully under their control. We think that if RBI was wise and accountable, i...more

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  • Zambian Economist

    Cash transfers

    Community Development Minister Emerine Kabanshi recently announced that the Government plans to extend the cash transfer scheme to cater for up one million households. Government has sensed that it is onto an election winner.GRZ is currently running two cash protection schemes that gives support to the vulnerable in the community : social cash transfer and social protection fund. The cash transfer is a bi-monthly cash allowance of $25 and $50 dollars for vulnerable households and households where there are people with disabilities respectively. The social protection fund is a once-off grant of up to $670 dollars for viable business proposals. This gives cash grants targeting vulnerable families to either boost and/or venture into viable businesses. Not on...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Three Key Questions About the Slowdown in Emerging Markets

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Carbon Pricing: Good for You, Good for the Planet

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    RBI's `wilful default' framework vs. the rule of law

    I have an article in the Indian Express today titled RBI's `wilful default' framework vs. the rule of law.

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    What’s Lurking in the Shadows of China’s Banks

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  • Zambian Economist

    Zambia's chaotic land administration

    By Bruce ChoomaZambia is in a bizarre position when it comes to land administration and management. No one knows how much land is available for various purposes. For over 20 years the Zambian government has insisted that only 6% of land in Zambia is state land the remaining 94% is customary. The truth is that a lot of land has since been converted from customary to state land across the country but without any reliable system of records at the Ministry of Lands. Zambia has a dual system of land tenure of customary and leasehold tenure. The land is vested in the President on behalf of all Zambians. However, the issue of vestment is one that lacks widespread consensus particularly among the traditional leadership.Some experts have argued that the current land tenure syste...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Technology and institutional machinery that will save Rs.75,000 crore a year

    by Viral Shah. In a recent article, Ajay Shah discussed the potential for Aadhaar to help save Rs.75,000 crore per year, by overhauling the administration of susbidies. The first level gains come from using Aadhaar numbers in the databases of every scheme to elimnate ghosts, fakes and duplicates. The second level gains come from enforcing a one price policy. There is an incentive for arbitrage when and only when a commodity has two different prices in the market. Aadhaar technology helps ensure that all subsidised goods are sold at market prices, and the subsidy is transferred directly to the targeted beneficiary. Finally, there is a need to rationalise the subsidy and social safety net policies - who gets subsidies, how do they get them, how are subsidised goods produ...more

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  • The Gulf blog

    Qatar Just Isn’t That Evil

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    “…not with a bang but a whimper”

    Doug, Pancoast, an American entrepreneur living in Shanghai, asked to interview me for his blog, and I agreed to do so. I think it was meant to be a brief interview, but I began to respond on a Saturday evening, while waiting for the performance at my club to begin (my office is at my CD label, just upstairs from my music club), and as the performance started late and the questions were interesting and covered a lot of ground, I ended up writing quite a lot. I thought I might reproduce the interview on my blog, not so much for the interview itself, which you can anyway find elsewhere, but because I decided that I could significantly add to the responses (they are twice as long as the original interview) with a lot of examples and with historical material that I find ver...more

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  • Zambian Economist

    Sell them!

    “It is our hope also that the government will help companies like Times of Zambia where workers have gone for three or four months without getting paid. Workers have been patient, we have met the labour and information ministries but the request we made to the Ministry of Finance is still pending and they are the ones who hold the key...If this money is paid, then the Times of Zambia can also manage to pay the workers"LEONARD HIKAUMBA(Source: The Post)We keep going in circles on this one. How long will government continue to bail out these newspapers? We should sell all state newspapers and ensure no more money is wasted on producing propaganda that no one is interested in. At the very least one of them must be sold urgently. You don't need both.The best thing GRZ can...more

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  • Private Sector Development - News and views on a competitive private sector and a resilient financial sector

    Structural change, from Khartoum to D.C.

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  • Private Sector Development - News and views on a competitive private sector and a resilient financial sector

    No End in Sight: Why Insolvency Regimes Matter for Small Business Growth

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Geert Wilders: “War Has Been Declared against Us”

    Well, what do you know! Amazing things are happening around the world. One of the more positive developments has been that of the Islamic State (formerly known as the ISIS) showing up and demonstrating to the world what “peace” means in the “Religion of Peace.(™)” They are the poster boys of Islam, arguing against the left-lib-tards (that’s the short form for “leftist liberal retards”) who keep on insisting that Islam is a religion of peace. (I read this somewhere: If someone declares that they love you, ask for proof; if someone says that they wish to kill you, believe them and get away quickly.) In every case of Islamic terrorism, the perpetrators loudly proclaim Allahu-akbar and declare that they are following Islam’...more

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  • Private Sector Development - News and views on a competitive private sector and a resilient financial sector

    Small Island Developing States are Taking Action to Strengthen Financial Resilience to Natural Disasters

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    What does a “good” Chinese adjustment look like?

    I have always thought that the soft landing/hard landing debate wholly misses the point when it comes to China’s economic prospects. It confuses the kinds of market-based adjustments we are likely to see in the US or Europe with the much more controlled process we see in China. Instead of a hard landing or a soft landing, the Chinese economy faces two very different options, and these will be largely determined by the policies Beijing chooses over the next two years. Beijing can manage a rapidly declining pace of credit creation, which must inevitably result in much slower although healthier GDP growth. Or Beijing can allow enough credit growth to prevent a further slowdown but, once the perpetual rolling-over of bad loans absorbs most of the country’s loan creatio...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Ganapati Vighana Haran Gajanana

    It’s that time of the year once again — the time of Ganesha’s visit and therefore this annual post which is a tradition on this blog. He is invoked at the beginnings of all endeavors. I recently bought a Chromebox. What better than having Ganesh grant his protection to the little computer? Last time I was in India, I had picked up a few small brass Ganeshas. So I placed one of them on the computer. Here’s the Vighana Haran, the Defeater of Obstacles, ensuring that the computer works fine. He looks quite comfortable, don’t you think? Ganesh is associated with the finer things of life. Learning, good food, wisdom, writing, knowledge. I approve of them all. So it is natural that he is one of my favorite gods. As part of Ganesha’s wor...more

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  • The Gulf blog

    Can Qatar, Saudi Arabia ease tensions at Gulf Cooperation Council?

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Can Pedro Sanchez save the PSOE?

    Last month Pedro Sánchez Castejón was chosen to be the new leader of Spain’s center-left Socialist Party (PSOE).  El Pais called his appointment a “renewal” of the PSOE, although Sánchez seems to have been chosen mainly because he is too young and unknown to suffer from the revulsion most Spaniards feel towards the political establishment. But as the PSOE’s new leader, and without much of the baggage carried around by the older generation of leaders, Sánchez has an important choice facing him. If he expects to lead Spain and his party out of its current crisis, he must recognize that the crisis is fundamentally a conflict between the interests of Europe’s bankers and of Europe’s workers, and he must reengineer PSOE’s policies in favor of the Spain’s...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Whose money is it anyway?

    Milton Friedman used to elegantly distinguish between four ways of spending money. First, when you spend your own money on yourself, you are very careful to get the most benefit for your buck. After all, it is your money and you know what you want for yourself. Second, when you spend your own money on someone else. Here too you carefully economize to meet your objective but since you don’t know the other person’s needs as well as you do your own needs, your spending may not be as optimal for the other person. Third, you spend other people’s money on yourself. In this case, your incentive to economize is certainly blunted. You are much more concerned with getting the best and less with what it will cost. Finally, when you spend other people’s mone...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Is Falung Gong a dangerous cult? Is it a cult at all?

    I’ll admit it right at the beginning: I’ve always found there to be something creepy about the Falun Gong. I remember seeing practitioners in Taipei sitting with their eyes closed meditating endlessly. I remember their anti-CCP literature. I remember meeting a group of practitioners at the local annual China celebration day in Phoenix and finding them generally icky. But just because I find them creepy doesn’t mean they are a cult, let alone a dangerous one. This excellent article presents the argument of one of the best informed China Hands I’ve ever read, Ian Johnson, who argues that the FG is not a cult. In “Wild Grass: Three Portraits of Change in Modern China,” Ian Johnson writes that the “cult” label was designed to “[cl...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    Foxconn Moving Direct to Consumer

    I remember having conversations years ago about what Foxconn would do going forward, and whether or not they would be happy as the manufacturer to brands.   The WSJ article, Amid Margin Squeeze, Foxconn Designs Its Own Fate, puts this question to rest. Recently, the $130-billion-a-year in revenue company has ventured into handset accessories under its own brand, and sales and distribution of mobile phones. It also plans to offer telecommunications services in Taiwan. For me, this has always been a bit of a no brainer.  Foxconn has an amazing amount of talent in the firm that is not just managing the supply chain and assembling gadgets for their customer, but have for years also been bringing designs to the brands that they feel would sell well in the market. Partner ...more

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  • Frontier Nations

    ANC seen pushing market-friendly economic policy

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  • Frontier Nations

    Ethiopia builds on economic momentum

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  • Frontier Nations

    North Africa walks job creation tightrope

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    Bites of China. Finally a Show Worth Watching!

    A couple of weeks back, while riding the G train back from Nanjing, something caught my eye.  An advertisement by CCTV for what I believe could be one of the best produced shows China has put together.  At first, I had no idea what the advertisement for, but what was clear was that it was celebrating the various food flavors of China, and those who are tilling the fields and preparing the dishes. The show is called Bite of China, and I cannot recommend it enough. Sure, China is known for its fair share of food failures, including recycled oil, but watching this show has restored a bit of my love for the flavors here.  Flavors that were actually the basis for one of my earliest posts, and have provided a never ending hunt for me and my wife as we look to try new thin...more

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  • The Gulf blog

    Qatar 2022 teeters towards disaster

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  • The Peking Duck

    Twenty-five years later

    I never before saw all the raw video footage of “Tank Man’s” defiance against a column of army tanks until today. It is remarkable, how one nameless man entered all of our living rooms for just a moment and is remembered so vividly a quarter of a century later. And for good reason. Let’s keep the hundreds of murdered innocents in our thoughts today, and keep alive the fight to let the Chinese people know all who died during the crackdown. Let’s remember the Tiananmen Mothers, and let’s even hope for the day when the CCP admits the demonstrations were not an act of “counterrevolutionary” treachery inspired by foreign subversives, but an expression of the Chinese people’s yearning for a say in their government, for t...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Return of Liu Di, the “Stainless Steel Mouse”

    Those of you who have been reading this blog for ten years or more (if any such reader exists) might remember an array of posts I wrote in 2004 regarding a “cyberdissident221; Liu Di, who posted pro-democracy essays on the Internet under the moniker Stainless Steel Mouse. Posts like this or this, and several more. She also participated in study groups that discussed freedom and government reform, and saw herself and her colleagues arrested. I remember how angry I felt when another cyberdissident who lobbied for her release was himself arrested. Still, she has never been silenced. Even as recently as last month she was taken into custody for participating in a seminar about June 4th. A reader brought to my attention the availability of three of Liu Di’s n...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    What Do China’s Millennials Want ?

    For a number of years, I had it pretty good.  I had a number of teams that were under me, were stable, and were producing.  It was at a time when a lot of questions were being asked about the post 80s generation in China, but for whatever reason I was immune. But, those days are over, and just yesterday I had another millennial go AWOL on me.  So, it was perhaps interesting timing that CNBC put up the article Millennials may be more like boomers than we realize highlighting how several studies point to a generation that is looking for meaning in their job, in their company, and for balance: A new study from Deloitte also found differences in workplace attitudes between millennials and older generations, saying that the former “want to work for organizations tha...more

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    Twins!

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  • ChinaBizGov

    China's Green Car Sales in 2012

    Just a few years ago, pretty much everyone (except Chinese auto industry insiders whom I interviewed) thought China was about to take ownership of the global green car market. (Here's just one example from the excitable Tom Friedman of the New York Times.)In 2009 China's industrial planners announced plans to have 500,000 green cars ("New Energy Vehicles" or "新能源汽车" -- a combination of electrics and hybrids) on Chinese roads by the end of 2011. That obviously didn't happen, so last year, that same target of 500,000 was pushed out to 2015.So how did green car sales fare in 2012? Overall, hybrids plus electrics grew a respectable 52 percent.So while sales grew pretty well in percentage terms, it is clear that overall numbers are still inconsequential when you co...more

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    What Causes Revolutions?

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    Enter the New Year

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  • ChinaBizGov

    Comparing Corruption in China and the US

    Today's WSJ China Realtime reports on a study by a George Mason University economist who attempts to compare corruption in the US and China.  His conclusion is that corruption in America's Gilded Age (1877-1893)* was worse than corruption in China today.Perhaps the conclusion is correct, but the methodology used by this professor is flawed.  US corruption is measured by mentions of corruption in US newspapers 1870-1930.  China corruption is measured by mentions of corruption in US (not Chinese!) newspapers 1990-2011.So he is measuring corruption in two countries by the number of times the newspapers of only one of the countries mentions the word.  Even if the researcher had used Chinese newspapers, the study still would have been flawed due to Commun...more

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  • ChinaBizGov

    GM and SAIC: Trouble in Paradise?

    General Motors (GM) and Shanghai Auto (SAIC) announced in December of 2009 that they were deepening their partnership beyond their joint venture in China.  Together they created a 50:50 joint venture, registered in Hong Kong, for expansion outside of China.  Now that partnership appears to be coming apart.Initially, the plan for the HK JV was for the two sides to work together in India and possibly elsewhere in the future.  (For further insight into this particular deal, please see Chapter 4 of Designated Drivers.) As for the India venture, GM would contribute two existing factories in India, along with its Chevrolet brand, and SAIC would contribute cash -- something that GM had been seriously lacking as it had emerged from bankruptcy earlier that same ye...more

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Otaviano Canuto

Otaviano Canuto is Senior Advisor on BRICS Economies in the Development Economics Department, World Bank, a new position established by President Kim to bring a fresh research focus to this increasingly critical area. He also has an extensive academic background, serving as Professor of Economics at the University of Sao Paulo and University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil.

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