18 October 2017

Real Insight

  • Eliminating preventable deaths among newborns and children is unlikely to be achieved in the allotted timeframe. At the current pace, mortality reduction in South Asia and Africa will not be realized until mid-century. Photo: Reuters

    A Chinese model for foreign aid

    - Oct 18, 2017 9:08am
    Last month, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released a status report tracking progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The data, which were meant to highlight efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and reduce...
  • Large emerging economies like China should take the lead in creating a balanced IP system that recognizes the importance of knowledge for development, growth, and well-being. Photo: Bloomberg

    Intellectual property for the 21st-century economy

    When the South African government attempted to amend its laws in 1997 to avail itself of affordable generic medicines for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, the full legal might of the global pharmaceutical industry bore down on...
  • A newspaper featuring a picture of US President Donald Trump is seen in Tehran on Oct. 14. Trump’s decision not to certify the Iran nuclear accord has drawn much criticism both inside and outside Iran. Photo: Reuters

    The US cannot go it alone on Iran

    - Oct 16, 2017 11:50am
    US President Donald Trump has announced what was long anticipated: that he will not certify that Iran is complying with the July 2015 “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA) signed by the United States, China, Russia,...
  • Current debates about climate engineering are dominated by technocratic worldviews, natural science and engineering perspectives, and vested interests in the fossil-fuel industries. Photo: Bloomberg

    The geoengineering fallacy

    - Oct 13, 2017 9:37am
    As the world struggles to rein in emissions of climate-changing gases and limit planetary warming, a new technological silver bullet is gaining supporters. Geoengineering – the large-scale manipulation of the Earth’s natural systems – has been...
  • When girls and women are empowered through education, they can help transform the world for the better. Photo: Bloomberg

    Closing the education gender gap

    Oct 12, 2017 9:54am
    Completing primary school in Niger was never a certainty for Aishetu Mahmoudu Hama, given all the obstacles that stood in her way. “It was hard to study,” she recalls. “We sat on the ground – sometimes...
  • In a globalized economy, more open trade tends to increase both wages and the rate of employment, but that not all workers benefit. Photo: Foreign Affairs

    Globalization for all

    - Oct 12, 2017 9:04am
    One positive outcome of the trade tensions of recent years is a renewed interest in understanding how trade actually works, in terms of aggregate gains, distributional effects, adjustment costs, and other factors. Governments are increasingly looking...
  • The world's major economies need to implement structural reforms to boost growth and sustain the recent upswing. Photo: Bloomberg

    Three scenarios for the global economy

    - Oct 11, 2017 9:40am
    For the last few years, the global economy has been oscillating between periods of acceleration (when growth is positive and strengthening) and periods of deceleration (when growth is positive but weakening). After over a year of...
  • The World Health Organization maintains a global stockpile of oral cholera vaccines. Next year, the stockpile is set to increase to more than 25 million doses. Photo: AFP

    A roadmap to end cholera

    - Oct 11, 2017 8:53am
    “Where is your toilet?” This is often the first question I ask when I visit the site of a cholera outbreak anywhere in the world. More often than not, the answer is: “We don’t have one....
  • A file photo shows vehicles moving along an expressway in Beijing. Authorities in many countries, including China, are realizing that fossil fuel-based vehicles must be curbed in order to control air pollution. Photo: Bloomberg

    A world without exhaust pipes

    - Oct 10, 2017 11:29am
    Efficient movement of people is crucial for any society. When transportation networks function well, they drive economic development and literally bring people together. But in many parts of the world, mobility is a matter of life...
  • At over US$4,200 (as of Oct. 5), a single unit of Bitcoin is now worth more than three times an ounce of gold. Photo: AFP

    Crypto-fool’s gold?

    - Oct 10, 2017 9:27am
    Is the cryptocurrency Bitcoin the biggest bubble in the world today, or a great investment bet on the cutting edge of new-age financial technology? My best guess is that in the long run, the technology will...
  • In today’s energy market, consumers have more control. Consider how easy it is to install rooftop solar panels; it can be done in a single day.  Photo: Bloomberg

    Disrupting climate change

    - Oct 9, 2017 9:46am
    After a season of record-breaking hurricanes in the United States and floods across Asia, it would be easy to despair about the accelerating pace of climate change. Yet, despite the apocalyptic omens, an energy transformation big...
  • Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf warned that Africa would continue to be stalked by poverty and famine until governments provide small farmers with secure rights to land. Photo: Internet

    Securing land rights in Africa

    - Oct 6, 2017 1:19pm
    Earlier this month, Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf warned that Africa would continue to be stalked by poverty, hunger, and famine until governments provide smallholder farmers with secure rights to land....
  • What President Donald Trump is offering is a tax plan that provides the overwhelming share of benefits not to the middle class but to America’s millionaires and billionaires. Photo: Reuters

    Déjà voodoo

    - Oct 6, 2017 12:36pm
    Having failed to “repeal and replace” the 2010 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), US President Donald Trump’s administration and the Republican congressional majority have now moved on to tax reform. Eight months after assuming office, the administration...
  • Up to now, too many inherently influential institutions have lagged in identifying and implementing reforms. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    Dealing with damaging institutional inertia

    - Oct 6, 2017 12:15pm
    Deeply rooted, credible, accountable, and effective institutions have long been deemed crucial for a society’s lasting wellbeing and prosperity. They shield countries from frequent and unsettling volatility, be it economic, political, or social, and they reduce the...
  • French President Emmanuel Macron (right) wants to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel halfway on European integration but everything hinges on the success of French reforms. Photo: Reuters

    A European economic miracle?

    - Jul 3, 2017 4:00pm
    A couple of years ago, the eurozone – about one-sixth of the world economy – appeared to be in serious trouble. Beginning in 2010, an unexpected sovereign debt crisis contributed to and was compounded by serious...
  • A man waves a Greek flag during an anti-government rally outside the Greek parliament building in Athens. Greece is under the shadow of a huge debt overhang. Photo: Reuters

    An IMF bridge to somewhere for Greece?

    Jun 23, 2017 5:00pm
    The International Monetary Fund has resurrected an old technique – commonly used in the 1980s during the Latin American debt crisis – that would allow Greece to avoid a payment default next month on debt owed...
  • The downside of government intervention should be obvious to everyone. But that has not stopped politicians such as US President Donald Trump from proposing interventionist and protectionist policies. Photo: Bloomberg

    Donald Trump’s trade knowledge deficit

    Jun 23, 2017 9:24am
    As a longtime champion of liberty and free trade, it is not surprising that the United States enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world. But unless its policymakers act soon, the US...
  • British productivity was 9 percent below the OECD average in 2007. By 2015, that gap widened to 18 percent. Photo: Bloomberg

    Understanding the productivity puzzle

    - Jun 21, 2017 5:00pm
    In all major economies, the so-called productivity puzzle continues to perplex economists and policymakers: output per hour is significantly lower than it would have been had the pre-2008 growth trend continued. The figures are stark, particularly...
  • Theresa May may have to abandon her ill-considered alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party in Ulster and side more emphatically with the Tories of Scotland, who are keen on a softer version of Brexit. Photo: Reuters

    Brexit in reverse?

    - Jun 20, 2017 5:00pm
    Economic reality is beginning to catch up with the false hopes of many Britons. One year ago, when a slim majority voted for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, they believed the promises of...
  • Energy supply and distribution in Pakistan is managed through a centralized government bureaucracy. Photo:

    Pakistan’s persistent energy crisis

    Jun 20, 2017 9:21am
    For almost a decade, Pakistan has lacked the energy it needs, with producers and consumers across the country facing power outages for up to 12 hours per day. At the root of this crisis lies poor...

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