Emerging markets bear the brunt of Covid-19 pains

THE public-health and economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have varied across countries. This is true even among emerging-market and developing economies (EMDEs), which, compared to advanced economies, have higher poverty rates, poorer health care, and a lower share of jobs that can be...

Formal declaration of US recession is better late than early

ON JUNE 8, the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) declared that economic activity in the United States had peaked in February 2020, formally marking the start of a recession. But we already knew that we were in a recession that had likely begun...

THE BOTTOM LINE

Who has the world's largest economy?

THE World Bank's International Comparison Programme (ICP) has just released its latest measures of price levels and gross domestic product (GDP) across 176 countries, and the results are striking. For the first time ever, the ICP finds that China's total real (inflation-adjusted) income is...

How to avoid a W-shaped recession

GEORGE Santayana famously quipped in 1905: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." It is a phrase that has been repeated for over a century, but rarely heeded. As Covid-19 decimates the global economy, our understanding of history could be the difference between a V- or...

Foreseeable unforeseeables

EVENTS like the Covid-19 pandemic, the US housing-market crash of 2007-2009, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, are often called "black swans". The term is meant to suggest that no one could have seen them coming. But, in fact, these episodes each involved known unknowns, rather...