Can Biden save the world?

THE outcome of the US presidential election on Nov 3 will have momentous consequences for America in terms of economic policy, racial justice, the judiciary, health care, and the overall quality of its democracy. But the election's international effects could be equally far-reaching and lasting...


Multilateralism for the masses

AS THE United Nations General Assembly gathers in New York City for its 75th session - which will open with a high-level meeting focused on "reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism" - the United States is engulfed in perhaps the most contentious presidential election in recent...

Creating a UN moment with a global vision to tackle crises

ON SEPT 21, 2020, the United Nations will mark its 75th anniversary with a negotiated declaration to be endorsed at a high-level meeting the same month. The UN's member countries should turn the event into a rechristening.

Providing a level playing field with universal capital endowment

IT IS far from certain whether the post-pandemic recovery will be a lasting one that results in more sustainable and equitable economies. The temptation to try to return to the recent past is strong, and so are the vested interests favouring such a course.

Multilateralism still key to limit de-globalisation costs

WITH the Covid-19 catastrophe having laid bare the vulnerabilities inherent in a hyper-connected, just-in-time global economy, a retreat from globalisation increasingly seems inevitable. To some extent, this may be desirable. But achieving positive outcomes will depend on deep, inclusive and...

Take the carbon-tax opportunity

THE Covid-19 pandemic has brought economic and social activity around the world to a near-standstill. As a result, carbon dioxide emissions have declined sharply, and the skies above some large cities are clean and clear for the first time in decades.


Countries must form a solidarity front to save the world

THE Covid-19 crisis represents an unprecedented test of human solidarity. Will the wealthy - or, indeed, all those with stable incomes or savings cushions - embrace measures to support the poor and economically insecure? Will the young, among whom the mortality rate is lower, make sacrifices to...

What Covid-19 means for international cooperation

THROUGHOUT history, crisis and human progress have often gone hand in hand. While the growing Covid-19 pandemic could strengthen nationalism and isolationism and accelerate the retreat from globalisation, the outbreak also could spur a new wave of international cooperation of the sort that...

Get carbon border taxes right for fairer distribution

A TIME-HONOURED but often problematic practice in basic welfare economics is to separate efficiency considerations from distributional concerns. In an economy with given endowments and a given distribution of them, the argument goes, there exists a set of prices that will guide competitive...

When climate risks and politics collide

THERE is an overwhelming consensus among scientists that this decade will be the last window for humanity to change the current global trajectory of carbon dioxide emissions, so that the world can get close to zero net emissions by around 2050 and thus avoid potentially catastrophic climate...


GDP 2.0 measures growth democratically

ABHIJIT Banerjee and Esther Duflo, two of this year's recipients of the Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences, are the latest among leading economists to remind us that gross domestic product (GDP) is an imperfect measure of human welfare.


The case for international civil servants

THE notion of an "international" civil service goes back a century, to the establishment of the League of Nations after World War I. Whereas civil servants had until then always served their countries or empires, the League's small secretariat would facilitate cooperation among member states....