Why Nations Fail
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Why Nations Fail. Elusive Quest for Growth. Exorbitant Privilege. Talvi : New International Monetary Architecture. Antholis : China/India Federalism. McMafia : Global Crime. Reinhart: Debt and Crisis. Kimenyi : Educational Reform Can It Scale?. Gaddy : Virtual Economy Bear Trap.

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Why nations fail

Why Nations Fail

Elusive Quest for Growth

Exorbitant Privilege


New International

Monetary Architecture








Debt and Crisis


Educational Reform

Can It Scale?


Virtual Economy

Bear Trap


Is This Time



Regional Monetary


Soviet Extraction:

Ukrainian Famine

It revolution a new economy it revolution a critical juncture

IT Revolution: A “New Economy”?IT Revolution: A Critical Juncture?

Superstar economy

Heightened income inequality: Global elite…the 1 % …the 0.01 %

Heightened spatial inequality

Conquest of geography?

Financial innovations

Fragility and crisis  New international monetary architecture?

Floating and Its Discontents

Managed float: intervention  $ reserves  $ privilege

Currency misalignments  Currency crises

Latin America’s “Lost Decade”

Tequila/East Asia

Global demand for $s  Capital inflows to US

US International Debt  Threat of “Bank Run”

The US Housing Bubble  (Developed) World in a Slump

Dysfunctional US Finance/Dysfunctional US Politics

The euro an alternative to the
The Euro: An Alternative to the $?

Why a €?

  • Euro economics: Transactions costs/CAP/German Discipline

  • Euro politics: Integration  Peace/Tie Germany to West Europe

    Eurozone Imbalance

  • Early 2000s: German wage discipline

     German competitiveness  Current account surpluses

  • Capital inflows to peripheral countries

     Financial bubbles/Housing bubbles/Fiscal bubbles


  • Iceland: When fishermen become investment bankers

    Crash  Brit and Dutch Screwed

  • Cyprus: Oligarch/Mafiya Laundry

    Crash  Russians Screwed

Why nations fail

  • Talvi: New Economic Geography

  • Latin American and other emerging economies not dragged down by the crisis

  • Chinese expansion  commodity boom

  • Latin American countries with relatively high net commodity exports advantaged by rising commodity prices

  • Advanced country deleveraging

  •  capital inflows to emerging economies

  •  growth of emerging economies

Carmen reinhart s remarks carmen bemoans debt
Carmen Reinhart’s Remarks: Carmen bemoans debt

  • Emerging economies had reduced debt

    • Deleveraging followed 1997-98 crises

  • Advanced countries (and Emerging Europe) entered crisis with high Public + Private Debt

    • Deleveraging has been and will continue to be prolonged ~ Decade

       Downward pressure on demand, output, and employment

    • Massive monetary easing lightens debt burden

      • Stemmed debt deflation spiral

      • But private saving eaten up by public borrowing

  • Vulnerabilities for emerging economies

    • Build up of domestic debt

      • Brazil: private debt and non-federal government debt

        Reinhart: For a banking crisis, don’t need external debt, just debt

    • China slowdown  commodity price collapse

This time ain t different reinhart and rogoff
This Time Ain’t Different Reinhart and Rogoff

“Excessive debt accumulation, whether it be by the government, banks, corporations, or consumers, often poses greater systemic risks than it seems during a boom.”

“Such large-scale debt buildups pose risks because they make an economy vulnerable to crises of confidence, particularly when debt is short term and needs to be constantly refinanced.”

Highly leveraged economies “can seem to be merrily rolling along for an extended period, when bang! - confidence collapses, lenders disappear, and a crisis hits.“

Eight centuries of experience suggests this time is not different.

This time ain t different
This Time Ain’t Different

Consequences of banking crises

  • Real GDP down – Unemployment up

  • Government revenue down

  • Government bailout of banks

  • Government debt/GDP UP

    • But 90% is not at ratio to be feared

    • Austerity sucks...and doesn’t spur recovery

      “A recession is no time to cut spending”

  • Prolonged slump

    • Deleveraging

    • Zero lower bound  Monetary policy weakened

Aggressive policy response no depression
Aggressive Policy Response  No Depression

Mc mafia a world tour
Mc Mafia: A World Tour


  • Homegrown crime: Gambling/Ecstasy: From Antwerp to US

  • Russian mob: Prostitution/Human trafficking

    The Balkans

  • Smuggling duty not paid (DNP) cigarettes

  • Cocaine processing and distribution: Colombian connection

    Kazakhstan: Caspian caviar

    Russia – Gazprom – Ukraine – Hungary: Pipeline scam

    Dubai: A perfect laundry

  • 9/11  Arab money flees US to Dubai  Building boom

    • Labor camp squalor/Prostitution/Domestic worker “imprisonment”

      Nigeria: 419 scam: I go chop your dollar.

Antholis china and india the political realities
Antholis: China and India – The Political Realities

  • China and India are not monolithic states

    • Regions and provinces matter

      • India: 35 states/China: 22 provinces + Taiwan

    • Local issues  Beijing and New Delhi can’t easily lead

      • Migration

      • Land acquisition for industry and urbanization

      • Infrastructure provision

      • Fiscal federalism: Center bail-out of sub-national entities

  • China: GDP Monotheism/Fragmented Authoritarianism

    • Central Ministry – Provincial Government Matrix

    • Global Coast vs. Protectionist Interior

    • Special Enterprise Zones/Environmental sustainability issue

  • India: Secessionist Threat/Ethnic Conflicts/Caste Conflicts

    • Regional parties critical for Congress or BJP coalitions

    • Advanced States: Benefit from high-tech diaspora

    • Backward States: Cronyism

    • Legacy of socialist subsidies: Unreliable power/shoddy infrastructure

Gaddy russia before and after
Gaddy: Russia, Before and After

Soviet growth under extractive institutions

  • The Easy Part: Move resources from low productivity agriculture to higher productivity manufacturing

  • The Hard Part: Spur innovation/Creative Destruction

    • Perverse quotas and prices

      The Post-Soviet Virtual Economy

  • Loss-making manufacturing ought to shut down

    • Unemployment/Social discontent

  • Siberian industries and cities ought to be downsized

    • Extreme cold/high transport costs  uneconomical settlement

  • Primary producers/fictitious prices maintain the status quo

    • Oligarchs keep export earnings

    • Putin maintains power: A “protection racket”

  • Required subsidy grows with time

     Unsustainable Bear Trap

Reversal of fortune the fertile ukraine from breadbasket to bloodland

Reversal of Fortune: The Fertile UkraineFrom Breadbasket to Bloodland

Ukraine: central the Stalin and Hitler visions

1928: First Five-Year Plan...Accumulate surplus value

Collectivize agriculture: War for Grain

Crops the property of the Soviet State

Liquidate the kulak class

Decision by a troika


Exile to forced labor: canals, mines, factories

Kazakhstan, Urals, Siberia

Remain to farm...to starve

The Toll: 2 ½ million “missing” in Ukraine census

7 million “missing” in Soviet census

Kimenyi can contract teacher results be scaled up
Kimenyi: Can Contract Teacher Results be Scaled Up?

  • In randomized experiment implemented by NGOs, low-paid “contract teachers” performed better than higher paid civil service teachers in Western Kenya.

  • But can the result be scaled up, i.e., when implemented on large-scale by government agencies?

  • Another randomized experiment performed: half the contract teachers working for NGOs, half for government agencies.

    • Government hired somewhat more “qualified” contract teachers

    • Government hires more likely related to someone in system

  • Other things equal, only NGO contract teachers performed better than civil service teachers

    • Payroll delays significantly affected performance/Paym’t by gov’t more delayed

  • Kimenyi concludes: Don’t leave education reform to government

  • Alternative conclusion: Clean up the payroll system and public education will do fine

    • Equal fractions of NGO and gov’t teachers did well enough to be hired full time