13 Items

Cars pass by a billboard advertising COP28 at Sheikh Zayed highway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. Representatives will gather at Expo City in Dubai, UAE, Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 for the 28th U.N. Climate Change Conference, known as COP28.

(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Analysis & Opinions - Barron's

A New Era of Geopolitics Will Challenge Climate Plans

| Nov. 27, 2023

The 2023 United Nations’ Climate Change Conference is convening in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this week. COP28, as it is called, will put the issue of climate change at the center stage of the global debate. Yet the war in Gaza and its consequences are stark reminders that the most urgent challenge facing humanity is the preservation of global peace and security. A pecking order for the 21st century should thus bring back peace building as well as poverty reduction at the top of the policy agenda. Climate action cannot be at the expense of letting wars and poverty fester.

U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry, left, is welcomed by French Secretary of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships Chrysoula Zacharopoulou at the New Global Financial summit in Paris, June 22, 2023. The aim of a two-day climate and finance summit in Paris that ends Friday, June 23, was to set up concrete measures to help poor and developing countries better tackle issues like poverty and climate change.

(Ludovic Marin/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Analysis & Opinions

How Global Development Can Shift to Finance Uber-Resilience

| Nov. 21, 2023

The global economy has been buffeted by a series of shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and climate events. These have disproportionately affected low-income countries, reversing earlier gains in poverty reduction and exacerbating existing structural deficiencies. The development architecture, with its focus on emergency funding and interventions, has proven inadequate in addressing the recurring and intensifying shocks faced by low-income countries. A shift toward uber-resilience, defined as building back a stronger capacity to anticipate, prepare for, and respond effectively to shocks, while also seizing opportunities for growth and development, is needed.

Smoke rises from town of Khan Younis after Israeli strikes on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023.

(AP Photo/Mohammed Dahman)

Analysis & Opinions - Barron's

A Cease-Fire in Gaza Is the Only Path to Peace in the Middle East

| Nov. 03, 2023

The shocking and unprecedented attack by Hamas on southern Israel caught the technologically advanced Israeli army and security forces by surprise. Hamas’s initial assault killed more than 1,400 Israelis, and thousands of Palestinians have been killed as Israel has retaliated in Gaza. Israel has said hundreds of hostages are being held in Gaza. In addition to the fighting, Gaza’s besieged population is facing growing starvation as Israel has closed the border to virtually all supplies aside from a few humanitarian shipments. The Gazan population has been forced to evacuate toward the south of the strip under the threat of a ground invasion by the Israeli army. 

From left, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Joe Biden, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, European Council President Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz walk to get into place to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park as part of the G7 Hiroshima Summit in Hiroshima, May 19, 2023.

(Kenny Holston/Pool Photo via AP)

Analysis & Opinions - Barron's

Climate Policies Are Becoming a Casualty of High Oil Prices

| Oct. 18, 2023

Oil prices have been persistently high over the past two years , at times breaking above $120 a barrel. According to economic theory, that should be good news for climate change. But the political reality is more complicated. Climate policies are increasingly the casualties of high oil prices.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva accompanied by International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) chair Spain's Economy Minister Nadia Calvino speaks at a news conference, during the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters in Washington, Friday, April 14, 2023.

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Analysis & Opinions - Politico

Grand bargain for Bretton Woods

| Sep. 12, 2023

The Bretton Woods system arose out of the ashes of World War II. Emerging from the famous Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, the agreement set out rules and institutions to govern the modern monetary system, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and what is now known as the World Bank Group — two institutions that have become mainstays of the global system of economic governance.

Aerial view of the Noor 3 solar power station which is nearing completion, near Ouarzazate, southern Morocco, Saturday, April. 1, 2017. The king unveiled one of the world's biggest solar plants, taking advantage of the Sahara sunshine and a growing global push for renewable energy.

(AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

Analysis & Opinions - International Monetary Fund

North Africa's Hydrogen Mirage

| September 2023

Amid the global energy transition, investors are anxious to pour billions of dollars into many of these countries to turn the new fossil fuel finds into hydrogen. The element is the key feedstock for fuel cells, which use chemical reactions to generate electricity cleanly, with water as the main byproduct. Notwithstanding the considerable technological challenges ahead, demand for the gas in Europe and elsewhere is widely expected to surge as vehicles, factories, and other energy users seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For Southern Rim nations, however, this tantalizing opportunity for economic development risks turning into just another Sahara mirage. That’s because the hype surrounding hydrogen may continue to distract the regions’ leaders from addressing the tough domestic social issues that are behind the migration crisis. If the technology does become viable, revenue from hydrogen exports to Europe could just perpetuate rent-seeking behavior by political and economic elites at the expense of their own citizens.

Analysis & Opinions - Aljazeera

Not your grandfather’s cold war

| May 23, 2023

As tensions between China and the United States are escalating, there is much talk among scholars and commentators about a new Cold War between the two powers. US officials have also indicated that they are thinking of relations with Beijing in those terms. Yet, the situation in global politics and economy today is quite different from the post-World War II era, when the Soviet Union and the US faced off.

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf during a press conference during the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting being held in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

AP Photo/Amr Nabil

Paper - Middle East Initiative, Belfer Center

From #Hashtags to Legislation

  • Oussama Belmejdoub
  • Bilal Diab
  • Samira Kalla
  • Ha Nguyen
  • Abdulla Saif
  • Ivan Yotzov
| February 2023

Ownership of reforms by citizens is often presented as important for success. This paper explores media engagement and support for economic reforms in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries using text analysis techniques on publicly available sources. Results show that while reform efforts have intensified in recent years in the GCC, these efforts tend to focus on stronger rather than weaker policy areas, potentially limiting the growth-enhancing effect of reforms. Social media analysis using Twitter shows that the population’s support for reforms has been declining. The analysis of traditional
news media points to more engagement by international than by local media. However, sentiment from international media is less positive about economic reforms in the GCC. Sentiment in international media and social media matters, as evidenced by its positive and strong correlation with FDI inflows into the GCC.

Protesters chant slogans against the regime in Cairo, Egypt, early Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty


Contagious Protests

  • Simeon Djankov
  • Alou Adessé Dama
  • Ha Nguyen
| March 2021

This paper explores the spillover of protests across countries using data on nonviolent and spontaneous demonstrations for 200 countries from 2000 to 2020. Using an autoregressive spatial model, the analysis finds strong evidence of “contagious protests,” with a catalyzing role of social media. In particular, social media penetration in the source and destination of protests leads to protest spillovers between countries. There is evidence of parallel learning between streets of nations alongside the already documented learning between governments.  

Workers stand on a platform at a Saudi Aramco oil separator processing facility in Abqaiq, near Dammam, Sept. 20, 2019.

AP Photo/Amr Nabil


Reversal of Fortune for Political Incumbents after Oil Shocks

  • Simeon Djankov
  • Ha Nguyen
  • Ivan Yotzov
| March 2021

This paper explores the effect of oil shocks on electoral outcomes. Using a new polling and election data set for 207 elections across 50 democracies, the paper shows that oil price increases systematically lower the odds of reelection for incumbents. The analysis verifies that these shocks—which reduce consumption growth—are associated with worsening performance for incumbents in the runup to reelection and a reversal in the leaning of the political party in power post-election.