Vox's Global Crisis Debate

Vox has launched a Global Crisis Debate forum in coordination with the UK government to let economists across the globe debate what should be done. The debate on international trade and open markets is moderated by Richard Baldwin, and the debate on development and the crisis is moderated by Dani Rodrik. Some snippets:

Simon Evenett is skeptical that a new surveillance mechanism or a declared standstill on protectionist measures would have any bite.

Marc Auboin surveys how quickly trade financing is drying up and what governments might do to intervene effectively – fows of trade finance to developing countries seem to have fallen by some 6% or more year-on-year.

Dani Rodrik says that the crisis is also an opportunity for developing countries, as they have a chance to gain “a much bigger say in the institutions that govern economic globalisation.” He’s pushing for counter-cyclical capital-account management, cracking down on tax evasion, a Tobin tax, and WTO guarantees for “policy space.”

As usual, Rodrik has drawn a number of replies. Nancy Birdsall says developing countries haven’t put themselves in the position to make such reforms. Yung Chul Park and José Antonio Ocampo largely agree with Rodrik. I am sure that those who disagree will make their appearance soon, however.

Finally, AEI’s Philip Levy outlines political reasons to be unhappy about “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus package – he thinks that it’ll provoke a backlash that starts a procurement war, which will only hurt the US.

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