Political Economy

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    There’s no such thing as an “optimal” size of the state

There’s no such thing as an “optimal” size of the state

“Unsustainable” is how the Chancellor described the size of the state in Britain in the latest Spending Review and Autumn Statement. A similar description was given by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel about government spending in the European Union, notably on welfare.

But, actually, there isn’t an “optimal” size for the state. Looking around the world, government spending as a […]

When the business community unites as a lobbying force

The capacity to build alliances with other firms and to stymie the competition from rival groups is a key aspect of business activity. However, the competition across different groups is not limited to the marketplace. It often extends to the political arena. Business activity is the target of many contemporary regulatory policy efforts. The reverse is also true: firms frequently […]

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    As the world economy slumps, African countries embrace intra-regional trade

As the world economy slumps, African countries embrace intra-regional trade

By and large, the world is caught in a phase of global economic transition: the possibility of the US and Europe exiting the zero-interest-rate terrain lurks in the horizon, despite seeming remote in the recent past; in China, the government is attempting to rebalance growth from over-reliance on exports as aggregate growth moderates toward the 6-to-7 percent band in […]

China has an image problem in Africa

China is swiftly becoming one of the world’s largest investors, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the biggest investments made in Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa and Angola. In 2012 China was estimated to have a total stock of $531 billion in investments abroad, with four percent of it — $22 billion — in Africa. A small sum at first glance, […]

Britain needs Europe a lot more than Europe needs Britain

The option of Britain leaving the European Union sounds superficially attractive. Who doesn’t like the idea of freedom and independence? But it isn’t as simple. In fact, Britain needs Europe a lot more than Europe needs Britain. Isolation is costly.

Look at international trade. The British economy is heavily exposed to the European Union. The EU is by a mile […]

China’s Challenges – Book Review

China’s Challenges. Jacques deLisle and Avery Goldstein (eds). University of Pennsylvania Press. 2015.

China is facing a number of daunting and complex challenges. The extraordinary pace of economic development experienced over the last thirty years has fundamentally transformed Chinese society, altering the distribution of wealth, relations between citizens, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the state as well as the […]

A positive international image helps countries export more

Do countries do well by doing good? More precisely, does a country admired by others reap any benefit? My research indicates that the answers to these questions is “yes” and “yes”. I have taken advantage of a quantitative measure of soft power to show that a country sells more exports to nations that perceive it to be a force for good, holding […]

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    TPP may benefit both global businesses and the developing countries where they operate

TPP may benefit both global businesses and the developing countries where they operate

Posted September/2015
At times, negotiations have been close to failing in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the free trade area (FTA) being negotiated by 12 countries in the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific. These difficulties can be explained by two main factors. First, countries involved (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam) are […]