This has got to be one of the best interviews on the discipline of economics that I’ve read in a while, and its with none other than Dani Rodrik – a trailblazer in empirical economics and author of the new book ‘Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science‘. My favourite bit from the […]
There’s a new McKinsey Global Institute commentary piece titled ‘Inclusive cities are productive cities’ that argues that inclusiveness (including openness to migrants) is important to maximise the productivity gains of urbanisation. This has important ideas for Sri Lanka’s own urbanisation process via the Western Region Megapolis Project. In a previous article on this blog, I highlighted that […] ...
I tend to be far too alliteration happy sometimes, and it’s probably a good thing I didn’t title my speech as I did this blog post. But it was exactly my message to the industry leaders of the Women in Logistics and Transport forum during a keynote address at their Annual General Meeting last week […]
Sounds like a silly question right? But a new paper by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) on ‘Robotics, innovation and intellectual property’ argues that it is one of the fundamental questions thrown up by the emergence of robotics innovation. As the paper notes, A question that cannot yet be considered settled law in any nation, but for […]
It is always encouraging to hear government officials get excited about reengineering their own processes to become more ‘client-friendly’. This was exactly the feel at yesterday’s Ceylon Chamber Economic Intelligence Unit seminar on the new Inland Revenue Department electronic tax system called ‘RAMIS’ (Revenue Administration Management Information System). At the event, IRD announced that online tax payment […] ...
This article was originally published in the Daily FT of 16th February 2016 — At a time when countries around the world are facing challenging circumstances around wealth creation through productive employment, the latest edition of the UNDP’s Human Development Report (2016), anchored to the theme of ‘Work for Human Development’, is timely. Interestingly, this […]
At the recent launch of the UNDP’s Human Development Report 2016, I spoke on the role that technology is playing in the ‘changing world of work’. Aside from my remarks on the changes brought on in the technology-jobs paradigm specifically, I started with a conceptual issue that economists need to grapple with. Technological advancements are […]
This article originally appears in the Daily FT of 3rd February 2016. The world economy is seeing an unprecedented fall in global oil prices, now hovering at around US$ 30 per barrel – levels not seen since 2003. So far this year oil prices have fallen more than 25%. In 2015, oil prices fell […]
Each time I make a presentation or give a talk on the health of the world economy and implications for Sri Lanka, I pause a bit on the Europe section to go beyond the immediate data on prospects for the forthcoming year to talk a little about a more medium to long-term issue that often gets missed. […]
It’s New Years’ Eve. You’ve had a blast and you’ve partied till the wee hours of the new year. But the time comes to figure out how to get home. Most likely you’re going to order a taxi. But, along with hundreds of others. For the first time on NYE in Colombo, you might be […]
“2015 was one of the worst years in the century”, remarked Prof. Joseph Stiglitz at the recent Sri Lanka Economic Forum when I asked him for his take on the health of the global economy. He may sound more bleak than a lot of people, but he isn’t far off the reality. The global economy is […]
Al Jazeera has been keen to run a story on Sri Lanka’s recent policy shifts reading to foreign land ownership. I first flagged it back in 2014, when the government introduced highly restrictive laws that were poorly designed, had serious loopholes, and hurts our FDI attractiveness. This week, Al Jazeera featured Sri Lanka in its […]
Following my first ‘Speakonomics’ on Game Theory a few months ago, this second one unpacks a phrase heard frequently this week – the ‘Fed’s Dot Plot’. I was asked by someone last evening, after a forum on the economy, “what is this dot plot?”. The ‘Dot Plot’ is something that features in the Federal Open […]
One of the mainstays of the Sri Lankan economy is in trouble. Despite over 100 years of history, despite being world’s largest supplier of orthodox tea and the largest exporter of value added tea by a tea growing country, Sri Lankan tea is facing a bleak future. Although the country boasts some world-class tea companies, over the […]
“In an increasingly volatile world, flexibility in government policy is essential” argued Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the respected Indian economist and former World Banker, at an event in Colombo yesterday. That was my main takeaway from his one-hour long tour de force on undertaking economic policy reforms in a country. He argued that flexibility in policymaking […]
New numbers from China are worrying. Exports have fallen again in November, for the 5th consecutive month. Producer prices (a broad proxy for industrial activity and capacity) keeps falling – now in the 45th consecutive month. Growth in fiscal revenue has also slowed, another indicator of reduced economic activity. New data on local government ‘land […]
If there’s one sector that is always a singular beneficiary in times of war it is surely the weapons and armaments industry. According to this article, stock prices of the world’s leading arms manufacturers have soared after the Paris attacks. Check out this stock chart I pulled up, showing BAE Systems rise since the Paris […]
Sri Lanka’s large private sector is truly only a small part of the number of firms in the country. But they contribute over one-fourth of total employment. Meanwhile, although we earlier thought that over 90% was Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), the Economic Census reveals that over 93% of firms are in fact micro in […]
නිතරම ඇහෙන්න ලැබෙනවා ඇතම් පාර්ශවයන් “ආනයන අඩු කල යුතුයි!”, නතහොත් “අපනයන වැඩි කර ආනයන අඩු කරමු!” යනාදී වශයෙන් පැවසීම. මේවා වැරදි තර්ක. ආනයන සහ අපනයන හරියට නිවුන් සහොදරයො හා සමානයි. එකම කාසියෙ පෑති දෙකක්. ලොව පුරාම දැන් පැතිරෙන නිපයුම් ජාලයන්හි සාර්ථකත්වය රැන්දී පවතිනේ ආනයන සහ අපනයන එකට ක්රියාකරන නිසා. ඈසියවේ බොහො රටවල් මේ නිශ්පාදන ජාල […] ...
The notion that overall ‘curbing of imports’ is a desirable economic policy objective to be pursued is a fallacy. And it must not be propagated.