Ronan Lyons | Personal Website
Ronan Lyons | Personal Website

World Economy

Nine million jobs – the cost of inaction on the global debt crisis

The Nobel Prize in Economics, awarded yesterday, highlighted the important role of expectations. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook has given the world an important barometer of expectations about the economic climate and how they change over time. This post uses IMF figures to estimate how many jobs will be lost over the period 2011-2015 in the Eurozone, the USA and in the rest of the developed world, due to politicians’ inaction on the debt crisis over the last twelve months alone. Read more

Can the eurozone survive? Insights from the dollar-zone

With its future and survival increasingly topics of discussion, this post looks at the eurozone and two key questions. Firstly, are the eurozone’s member states too different to share a currency? Secondly, if the euro is to survive, will it need tax harmonisation and a big increase in federal spending? It answers these questions by comparing the eurozone and its members to the U.S. economy and its States. Read more

A lot done, more to do – prices in the eurozone and Ireland’s competitive adjustment

The EU has released its latest consumer price survey, which found prices in Ireland are about 18% above the EU average – although that varies by sector, with clothes and footwear below average and food (and alcohol) significantly more expensive. This post tracks European countries’ changing competitiveness over time, with Ireland’s readjustment sizeable but not yet complete. Indeed a contrast with Iceland and the UK highlights the stark difference between countries that are forced to devalue and those than cannot. Read more

The tuition fees debate: a debt-for-equity suggestion

The tuition fees debate in England and Wales shows no signs of cooling down. Opponents of the new scheme ignore the unfairness of the current system, while proponents ignore debt aversion on the part of students. Drawing on an innovative Colombian social enterprise that offers human capital contracts, this post makes the case for a type of “debt-for-equity” swap, where instead of debt, the UK government should take an equity stake in its graduates. Read more

The balance of economic power in 2050 – spot the odd ones out

With talk of a change in the global economic pecking order, particularly around the new IMF chief, this post takes a long look at the world economy. It contrasts the current shares of world output with those of five hundred and two thousand years ago. The lessons of history – and the weight of maths – hold valuable lessons for Europe, as it seeks to find a new role in the world economy. Read more

Back to basics: can Europe trade its way out of trouble?

This post reviews the most recent IMF World Economic Outlook, the benchmark outlook on the global economy. A three-tier world economy is emerging, with China and India leading the way, and advanced economies bringing up the rear. For countries with high debt and shrinking and ageing populations, export growth is the key. Looking at the last few and next few years in Europe, a gap has emerged between leading exporters, such as Germany & Ireland, and straggling exporters, predominantly in the Mediterranean. Read more