Published on Let's Talk Development

The big economic view, Brazil, the utility of economists, slow trade, and consumption floors

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Following a disappointing 2014, developing countries should see an uptick in growth this year, according to the latest Global Economic Prospects report. But low oil prices and a stronger US economy will not be enough to counter renewed bouts of financial market volatility and worries about diverging monetary policies across major central banks. On top of that, measures are needed to recover fiscal space in developing countries.

Otaviano Canuto, Cornelius Fleischhaker and Philip Schellekens discuss the cost of Brazil’s closed economy on the FT’s Beyond Brics blog.

In 'What Good Are Economists?' Nobel Laureate Robert Schiller argues that 'most economists devote their efforts to issues far removed from establishing a consensus outlook for the stock market or the unemployment rate. And we should be grateful that they do.'

Summarized in Finance & Development magazine, a new working paper by Cristina Constantinescu, Aaditya Mattoo, and Michele Ruta  suggests that global trade is growing slowly because of a structural change in the trade-gross domestic product relationship in recent years.

Martin Ravallion discusses the concept of a 'consumption floor' in a paper titled 'Are the World's Poorest Being Left Behind?' Ravallion argues in favor of an  explicit weight on success at increasing the typical level of living of the poorest.

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