Managing the Revenue From Natural Resources: What’s a Finance Minister to Do?

By Sanjeev Gupta and Enrique Flores: The Finance Minister answers her mobile. On the line is the Minister of Energy, who informs her that the country has struck oil and that he expects revenues from its sale to start flowing into the budget in the coming four years. While excited by the prospects of higher revenues—indeed the average […]

Venezuelan Crisis Worsens: Water Twice as Expensive as Gasoline

Due to years of underinvestment in the water processing system, and a rich abundance of crude oil, water in Venezuela is now twice as expensive as gasoline. Residents in Caracas have become wary of tap water after it was discovered that Lake Mariposa, a reservoir that supplies tap water to 750,000 Venezuelans, has become seriously contaminated due […]

Some Economic Implications of Global Climate Change

Each time I post something on the environment, a number of readers admonish me to get back to economics. Well, it’s been obvious to many observers that the two are interlinked. Consider one graph from NOAA, and two others from Economic Benefits of Increasing Electric Grid Resilience to Weather Outages, a joint CEA and DOE report, […]

It’s Been a Hot July …

… As noted by NBC News, but it’s absolutely, positively, definitely got nothing to do with global climate change (!!!). Here is a longer term depiction of rising temperatures. Source: NOAAAnd that’s just data for May. Given the duration of the high temperatures, I’m guessing July average temperatures will be above norm. For those unable to detect […]

Sustaining African-Chinese Cooperation

An abbreviated version of the author’s “Sustaining African-Chinese Cooperation,” BusinessDay Nigeria, March 25, 2013 Ever since the Bandung Conference in 1955, China and several nations in Africa have had a special relationship. The Afro-Asian meeting was one of the first steps toward the anti-colonial Non-Aligned Movement, which Indonesia’s first president Sukarno named the “newly emerging […]

Environmental Issues that Could De-Rail the Natural Gas Boom

There are two key environmental issues that have the most likelihood of slowing the natural gas boom or, perhaps, redirecting its trajectory: fracking chemicals and fracking water usage. Fracking chemicals: what the frack? Inflamed by dramatic scenes like tap water catching on fire, worries over the effect of fracking on the quality of groundwater have […]

Climate Change: Get Ready to Adapt!

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s recent Washington Post op-ed “Make Climate Change a Priority” warned that “global warming imperils all of the development gains we have made”.  Jim Kim drew on a recent World Bank report that points to the possibility for global temperatures to rise by 4 degrees Celsius or more by the […]

Australia’s Economic Outlook—The Nauru Option?

The Micronesian island of Nauru is prominent in Australian consciousness. As part of the Pacific Solution, Australia pays Nauru to “process” refugees pending determination of their immigration status. But Australia’s economic future may also parallel that of Nauru. In the 1960s and 1970s, Nauru boasted the highest per capita income in the world. Its wealth was […]