Political Economy

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Diane Coyle

The economy’s character -- and what citizens value -- is changing, and that the way we measure the economy will have to keep up. In particular, economists will have to grapple with three issues: complexity, driven by innovation; the increasing share in advanced economies of intangibles, such as online activities with no price; and sustainability.

Yuri Takhteyev and Mariana Mota Prado

Bitcoin presents regulating agencies with difficult questions: Should they try to control it? Can they? If that sounds familiar, it should. The world faced these same questions in the early days of the Internet. Whether Bitcoin is more like AOL or Google, of course, is yet to be seen. Still, how governments choose to respond to it could change global finance for good.

Matt Mossman

For the world’s mining industry, the past few years have been turbulent. But those Wild West days might be coming to an end.

Response, Jan/Feb 2014
Richard Katz
Evan A. Feigenbaum and Damien Ma

In its recent round of reforms, China replaced the word "basic" with "decisive" to describe the role of markets in China's economy. Although this is a substantial breakthrough, it would be a mistake to think that it is conclusive: to make the market decisive, the state must also retreat.

Comment, Jan/Feb 2014
Thitinan Pongsudhirak

The Southeast Asian countries that line the Mekong River -- Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam, along with China’s southern Yunnan Province -- are finally fending for themselves, and then some. As trade barriers fall and borders open up, the region’s growth depends on an improving transportation network and overdue political reforms.

Comment, Jan/Feb 2014
Ruchir Sharma

During the recent emerging market boom, forecasters assumed that trends would continue indefinitely, ignoring the cyclical nature of both political and economic development. Euphoria overcame sound judgment -- a process that has doomed economic forecasting for as long as experts have been doing it.

Essay, Jan/Feb 2014
David M. Lampton

The cliché that China has experienced economic reform but not political reform since the beginning of the Deng Xiaoping era obscures some important truths: China’s leaders have become weaker, its society has fractured, and its people have grown more empowered.

Interview, Jan/Feb 2014
Enrique Peña Nieto

The president of Mexico speaks with Foreign Affairs about his country’s economy, his term to date, and his plans for the future.

Gregory Zuckerman

It was 2002, and the race to find natural gas in the United States was on. One contender, Charif Souki, was a rank outsider to the oil patch. He hadn’t taken a single geology or engineering course -- or even worked a day in an oil or gas field. But he had an audacious plan.

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