Trade in the real world — Jared Bernstein and Simon Johnson

MIT Sloan Prof. Simon Johnson

MIT Sloan Prof. Simon Johnson

From The Washington Post

Supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement under negotiation between the United States and 11 other countries, make this case: Trade between countries is always good, and more trade with more countries is even better. Harvard economist Greg Mankiw goes further in a recent New York Times piece, arguing that anyone opposed to trade deals does not understand elementary economics.

The arguments made by these advocates do not match the reality of the modern world and are not helpful for thinking about what is at stake in the TPP. It’s not a question of understanding economics. It’s a question of knowing precisely what we’re agreeing to when we sign the TPP.

In the simple models of introductory textbooks, countries improve their respective economic outcomes by specializing in their “comparative advantage” — the goods they produce more efficiently than their trade partners — thereby increasing the supply of goods and lowering prices. No government subsidy is involved, nobody cheats, everyone is well-informed about the nature of the deal, and pretty much all parties come out ahead. If anyone loses their job, in those models either they get another good job or they can be fairly compensated by the people who gain extra income.

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The end of China’s growth model — Yasheng Huang

MIT Sloan Prof. Yasheng Huang

MIT Sloan Prof. Yasheng Huang

From The Boston Globe

Stock markets continue to respond strongly to China’s economic woes, fearing a crippling slowdown since China suddenly devalued its currency two weeks ago — a move widely interpreted as a desperate attempt to support growth.

But Chinese growth in the future will be limited until the government makes fairly substantive structural reforms.

China’s growth model is one in which the role of the state in the economy has become more intrusive. For years, many US observers hailed China’s government-led and investment-heavy model as a pillar of strength. Their favorite comparison is between the spunky new airports in Beijing and Shanghai and the supposedly dilapidated New York JFK and Los Angeles airports. While comparison has an element of convenience to it — you have to depart from a US airport and arrive at a Chinese airport when you visit China — the “airportology’’ is flawed, because it doesn’t take into account that China has clearly overbuilt, and at a considerable cost to its middle class.

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To remain a superpower, the US must become inclusive and generous — Gita Rao

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer  Gita Rao

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Gita Rao

From Quartz 

In his new book, Superpower, Eurasia Group’s Ian Bremmer suggests three strategic options for America to remain a global superpower. But while many lawmakers appear to be taking his preferred option of an “Independent America” to heart, we believe it’s the wrong choice. In fact, Bremmer leaves out a fourth approach that we feel is the best strategy for America to win not only on the current global chessboard, but on the next one as well.

With the US reluctantly being drawn back into putting out fires in the Middle East, warily watching Russian aggression, facing a stop-and-start “Asia pivot,” and on the sidelines the Greek crisis unfolds or Chinese stock markets go through turmoil, reviewing these options is timely for President Obama; they may be even more important for his successor.

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MIT Conference on the digital economy, London post-show — Aliza Blachman O’Keeffe

Aliza Blackman O'Keeffe, MIT Sloan MBA '90

Aliza Blackman O’Keeffe, MIT Sloan MBA ’90

MIT Sloan alumna Aliza Blachman O’Keeffe, SM ’90, and chair of the alumni board, sits down with Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman from theCube for the live post-show to the MIT Conference on the Digital Economy: The Second Machine Age. O’Keeffe discusses the purpose of the MIT Sloan Alumni Board and how its members are using technology and innovation to reach a global alumni base.

MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/ide/
MIT Sloan Alumni Board: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/alumni/get-in…

On April 10, 2015, the MIT Digital Economy Conference: The Second Machine Age, led by Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy, and Andrew McAfee, co-director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy, featured a series of discussions that highlight MIT’s role in both understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world.

Aliza Blachman O’Keeffe, MBA ’90, is chair of the alumni board.

MIT Conference on the digital economy, London post-show — Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

MIT Sloan’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee speak with Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman from theCube for the live post-show to the MIT Conference on the Digital Economy: The Second Machine Age to wrap up the themes from the day, the takeaways, and the questions that still need to be answered.

MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/ide/

On April 10, 2015, the MIT Digital Economy Conference: The Second Machine Age, led by Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy, and Andrew McAfee, co-director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy, featured a series of discussions that highlight MIT’s role in both understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world.

Erik Brynjolfsson is the Schussel Family Professor of Management Science, a Professor of Information Technology, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business at the MIT Sloan School of Management. 

Andrew McAfee is a principal research scientist at the MIT Center for Digital Business.