World Economics

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Quant Bust 2020
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Zura Kakushadze, World Economics, June 2020
We explain in a nontechnical fashion why dollar-neutral quant trading strategies (e.g. statistical arbitrage) suffered substantial losses (drawdowns) during the COVID-19 market sell-off. We discuss: (i) why such strategies work during “normal” times; (ii) the market regimes when they work best; and (iii) their limitations and why they “break” during extreme market events. An accompanying appendix (with a link to freely accessible source code) includes back-tests for various strategies, which put flesh on and illustrate the discussion in the main text.
On Measuring Hyperinflation
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Steve H. Hanke & Charles Bushnell, World Economics, September 2017
Venezuela now exhibits the 57th historic episode of hyperinflation as measured in the Hanke–Krus World Hyperinflation Table. Entry to the hyperinflation dataset depends on three qualifying criteria: inflation rates greater than 50% per month; the persistence of this rate for at least 30 consecutive days; and full documentation so that inflation estimates are replicable. This paper measures Venezuela’s hyperinflation by transforming changes in the US dollar–Venezuelan bolivar exchange rate into implied inflation rates using the purchasing power parity doctrine. The purchasing power parity method is accurate during periods of hyperinflation. Venezuela’s hyperinflation peaked with a monthly inflation rate of 219.7% on 30 November 2016.
GDP figures: How the Financial Times gets it wrong
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David Henderson, World Economics,
Dollar market exchange rates are erroneously used by many publications to make cross-country comparisons of GDP. Exchange rates underestimate the relative size of developing economies and provide misleading estimates of important economic ratios such as energy intensity figures. The United Nations System of National Accounts recommend the use of Purchasing Power Parity converters which account for cross-country differences in price levels.
International Comparisons of GDP
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Elio Lancieri, World Economics, September 2008
The recent publication by the World Bank of PPP-GDP estimates for 2005, referred to 146 countries, seems a good occasion to reopen the long-standing debate on the use of Purchasing Power Parities. While theoretical speculations on the subject have continued, no estimates were supplied for more than a decade. The author’s alternative method for GDP estimation is based on inflationadjusted long-term exchange rates, where real GDP estimates are obtained through simultaneous equations. He describes the method in the light of his experience and compares its results for 100 countries with both ICP estimates and GDPs at exchange rates.
Measuring Global Poverty Right
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M. G. Quibria, World Economics, December 2005
The international community is committed to millennium development goals which postulate a vision of global development that makes eliminating poverty and sustaining development the overriding objective of global development efforts. In the hierarchy of the MDGs, the first and foremost goal is to reduce by half, between 1990–2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than a dollar a day (a widely used yardstick to measure extreme poverty). However, estimating such poverty across developing countries and globally is by no means a simple exercise nor has it yielded unambiguous results. This article provides a brief summary of the state of the art in global poverty estimates, including the problems as well as the possible solutions.
Re-thinking Economic Progress
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Giles Atkinson, World Economics, March 2000
Most national governments have pledged a commitment to sustainable development. The transformation of these pledges into policy is a formidable challenge. Of particular interest are proposals for the construction of green alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which it is hoped will provide policy-makers with a consistent and summary signal of "true" trends in the economy both now and into the future. This paper reviews the green accounting debate over the past decade. the author argues that, while initial expectations have, at times, been overstated, there are encouraging signs for policy-makers attempting to make sense of their commitments to sustainable development. One such indication is the increasing emphasis on improved measures of saving, providing a better link between actions in the present and their implications for the future.

Displaying: 1-6 of 6