This economy stuff is hard says Barbie

This economic interdependence necessitates all parts working in harmony. Unfortunately, the pandemic is asynchronous – it hits countries at different times with different rates of growth and severity. While China is reopening, India and the US are shuttering. If portions of Chinese production require unavailable intermediate goods from India or the US, such production won’t be possible. Even if China can produce items for export, if their normal buyers in the US are closed, who will they sell to? And what happens when China – still lacking herd immunity – needs to close its economy again right when India or the US are looking to reopen and use Chinese inputs?

The staggered nature of the virus outbreak coupled with worldwide production presents a remarkable – and quite possibly insurmountable – global coordination problem.

If only we had a science that discussed coordination problems. Ones that weren’t solvable by planning, the human mind directed? Perhaps one where this specific nugget of difficulty had been discussed, solved even?

Wouldn’t that be useful?

Dr Nick Obradovich is a PhD political and data scientist who trained at UCSD, the Harvard Kennedy School, and the MIT Media Lab. He is currently senior research scientist at the Max Planck Institute of Human Development in the center for humans & machines. Dr Renee C Wurth is a PhD population health scientist who trained at Northeastern and the H Chan school of public health at Harvard University

Even might we not hope that people who would tell us how to run the world were aware that the problem had been solved?

5 thoughts on “This economy stuff is hard says Barbie”

  1. Doesn’t matter–if this shite doesn’t stop soon there will be nothing to try and restore.

    Passed ASDA–the fuckwits are letting folk in in groups of 40 at a time only. So mugs queuing 2.2 yards apart twice around the car park. 4? hrs queuing for you crunchy nut cornflakes.

    Once the mob realises that they have been double-fucked and lost their jobs, businesses , money and all over a badd–ish flu year they will be screaming for blood. Those scum who were all over it and denouncing lock-breakers will be screaming the loudest.

    Esp the scum of Bluelabour who will instantly forget that they wanted to do even more.

    Blojo has had his chips over this foolery. Whatever kind of PM he might have been is now academic.

  2. ‘This economic interdependence necessitates all parts working in harmony.’

    Seriously wrong. Free markets adjust. Central control fails – people die.

    But good to see Guardian is learning some economics.

  3. Isn’t this actually more a case of the Guardian failing yet again to learn economics? It’s akin to watching Capt Potato failing to invent economics from the bottom up

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