• Balasubramanyam Pattath

Global Economy in 2019: What to Expect?

The year ahead looks intriguing, as the miasma of populism, jittery markets, trade wars and angst move alongside the renewed vigour of intelligent technology, lunar expeditions and self-identification. At the same time, we celebrate a year into this promising and vibrant publication. This article both ponders on the year ahead and leaves you with an economics reading list for 2019.

As America’s longest uninterrupted expansion ends and chances of a recession soar, China will also experience slowing down while India’s growth rate will accelerate. While much is being said of the promised ‘demographic dividend’, little has been done to understand the role of international migration for employment as an interacting factor with the youth bulge. It will be interesting to see how aspirational economies, which are highly correlated with the poorer but younger economies, cope internally with the leaving youth demographic and ride the wave of economic prosperity; either short-lived, through remittances or, more sustainably through structural nation-building.

The same countries will also hold national elections- particularly, India, Nigeria, and Indonesia. This will also send signals relevant to minority and immigrant populations that are constantly buffeted by the populist sandstorm, and affect whether and how they vote with their feet. As BREXIT gets confusing, other prospect-theory resultants like President Donald Trump will face certain shocks in the form of increased checks and balances following the recent diffusion of bipartisan power.

Finally, gender self-ID, civil partnerships, veganism and social movements will continue to get amplified by the internet, in a climate where even big corporations are required to stay abreast i.e. be ‘woke’ to the changes (just like this sentence). 2019 promises to be entertaining. Yet, here are a few books to keep you entertained.

  1. Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. By Eric Posner and E. Glen Weyl. Princeton University Press

  2. Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World. By Adam Tooze. Viking

  3. Gigged: the Gig Economy, the End of the Job and the Future of Work, by Sarah Kessler, Random House Business

  4. Adam Smith: What He Thought, and Why it Matters, by Jesse Norman, Allen Lane

  5. The Republic of Beliefs by Kaushik Basu

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Article has been updated for accuracy.

About The Author

Balasubramanyam Pattath is a Research Associate at the Indian Indian School of Business (ISB). He holds a Masters in Development Studies, from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland. Originally from Kerala, India, Balu has a Bachelor in Economics from the University of Delhi. His interests and past work concern migration, demography, labour and, employment. He has served as the co-chief editor of the Hans Raj college Economics journal in 2014-15. He has also published several papers on the intersection of AI with manufacturing and education in peer-reviewed journals. During his undergraduate studies, Balu was an active quizzer and respected quizmaster.

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