For 200 years, there have been two schools of thought about what determines the distribution of income -- and how the economy functions. It is important to understand both, because our views about government policies and existing inequalities are shaped by which of the two schools of thought one believes provides a better description of reality.
Developing countries are bracing for a major slowdown this year. According to a UN report, their growth averaged only 3.8 percent in 2015 -- the lowest rate since the global financial crisis in 2009 and matched in this century only by the recessionary year of 2001. And what is important to bear in mind is that the slowdown in China and the deep recessions in the Russian Federation and Brazil only explain part of the broad falloff in growth.
BEIJING -- The coming crash of the Chinese economy has reemerged as a popular view in the global media. The reason for such a prediction this time is the persistent deceleration of China's growth after 2010. The growth rate dropped from 10.6 percent in 2010 to 7.3 percent in 2014 and further down to 6.9 percent in 2015, which is the lowest record in 25 years. It is the first time that China has experienced such an extended period of deceleration after the transition to a market economy in 1979.
What is now happening is that people are selling off Chinese assets and investing instead in (primarily) American assets -- including stocks but especially real estate. As momentum in these flows builds up, China faces the prospect of full-on meltdowns in its stock and real estate markets, just as occurred here in the U.S. in the late 1920s and post-2008 -- only worse.
The only cure for the world's malaise is an increase in aggregate demand. Far-reaching redistribution of income would help, as would deep reform of our financial system -- not just to prevent it from imposing harm on the rest of us, but also to get banks and other financial institutions to do what they are supposed to do: match long-term savings to long-term investment needs.
BEIJING -- The last round of scientific, technological and industrial revolution has lost its momentum. China is expected to illustrate to the world that global economic growth needs to be based in innovation to identify new engines and driving forces such as new technology, "Internet plus," new products and new sources of energy.
SINGAPORE -- This summer, for the first time, financial turmoil in China created turbulence around the world and even hit New York. This was an historic event and is a portent of things to come. Yes, China fumbled. It could have avoided certain obvious mistakes which many saw coming, but the Chinese will learn from it. What the episode shows is how the relative weights are shifting in the world way beyond just trade.
BERLIN -- The New Silk Road Initiative will not only result in an enormous surge in growth for China. With "One Belt, One Road," President Xi Jinping is launching one of the largest development projects in history and offers new perspectives to countries such as Uzbekistan and Tajikistan threatened by terrorism.
BERLIN -- Great crises often produce enduring images. For the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this has often been a terrified child cowering behind protective parents; for 9/11 it was brave firemen rushing headlong into collapsing buildings. Last month saw what could become one of the lasting images of Europe's unending crisis: the sight of burning cars and buildings after riots outside the European Central Bank.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- I have seen how Rwanda made investing in social progress -- including gender equity, a 61 percent reduction in child mortality in a single decade, and 95 percent primary school enrollment -- integral to its economic development strategy. Rwanda's positive economic performance would not have been possible without improvement in these and other dimensions of social progress.