In a conversation with a reporter, I made comments about the Doing Business report that gave the impression that I suspected political manipulation or bias. This was not what I meant to say or thought I said. I have not seen any sign of manipulation of the numbers published in Doing Business report or in any other Bank report.
What I did want to say is something many of us in the Bank believe–that we could do a better job of explaining what our numbers mean.
In the production of the Doing Business report, we changed our methods for solid reasons. These changes were carefully considered. But when we implemented the changes, we could have explained more clearly why, for example, Chile’s ranking fell.
We already made DB 2018 easier to understand by sticking with the methods of DB 2017. To be more transparent, we have also published more the underlying data and more of the details behind the calculations.
There will, of course, always be room to explain ourselves more clearly. I’m sorry that in my attempt at promoting clarity, I myself was not clear.
As a follow up to the story in the Wall Street Journal (paywall), I’ve been delving into the details of the calculations behind the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings for Chile. I thought it would be helpful to illustrate what the rankings would be under an unchanging measure of the business climate.
Continue reading “Doing Business — Updated 1-16”
Because it is New Year’s Eve, I indulged in some Twitter. One exchange might be worth unscrambling from some others. Dani Rodrik triggered it with a post that offered this advice to non-economists:
Do not let math scare you; economists use math not because they are smart, but because they are not smart enough.
Continue reading “Clear and Precise Scientific Communication”
Someone from at the World Bank wrote to ask what I thought about the Nobel Prize for Dick Thaler. Here’s my reply:
I think it’s terrific that Dick got the prize. He deserves lots of credit for pushing forward the research agenda of behavior economics, and doing so with good cheer, despite the disdain it provoked from many quarters.
Continue reading “Congratulations to Dick Thaler on Winning the Nobel Prize!”
Well, I figured that we’d get to this point.
Since I joined the World Bank last fall, we’ve had a few internal conversations that involved what the diplomats would call “a full and frank exchange of views.”
Continue reading “Romer Slaughters Kittens”
For more that 20 years, October has been the time when the eager beavers in the university PR department get a little too excited as they drill in preparation for the possibility that I might receive a Nobel prize.
Continue reading “Nobel Noise”
In an interview I gave to a Swedish newspaper last week, I said that Sweden could consider new responses to the refugee crisis.
Continue reading “Possible Responses to the Refugee Crisis”
Dear Professor Romer,
I am writing you about your recent working paper The Trouble with Macroeconomics that generated lots of reactions.
I have simple question. I am a graduate student in economics. I am going to begin a PhD program in economics next year. I always loved macro, and I will probably specialize myself in this field. My question is:
Continue reading “Letter from an Aspiring Macroeconomist (with response)”
My new working paper, The Trouble with Macroeconomics, has generated some interesting reactions. Here are a few responses:
Why Name Names?
One suggestion is that it would have been better if I had written one of those passive-voice “mistakes were made” documents that firms issue after a PR disaster.
Continue reading “Trouble with Macroeconomics, Update”
I just learned that a rough version of a paper that I am working on called “The Trouble with Macroeconomics” was posted on a server and has been making the rounds.
Continue reading “The Trouble With Macroeconomics”