Lou ureneck economic development a journalist's perspectivePresentation Transcript
Economic Development: A Journalist’s Perspective Prof. Lou Ureneck Boston University [email_address]
Private (organic) development; government-sponsored development The combination of laws, policies and practices that contribute to economic growth and a higher standard of living.
What is it our readers and viewers need and want to know? Taxes Opportunity (jobs) Quality of life
We ask the questions that they cannot --We stand in for our readers Who benefits? Why this project or initiative and not another?
Other questions too What is the investment, what is the return? What are the sources of capital? Why this project or initiative and not another?
And more generally What are the obstacles to private development – Ukraine and Belarus?
Development metrics, terms
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
GDP/ population – per capita GDP
Median national income
Rates of employment
Sources of capital
Return on investment – ROI
Gross Domestic Product
The value of all goods and services produced in the economy for a period of time. The principal measure of an economy’s size.
Ukraine $327 billion* (rank in world: 39)
Belarus $140.9 billion (rank in world: 131)
Per capita GDP
Ukraine $7,200 (rank in world: 131)
Belarus $14,900 (rank in world: 85)
* PPP Source: CIA Factbook
The problem with GDP
It measures the out put of factories and farms but it also counts (as a positive) the cost of hospital admissions, earthquakes and fees for legal disputes. It does not subtract the external costs of pollution, nor does it count the value of work at home – cooking and childcare. It emphasizes “GROWTH” regardless of its consequences.
“ Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth, between its costs and return, and between the short and the long run.” -- Kuznets
Deep thinking about economic development Amartya Sen, Jeffrey Sachs
Amartya Sen With Mahbub ul Haq, he originates the Human Development Index, which includes: Life expectancy Education Standard of living (GNI) Remember the question, “Who benefits?”
The obstacles to trade and development:
Legal and social disparities
Lack of infrastructure
What are some of the obstacles to business formation?
Ease of trade across borders
Evaluating a government-sponsored project or initiative Return on investment: What are the costs? What are the returns? EURO 2012 US example: Giants Stadium, 1972- 2010, $301M, $110M remains
Returning to the concept of comparative advantage What would seem to be the natural targets of investment for Ukraine and Belarus, based on the comparative strengths? In Ukraine, agriculture: investments in logistics, or getting goods to market.
The Journalist’s Role Putting forward a context for understanding economic development from the perspectives of our audiences … In general, the benefits of reforms … And specifically, the facts of particular projects and especially return on investment. Our agenda: We are objective the interests of our readers.
Development narrative In both Ukraine and Belarus, there are core issues of economic development. In Belarus, the pace of privatization, loosening of central control of the economy and development of external trade. In Ukraine, the difficulties of doing business in the country: tax policy, low-level corruption and high-level cronyism. In both countries, the sources and cost of energy.
Journalism as a tool for reform The narratives you tell create a way of explaining the issues, and making events or issues that at first seem disconnected or complex understandable to your readers and viewers. These subjects require repetition: only through consistent and constant explanation of the issues can the media, through journalism, move the public toward understanding and the government toward action.