Navigating the Global Economy in a Time of Uncertainties: Perspectives from Asia

Days 1 & 2

Two Important Issues in the Global Economy:

Should Everyone in the World Care about Chinese Savings? and

Should Anyone in the World worry about Inflation?

Andrew K. Rose


This is a short course focusing on two critical topics in the global economy:

a) Global imbalances of international flows of goods, services, and capital

“Global Imbalances” refer to the persistent current account surplus experienced by many countries in East Asia (such as China, Japan, and Singapore).  Since Asian savings tends to be high compared with Asian investment, capital has been flowing out of these countries, affecting exchange rates, interest rates, and the economies of many countries both inside and outside Asia.  This has raised tensions in international trade and international relations.  We want to understand the basic mechanisms here as well as the data; what’s caused this situation, what are its effects, and what is likely to happen in the future?

b) Effects of government fiscal support for the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an enormous expansion of government support in many rich countries, including Singapore, the United States, Germany.  Was this why and well-targeted?  How are governments paying for these expansions?  What are the monetary authorities doing?  Should we be worried about massive increases in government debt?  What do the financial markets indicate?  Will inflation return?

The course uses basic macroeconomic tools applied in the international context to discuss output, unemployment, inflation, exchange rates and international flows of goods and capital.  The objectives for this course are: a) to illustrate how simple models can be usefully applied to understand the behavior of the macroeconomy; and b) to understand two critical problems facing the world economy.

Administrative Minutiae

The techniques will be basically geometric, although algebra will be used throughout.

If you’d like to review before the class, an appropriate text would be the most recent (ninth) edition of Macroeconomics by Mankiw (though the early editions are quite similar).  Later editions of texts by Dornbusch, Fischer and Startz, Hall and Taylor, Gordon, Abel and Bernanke, Blanchard, and Barro are good additional references.

This is a short course, with only two 4-hour sessions.  It will be held both face to face, and also online. Students will be graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory on the basis of a simple written reflection due after the end of the class.

Days 3, 4 & 5


  1. Managing Political Uncertainty and Stakeholders
  2. Transition and Change in Contemporary India and China

Andrew Delios


 This is a short course that focuses on two critical topics in international business:

(1) How to analyse and manage political and regulatory uncertainty across the diverse business environments in Asia

“Political Uncertainty” refers to the constant challenge faced by domestic and international firms to manage effectively in environments that can undergo predictable and unpredictable change. Critical to managing political uncertainty is not only the ability to be able to identify and forecast change, but also to be able to work effectively with key decision makers in a country so as to influence the direction of change. As such, two critical skills that need to be developed are (I) how to pre-emptively identify information relevant to future policy change, and (II) how to work with key actors to manage and influence the nature of change in an economy.

Since countries in Asia comprise a multitude of business environments, we require conceptual and analytical tools that can bridge the analysis of political and regulatory environments across these various countries. We must be able to diagnose baseline levels of political risk and political uncertainty, while also developing influence strategies. Aside from providing the conceptual tools to be able to make these diagnoses, we will work with short and long cases to apply these ideas.

The final activity is a stakeholder-oriented simulation, which will be completed in teams of participants, where those teams are composed of members in physical and remote attendance. At the end of the day, we want to have greater confidence in our ability to understand what has happened and what will happen in business environments in Asia, with attention given to how this relates to the strategies and actions needed to operate a business successfully in these environments.

(2) Understanding transition and change in contemporary India and China to enable better decisioning about market entry and competition in Asia’s two largest markets

China and India are two of the well-known BRIC countries. Both have received tremendous attention for the remarkable levels of growth and change in these two countries. Yet, both still hold many mysteries and challenges, especially with the wide level of rhetoric that accompanies decisions made in business and political realms. We will look closely at major developments in the post-2014 India and post-2012 China. We will take an agnostic approach to the transition and change in these two economies to understand the developments of that have taken place in the second half of the 2010s. By engaging in these discussions, there are several specific areas of learning for each country.

As examples:

  • we will better understand how the political decision-making environment in India has been changing and what that means for the status quo bias that has stifled development in India
  • we will better understand the Make in India initiative and what it means for the growth of manufacturing in India
  • we will better understand changes in the management of state-owned firms in China and how it connects to issues of economic transition
  • we will better understand the 7 spheres of influence that direct policy-making and business opportunities in China
  • we will better understand the Belt-and-Road-Initiative and how it connects to economic opportunities for Chinese and foreign firms alike


Administrative Matters

Although some broad economic data will be discussed in class, the discussions will be primarily based on the development of concepts and analytical techniques, as applied to current business decisions. For the interested, background readings will be available to provide a strong foundation in the core concepts in our discussions.

This course has three 4-hour sessions.  It will be held both face to face, and online.  Participants will be graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory based on a written reflection due after the class.