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Michael Spence
For Michael Spence's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
While broad-based action at the COP28 summit is critical, the fact is that just a few key actors such as the U.S., China and India have the power to bring about a radical reduction in global emissions.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 6, 2023
COP28 can deliver progress on climate change, but will it?
Committed global climate action at every level of government, the economy, and society is needed to tackle such a complex, multifaceted challenge.
Artificial intelligence may well enable the automation of many tasks and the replacement of some workers. But AI tools are still fallible and are unlikely to replace humans any time soon.
COMMENTARY / World
Aug 30, 2023
AI and the productivity imperative
The global economic outlook for the next decade appears grim. But a surge in productivity — fueled by artificial intelligence — could change that picture.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jul 6, 2023
The governance threat to global economic prosperity
The past few years have been characterized by growing political instability, which increases the risk of abrupt policy reversals that could dampen investment and undermine global economic growth.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 9, 2023
The U.S. and China's destructive decoupling
U.S. and Chinese leaders seem to have fully accepted the logic of economic decoupling. But what exactly will decoupling entail and what will its consequences be?
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 2, 2023
Is a 1.5 degree Celsius climate objective just a pipe dream?
Continuing to tout the unrealistic 1.5 C global warming goal is unrealistic; but setting a more feasible target raises risks of its own.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 28, 2022
Done with deglobalization?
The global economyu2019s dire and deteriorating prospects, together with the scale of the climate challenge, have opened world leadersu2019 eyes to the risks that deglobalization poses.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 20, 2022
The global economy and secular inflation
After enjoying a long period of deflationary conditions, the global economy is being pushed by a wide range of forces toward a new and more difficult equilibrium.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jul 6, 2022
The supply-side fight against inflation
A recession can be avoided if policymakers recognize the large role that supply-side measures must play in restoring price stability.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jun 3, 2022
The global economy in transition
The green transition is a powerful mechanism for increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability to the weaponization of energy supplies.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 9, 2022
Good U.S.-China strategic competition
The world needs a benign form of strategic competition more than ever, where countries strive to reach the forefront of innovation without trying to prevent others from challenging them.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 17, 2022
Regime change in the global economy
The Lewis turning point is being reached in developing countries as their expanding export sectors are absorbing the surplus labor in traditional sectors like agriculture.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 3, 2022
Is strategic cooperation between the U.S. and China possible?
Attitudes on both sides are hardening, with Washington and Beijing settling into a comfortable but unproductive certitude that it occupies the moral high ground.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 17, 2021
Is the global supply chain blockage here to stay?
Complex global supply networks work efficiently in normal times, but they are not prepared for COVID-19-like shocks.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 3, 2021
If COVID-19 wasn’t worry enough, the climate crisis comes roaring back
The most eye-opening development of the past three months has not been the COVID-19 pandemic, but the dramatic increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jun 30, 2021
How great powers should compete
Many in the West disapprove of Chinau2019s single-party governance structure, just as vocal elements in China disparage Western liberal democracy, which they argue is in terminal decline.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 18, 2021
The expected high-growth sectors in the post-recovery decade
Businesses that survived the pandemic closures (many with support from fiscal programs) will experience rapid expansion, powered by pent-up demand.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 1, 2021
Winners and losers in the digital transformation of work
Perhaps no single aspect of the digital revolution has received more attention than the effect of automaton on jobs, work, employment and incomes.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 31, 2021
Biden’s vaccine challenge
In many ways, the United States is at war against COVID-19. But the existing systems for delivering what is needed to win are weak, fragmented and, especially, uncoordinated.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 9, 2020
The pandemic public-debt dilemma
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Failing bold action, developing countries could be on track to lose years or even decades of progress in the post-pandemic world.
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 11, 2020
What my younger self never expected
At the start of a new year and a new decade, it is both humbling and illuminating to reflect on major global developments that no one saw coming just a few decades ago.

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves