All in Economics

Why is German Manufacturing So Good?

For years, Audi advertisements have used the slogan “Vorsprung durch Technik.” Only a fraction of the millions who have read or heard the words know what they mean (“Progress through technology,” is the answer). The ad campaign works because people associate German design and manufacturing with quality, precision, and technical brilliance. Whether it’s Carl Zeiss lenses, BMW motorcycles, Bosch dishwashers, or Lamy pens, people buy German with the expectation of excellence. How did Germany get so good at manufacturing?

Why Are There Protests in Venezuela?

Daniela Ruiz rubbed her wet eyes and drank some more of her coffee. She was reading about yesterday’s demonstration on social media and in the international press. There was no point checking Venezuelan media—they had to be favourable to Maduro’s government so would either ignore the protests or make up some false story. But Daniela had been on the street yesterday and seen the blood. Her country had more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia but last year food had been so scarce that 75% of the population lost weight.

Why is Latin America Poorer than the United States?

It is hard to believe how much richer the United States is than Latin America. Each year, the US economy generates more than three times as much wealth as the twenty countries of Latin America combined. Before Columbus arrived in 1492, the largest, wealthiest, and most technologically advanced societies were in South America and modern-day Mexico. What changed? Why are garages in the US larger than many homes in Latin America?

Why is Africa Poor?

75% of the world’s poorest countries are in Africa. More than 25% of Africans are malnourished. 30% lack access to clean water. In 2016, Africa’s GDP per person was $1,809—barely 10% of the world average.

Why is Africa so poor?

Why is South Korea So Rich?

The competition for Korea’s most famous cultural export is now closed. With more than 3 billion views, Gangnam Style has done more to put South Korea on the map than anything else. The video portrays South Korea as confident, stylish, and prosperous—and that’s accurate.

What’s remarkable is how quickly South Korea became one of the most advanced economies in the world. In 1960, the average South Korean was poorer than the average person in Senegal, Honduras, or the Philippines. Today, they are more than ten times richer. How did that happen?

How Did Sweden Get its Welfare System?

If you believe that governments should look after their people, you’ll love Sweden. Sweden’s welfare system—the benefits the state gives to its citizens—may be the best in the world. Swedes live longer than people from almost every other country and they are happier, too. Part of the reason is their solid social safety net. How did Sweden get it?