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Vox’s annual holiday break

Vox is taking its annual holiday from 24 December 2021 to 3 January 2021. The next post will be on 4 January.

The year 2021 was not a happy one for the world. It was a year that may come to be remembered for its disappointments. Disappointment on climate change actions, disappointment that the pandemic was not ending after all, and disappointment that geostrategic tensions and populism were not fading. The Covid recession was fading, but inflation was picking up in the US and UK.

For Team Vox, by contrast, it was another bumper year. During 2021, we had (according to Google Analytics definitions) 

  • 4.9 million users, and
  • 9.6 million page views.

Vox readers, it seems, look for research-based policy analysis and commentary in trying times. In terms of monthly figures, the top month was March 2021, with 1 million views and 568,000 users. The worst month was July, when the corresponding figures were 597,000 and 312,000. These figures are slightly down on 2020, when the world was reading voraciously about the new virus. 

What to read before 4 January 2022

As we have done every year since Vox went live in June 2006, Team Vox is taking a holiday break. No new columns will be posted until 4 January 2022. But the back catalogue of columns runs to the thousands, so you may want to search for columns on your favourite topic or author by simply typing a few key words into google with site:voxeu.org. Why not look up columns you wrote years ago? Another amusing exercise is to see how leading economists thought in real time about rapidly developing policies – say, Covid-19 or the pandemic recession. Or looking even further back, you can see how economists were thinking about the euro area crisis in, say, 2010 versus 2013. 

Another pastime for the holidays is to look at the 15 eBooks that CEPR Press/VoxEU published in 2021. Here is the full list. Bon appétit, and happy holidays!  

Latin America: The Post-Pandemic Decade. Conversations with 16 Latin American Economists 
Ilan Goldfajn, Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 20 December 2021

For governments in the Latin America region, the Covid-19 crisis has compounded a series of pre-existing social, economic and health issues which has heaped further pressure on already strained governmental systems. This eBook brings together leading Latin American researchers and policymakers to discuss the sizeable challenges ahead and map out policy options for a sustainable, equitable and stable future for the region.

Procurement in Focus: Rules, Discretion, and Emergencies 
Oriana Bandiera, Erica Bosio, Giancarlo Spagnolo, 30 November 2021

Covid-19 has served as a global case study for increased discretion in public procurement, with governments worldwide making rules more flexible to increase spending, reduce the damage, and save lives. This CEPR eBook provides fascinating insights into the tension between rules and discretion in public procurement, including through several country-level case studies.

Central Bank Digital Currency: Considerations, Projects, Outlook 
Dirk Niepelt, 24 November 2021

Retail central bank digital currency has morphed from an obscure fascination of technophiles and monetary theorists into a major preoccupation of central bankers. Pilot projects abound and research on the topic has exploded as private sector initiatives such as Libra/Diem have focused policymakers’ minds and taken the status quo option off the table. In this eBook, academics and policymakers review what we know about the economic, legal, and political implications of CBDC, discuss current projects, and look ahead.

Combatting Climate Change: a CEPR Collection 
Beatrice Weder di Mauro, 08 November 2021

Published during the 2021 COP26 summit in Glasgow, this eBook provides a selection of solution-oriented research studies first featured on CEPR’s policy platform VoxEU.org, which highlight key policy issues for governments going forward, as well as detailed analyses of the effectiveness of policies currently in place. The eBook also provides a fascinating insight into the evolution of economic research on climate change over the last decade, and most starkly highlights the shift in urgency and appreciation of this daunting threat to humanity.

No Brainers and Low-Hanging Fruit in National Climate Policy
Francesco Caselli, Alexander Ludwig, Rick van der Ploeg, 08 October 2021

The target for global warming agreed on in the 2015 Paris Agreement implies that effective policies must be implemented to reduce emissions for the whole planet as soon as possible and reach net zero in the second half of the 21st century. This eBook, with contributions from economists working in more than 18 countries, provides timely and concise recommendations on achievable and efficient climate change policies that can be fast-tracked into implementation.

Fostering FinTech for Financial Transformation: The Case of South Korea 
Thorsten Beck, Yung Chul Park, 16 September 2021

The ECB strategy: The 2021 review and its future
Lucrezia Reichlin, Klaus Adam, Warwick J. McKibbin, Michael McMahon, Ricardo Reis, Giovanni Ricco, Beatrice Weder di Mauro, 01 September 2021

The ECB recently completed an eighteen-month strategy review, published in July 2021, with the aim of innovating on both the design and the magnitude of its policy responses. This report, authored by senior European economists and written in parallel to the official review, provides a timely and clear framework to assess the current changes to and future evolution of the ECB’s strategy.

Rebooting Multilateral Trade Cooperation: Perspectives from China and Europe 
Bernard Hoekman, Xinquan Tu, Dong Wang, 12 July 2021

Joint leadership by China and the EU to establish a balanced work programme spanning old and new issues of interest to all WTO members is necessary to safeguard the rules-based trade order. This book, a product of a Horizon 2020 research project (RESPECT), brings together essays written by teams of European and Chinese trade policy experts, who explore possible paths to revitalise the WTO. 

The Economics of Deep Trade Agreements
Ana Fernandes, Nadia Rocha, Michele Ruta, 23 June 2021

This CEPR-World Bank eBook brings together leading experts in international trade from academia and policy institutions to provide new analysis on the determinants of deep trade agreements, how they affect trade and non-trade outcomes, and how they might shape trade relations in a post-COVID-19 world.

Capitalism after Covid: Conversations with 21 Economists 
Luis Garicano, 16 June 2021

As with Bretton Woods and with the Beveridge Report during WWII, the crisis generated by the Covid pandemic creates an opportunity to rethink our economic system. This new book offers the thoughts of 21 top economists representing most of the different fields of economics on the key challenges the world faces after the Covid pandemic.

Monetary Policy and Central Banking in the Covid Era 
Bill English, Kristin Forbes, Ángel Ubide, 03 June 2021

The abruptness and speed of the economic deterioration caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the sharp increase in market volatility, and the blinding uncertainty over the impact of the pandemic motivated a central bank reaction that was unprecedented in terms of size, speed and scope. This CEPR eBook summarises the responses by sixteen central banks from both advanced and emerging economies – with chapters written by senior central bank officials and economists in each of the countries to explain the actions taken. 

Resilience of the Financial System to Natural Disasters 
Patrick Bolton, Marcin Kacperczyk, Harrison Hong, Xavier Vives, 25 May 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed severe vulnerabilities in the global financial system, and serves as a cautionary tale for the potentially devastating effects that future natural disasters and climate change could cause to the world economy. The third report in The Future of Banking series tests precisely how resilient the financial system is to natural disasters and discusses what can be done to make it more resilient.

Addressing Impediments to Digital Trade 
Ingo Borchert, L Alan Winters, 27 April 2021

Digital trade and digitally enabled services hold the promise of much-needed future growth and prosperity, but also pose unique challenges for trade policymaking. This eBook presents the proceedings from a conference organised by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the UK Trade Policy Observatory, hosted by CEPR,  to discuss new directions for digital trade policy.

Shaping Africa’s Post-Covid Recovery 
Rabah Arezki, Simeon Djankov, Ugo Panizza, 23 February 2021

With the exception of some flashpoints in Northern and Southern Africa, the continent has been largely spared from the direct health effect of Covid-19. However, the African economy has been significantly hurt by the economic consequences. This eBook summarises recent research on the economic effect of the Covid-19 pandemic in the continent covering a wide array of topics focusing on the response of firms, households, governments, and international organisations. 

Europe’s Trade Strategy For The Age Of Geoeconomic Globalisation 
Christian Bluth, 10 February 2021

A new CEPR/RESPECT eBook by Christian Johannes Bluth discusses the EU, China and the US Competing in the Face of the Global Megatrends of Climate, Technology and Demographic Change.