Tuesday, February 7

 G20’s Effectiveness in Turbulent and Normal Times

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By Pravakar Sahoo, Renu Kohli & Serene Vaid

Working Paper No- 384

This paper examines the G20’s effectiveness in turbulent as opposed to normal times. The forum’s 2008-09 performance remains unparalleled as consensus, cooperation and collective action has eluded it since. This paper examines the G20’s efficacy in the two polar situations through a simple empirical exercise that employs efficiency scores constructed from word counts in successive communiqués. A qualitative distinction of verb meanings is used to assess agreement amongst G20 leaders or otherwise. We find the G20 is indeed less effective in the post-crisis period. Disaggregate analysis reveals the performance varies across the core agenda areas; inefficacy is pronounced in attempting a global economic recovery and promoting trade and investments. We also explore if the lack of success is associated with divergent growth rates amongst G20 members, world trade volumes and rise in protectionist measures. There’s suggestion these attributes correlate with lower cooperation at the forum, hinting that domestic economic concerns outweigh global goals to undermine international macroeconomic cooperation. The paper discusses whether such impediments to global economic cooperation are easily overcome or insurmountable.

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