The International Labor Organization has put together a useful compendium of economic stimulus efforts around the world (click here to download the Word file). I know this not because they announced it or anything but because a former student of Harvard economist Dani Rodrik works at the ILO and wrote in to Rodrik point out some flaws in a different stimulus spending compendium put together by some folks at Boston University that had previously been discussed on Rodrik’s blog. Don’t you just love how information gets disseminated in the 21st century?
Anyway, the bottom line, according to the ILO, is that stimulus plans announced so far amount to about 3.3% of global GDP per year over the coming two years. But what really struck me were the differences in stimulus spending among the world’s major economies. Here’s a sampling from the report, with the stimulus expressed as a percentage of GDP per year:
United Kingdom 0.9%
United States 5.5%
The concern is that if we in the U.S. do lots of stimulating and other economies don’t, much of the money will just leak out overseas as we spend on imports but others don’t buy our exports. China seems to be doing its part, but most of the developed world is not. (Neither is most of the developing world, but that’s largely because it’s hard for them to borrow the money to stimulate with—that is, it’s not really up to them.)