This interview features Francisco Rodríguez. Francisco is Assistant Professor of Economics and Latin American Studies at Wesleyan University, and a fast rising academic star. He’s currently co-editing a book on Venezuela’s economic collapse with Harvard’s Ricardo Hausmann. Over the next few weeks I will be publishing Skypecasts with several of the book’s contributors.
Working drafts of all the book’s chapters can be downloaded here.
In this wideranging, 40-minute Skypecast, Francisco describes the overall research project, and then walks us through the draft chapter he co-authored with Ricardo Hausmann. In explaining Venezuela’s economic collapse, Hausmann and Rodríguez stress the fact that Venezuela didn’t have an alternative export industry to cushion the blow when oil prices fell. They go on to assess five different hypotheses to explain why, unlike Mexico, Indonesia and Malaysia, Venezuela didn’t develop alternative export industries.
The Skypecast sets out their research in language that (I hope) will be understandable to non-specialists. Towards the end, Francisco explains some of the policy implications of his analysis.