This issue of the IMF Research Perspective looks at the inter-connectedness of the world economic system and how diverse shocks can affect global supply chains. The articles in this issue track the way COVID-19 triggered disruptions in the supply chain and explains why trade networks are so difficult to disentangle. However, the pandemic is not the only event affecting global supply chains; cross-border spillovers of technology wars and natural disasters are other factors to consider. The overarching message from these articles is clear: there is a need for international cooperation to deal with the consequences of these shocks—whether it is ending the COVID-19 pandemic or mitigating climate change.
Let’s start with the basics. How did you choose economics as a profession? Growing up in Turkey, I had an early encounter with certain macro-economic concepts. Chronic high inflation was a defining feature, and even seven-year-olds understood how quickly the purchasing power of their weekly allowance dwindled. I would hear my parents—who are teachers, not economists-discuss the current account deficit during dinner. Soon enough, the economics section had become my favorite part of the newspaper, and I wanted to understand how the Turkish economy worked and why it appeared to be so different from the advanced economies.