NPR Planet Money

The Measure Of A Tragedy

June 18, 2018

Ricardo Hausmann

The Venezuelan economy has collapsed. Years of economic mismanagement and a deepening political crisis have led to a recession that has almost no parallel in recent memory. But explaining just how bad things have gotten is also really hard because the normal economic indicators that we use to measure a country's economy have started to sound so so unfathomable — 25,000% inflation, for example — that it feels impossible to get our heads around them. Ricardo Hausmann, a Harvard-based Venezuelan economist, has constructed an indicator of his own, one that captures the horrifying scale of the catastrophe.

The Measure Of A Tragedy