VoxEU.org is one year old

The Editors 30 June 2008

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VoxEU.org is celebrating its first birthday today.

Vox’s goal is to raise the level of the policy debate by making it easier for researchers to draw out the policy implications of their research and to make their work more accessible to professional economists in public and private sectors, academics, and journalism.

Great columns on monetary policy and on international trade

We started the birthday celebration with last week’s line up of columns on central banking by several of our most popular “Vox Stars”:

  • Guido Tabellini, “Why central banking is no longer boring,”
  • Charles Goodhart, “Two goals with one instrument”
  • Daron Acemoglu, “Central bank independence and the ‘seesaw effect’”
  • Ellen Meade, “Dangers of increased transparency in monetary policymaking”
  • Alan Ahearne, “How to prick housing bubbles in a monetary union”

This coming week is focused on trade and will feature columns from popular Vox columnists including

  • Arvind Subramanian ‘US food policy & prices”
  • Andy Rose and Mark Spiegel “Economic spillovers from international environmental cooperation”
  • Christian Broda “China and cheap imports: Champions of Equality”,
  • Richard Baldwin ‘Is the WTO heading for a tipping point?’
  • Philippe Martin “Industrial clusters”

New Features

We are introducing new features:

  • Vox Talks ” which will feature audio interviews (podcasts) with Vox columnists (we start with a handful with the most successful subprime columnists such as Cecchetti, Woodford, Wyplosz, Buiter and Reinhart); this feature furthers our mission of making it easier for top-notch researchers to contribute to the policy debate.
  • A reader-driven listing service for conferences, workshops, courses and other events. You can add your own events to the Vox events calendar.
  • A weekly emailed newsletter for readers who don’t use RSS feeds. To get the newsletter, sign up by clicking on “My Account” after you login; if you aren’t registered start here.

Expect more features at the end of the summer.

Vox’s supply-side success

Vox’s clearest success has been on the supply side. Its goal is to make it easier for researchers to draw out the policy implications of their work in a setting that is more informal than scientific journal articles, and less constrained than newspaper columns, but longer and more structured than a blog post. Moreover, the permanent URL makes each column a durable and Google-able entry into the evolving public debate.

Over 550 economists have written columns for Vox in its first year including some of the profession’s academic greats such as Daron Acemoglu, Alberto Alesina, Tim Besley, Jagdish Bhagwati, Olivier Blanchard, Alan Blinder, Esther Duflo, Francesco Giavazzi, Charles Goodhart, Robert Gordon, Nobel laureate James Heckman, Paul Klemperer Paul Krugman, Lisa Lynch, Andreu Mas-Colell, Ken Rogoff, Sir Nicholas SternGuido Tabellini Jean Tirole, Michael Woodford,  and many more (see the full list here).

Demand side success

Since its audience is trained economists rather than the general public, the numbers are modest by web standards. Currently, Vox current receives over 10,000 unique visitors a day as calculated from the server log file (from almost a half million distinct IP addresses); the average number of page views is about 35,000 per day (7.3 million in total). The readership is growing steadily, having tripled since August 2007.

As Figure 1 shows, half the readers (or at least their servers) are in the US with big four European nations accounting for another quarter. Vox does not yet do well in Asia: only about 1.4% of the readers are located in Japan and the same in China; all Asia accounts for just 5.6% of the readership.

Consortium.

Vox is in a consortium with Lavoce (Italy), Telos (France), Sociedad Abierta (Spain), Me Judice (Dutch) and we are working on a German partner, so the best contributions are translated into the all the languages (each site decides what to translate). This ensures that good, research-based policy commentary and analysis reaches much deeper into the world’s policy-making machinery than is the case for a newspaper OpEd piece or the average blog post.

Figure 1 Geography of VoxEU.org readership

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Topics:  Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  VoxEu.org

Richard Baldwin, Tito Boeri, Juan Dolado, Romesh Vaitilingam and Charles Wyplosz