Vox aims to enrich the economic policy debate in Europe and beyond. On the supply side, Vox makes it easier for serious researchers to contribute. On the demand side, Vox makes the knowledge of researchers more accessible to the public.
Easier for researchers to contribute. Existing outlets make it costly for most economic researchers to participate in the public discourse. Some outlets (such as books, reports, or articles in journals such as Economic Policy and Brookings) involve massive time commitments. Others (such as newspaper articles or personal blogs) involve a writing style which interests very few researchers. Vox columns are up to 1500 words (twice the length of newspaper columns). Although some will be written in the style of newspaper columns, they can also be written for trained economists rather than the average newspaper reader, thus allowing researchers to use standard economic terminology. Both elements make it easier for researchers to contribute to the public debate. In a Vox column, for instance, there is nothing wrong with using terms like ‘present discounted value’ and ‘median voter’ in a comment on pension reform.
Research-based policy commentary by researchers. The writers of Vox columns are researchers, and most of the columns are research-based. The topics cover the full range of economic policy and political economy topics. The primary intended audience is economists – and users of economic research – in governments, international organisations, academia as well as journalists and commentators specialising in economics, finance and business.
The consortium – reaching wider and deeper into the policy debate. Vox is part of a consortium that includes Lavoce of Italy, Telos of France, and Sociedad Abierta of Spain, with Dutch and German partners to follow. The best contributions in any language will be translated into all the languages and posted on the various sites. This ensures that the best columns reach a much broader audience than would be the case for pieces written in a single language and posted or published in a single newspaper or website.
Leading from success. Vox was inspired by the success of the Italian-language site www.Lavoce.info, and the founder of Lavoce, Tito Boeri, cooperated closely with Richard Baldwin, Stephen Yeo and CEPR in setting up the site. Vox is sponsored by CEPR (a non-profit network of over 700 research economists, mostly based in Europe) and directed by a Board of Editors consisting of Richard Baldwin (Editor-in-Chief), Tito Boeri, Juanjo Dolado, Romesh Vaitilingam and Charles Wyplosz.