Marcel Timmer, Bart Los, Robert Stehrer, Gaaitzen De Vries, 26 June 2013

The rise of global value chains (GVCs) is posing new challenges to analyses of countries’ competitiveness. Commonly used measures such as gross exports and revealed comparative advantage are becoming obsolete. This column presents a new measure called ‘global-value-chain income’ that is based on the value added by countries along the international production chain. It shows how this measure can be derived from existing industry-level data and how it changes our view on a country’s competitive strengths.

Richard Dobbs, Susan Lund, 19 June 2013

Is financial globalisation in retreat? This column suggests it might be. There’s been a recent and significant retreat in European financial integration and a retrenchment of global banking (although capital inflows into emerging markets and FDI are only just below their recent peaks). What are we to make of this shift? A more compartmentalised global financial system could certainly reduce the likelihood of a financial crisis spreading from one country to the next. But there is now a danger that the pendulum could swing too far, Policymakers should therefore do more to remove limitations on FDI and investor purchases of foreign equities and bonds, balancing the trade-off between the need for stability and the need to provide financing for economic growth.

Biagio Bossone, Roberta Marra, 16 March 2013

Since 2008, we have learned that the root causes of global economic instability are more than the sum of domestic instabilities. This column calls for a broad reconsideration of the principles underpinning current global economic governance; arguing that in a globalised world, isolated domestic economic policymaking is not enough. The international community needs to adhere to a ‘Good Global Citizen’ remit – housed by the IMF – if we are to tackle global economic policy under collective responsibility.

Susan Ariel Aaronson, 22 December 2012

The internet is an expanding opportunity for growth. This column argues that in recent years, however, policymakers and market actors have been undermining its potential. Governments and market actors are reducing both access to information and freedom of expression, as well as moving towards a splintered, non-global internet. Commitment to an open, free and global internet will be hard, but if bilateral, regional or multilateral trade agreements encourage interoperability, we might see some harmony among signatories’ privacy, online piracy, and security policies.

Rudolfs Bems, Robert Johnson, 06 December 2012

With the rise of complex, globalised supply chains is the real effective exchange rate (REER), the most commonly used measure of competitiveness, now outdated? If it is, what should replace it? This column presents a ‘Value-Added REER’ and shows that it differs substantially from the conventional REER. Because it is possible to construct a new Value-Added REER from existing data, policymakers interested in improving their understanding of competitiveness might well consider including it in their toolbox.

Charles Roxburgh, Richard Dobbs, Jan Mischke, 31 May 2012

Are emerging markets a threat to jobs and competitiveness for the industrialised countries? This column argues that such concerns are often based on myths. Armed with the facts, policymakers in mature economies should focus on the opportunities emerging markets present rather than viewing them as a threat.

Richard Baldwin, Toshihiro Okubo, 24 May 2012

New-paradigm globalisation – driven by lower coordination costs rather than trade costs – is changing the nature of international commerce, the political economy of trade liberalisation, the nature of trade agreements and much more. This column, using data on Japanese multinationls, presents evidence that the nature of FDI is also changing away from the traditional classification of ‘horizontal’ or ‘vertical’.

Eswar Prasad, Lei (Sandy) Ye, 16 February 2012

Is China’s currency destined to become the dominant global reserve currency? This column argues that despite not yet having a flexible exchange rate or open capital account, China’s government is pursuing ‘liberalisation with Chinese characteristics’. It argues that the renminbi will become a reserve currency within the next decade, eroding but not displacing the dollar’s dominance.

Victor Ginsburgh, 08 February 2012

English is the dominant language of the Internet, business, and world trade. Do we need another? This column applies an economist’s rationale to the question.

Eduardo Levy Yeyati, Luciano Cohan, 12 January 2012

Four years ago, there was growing support for the idea of ‘decoupling’ – that emerging markets were becoming less affected by business cycle swings in developed economies. Then came the global crisis. Focusing on Latin America, this column argues that the 2010s will be a far harder decade. But that might not be such a bad thing if it forces these economies to look again at their growth strategies.

Ralph De Haas, Iman van Lelyveld, 14 December 2011

In the current financial turmoil, does it pay to have domestically owned banks or foreign-owned ones? This column looks at the lending behaviour of multinational banks the last time financial markets were in crisis in late 2008. It concludes that while multinational banks may contribute to financial stability during local bouts of financial turmoil, they also increase the risk of ‘importing’ instability from abroad.

David Hummels, Rasmus Jørgensen, Jakob Munch, Chong Xiang, 10 December 2011

With stagnating wages and lingering unemployment, income inequality is back in the headlines. Is globalisation to blame for this inequality? Is more education a solution? This column argues that focusing on university education misses important effects. It presents evidence that wage effects vary markedly among those with degrees depending on their specific skill sets, and that globalisation can often benefit workers without degrees

Pravin Krishna, Jennifer Poole, Mine Senses, 07 December 2011

What are the effects of globalisation on wages and jobs in international and domestic firms? This column finds that data on employers and employees in Brazil tell a more nuanced story than the typical findings from firm-level data.

Anne Krueger, 21 October 2011

Anne Krueger of Johns Hopkins University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the issues around globalisation and the crisis covered in her forthcoming book, ‘Struggling with Success: Challenges facing the International Economy’. She discusses the eurozone crisis, US debt issues, the threat of rising protectionism and the role of the multilateral institutions. The interview was recorded at the Global Economic Symposium in Kiel, Germany, in early October 2011. [Also read the transcript.]

Joshua Aizenman, Brian Pinto, 04 October 2011

With the merits of global financial integration in question, this column reviews the policy responses and lessons from two decades of experience in emerging markets in connection with opening up their economies. It also outlines the steps countries have taken to reduce exposure to financial crises and argues that these may be the best option until the collective resolution of global imbalances and capital flow regulation by the G20.

Karl Aiginger, 03 October 2011

More and more policymakers are talking about stimulating innovation in order to reinvigorate their economies. But how can this be achieved? This column evaluates current industrial policy in France.

Sascha O. Becker, Marion Jansen, Marc Muendler, 01 October 2011

As jobs losses continue to haunt the headlines, people are left asking if long-term unemployment is to be one of the so-called benefits from globalisation. This column reports on a conference aimed at understanding how globalisation can be made to work for workers.

Leonardo Iacovone, Beata Javorcik, Wolfgang Keller, James Tybout, 20 August 2011

The entry of Wal-Mart into Mexico 20 years ago has reshaped the country’s industrial structure. This column argues that the effect has been polarising. While Wal-Mart’s retailing power has helped more productive companies expand their market shares and boost productivity, the retailer’s pressure to lower prices and innovate has pushed down mark-ups and marginalised less capable producers.

Bernard Hoekman, Guido Porto, 18 June 2010

When developing countries open up their markets, there are costs as well as benefits. The papers in this CEPR/World Bank volume investigate adjustment to trade, and argue that unemployment is only part of the story, adding that the development community should aim to address the constraints that prevent too many households from seizing the newly available opportunities.

Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 03 April 2011

Conventional wisdom states that financial globalisation has been advancing since the mid-1980s, particularly in developing countries. It also states that this should have fostered international portfolio diversification and consumption smoothing. But this column takes a closer look at the data and argues that neither financial globalisation nor portfolio diversification has grown significantly in emerging markets over that period.

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