Walker Hanlon, Stephan Heblich, Ferdinando Monte, Martin B. Schmitz, 15 July 2022

It seems obvious that lowering the cost of communication among innovators would facilitate scientific and technological progress. Yet, few studies examine this relationship. This column explores the introduction of the first modern postal system in Britain in 1840 and its effect on the number of citations between pairs of scientists and on patenting. The gradient with which citations declined with distance-based postage costs fell and patenting increased in locations that experienced more significant improvements in letter market access due to the reform.

Lutz Bellmann, Pauline Bourgeon, Christina Gathmann, Patrick Gleiser, Christian Kagerl, Eva Kleifgen, Corinna König, Ute Leber, David Marguerit, Ludivine Martin, Laura Pohlan, Duncan Roth, Malte Schierholz, Jens Stegmaier, Armin Aminian, 05 August 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced firms to adapt their work processes to the infectious dynamic and the public health measures to contain it. Using survey data of almost 2,000 establishments in Germany, this column shows that the pandemic has accelerated the diffusion of digital technologies, especially in combination with working from home. Investments are particularly prominent in large establishments, while small and medium-sized establishments are less likely to invest in digital technologies and more likely to face financial or logistic barriers to investment. Investments vary a lot across sectors, but are less influenced by the current economic condition of the establishment.

David-Jan Jansen, Jakob de Haan, 13 May 2013

The European Central Bank has often been criticised for inconsistencies in its policy communications. At the same time, several papers show how ECB communication has been effective. This column resolves this paradox by providing evidence showing that ECB introductory statements were, in fact, quite consistent over the first decade of its operations.

Alan Blinder, Michael Ehrmann, Marcel Fratzscher, Jakob de Haan, David-Jan Jansen, 15 May 2008

Central banking has undergone dramatic change in recent decades, and many banks now favour transparency in communicating their policies and forecasts. What does this mean? This column argues that our understanding of the role of central bank communication is still in its infancy and it remains unclear what constitutes an optimal communication strategy for central banks.

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