Trade (both imports and exports) is vital to any successful modern economy. Trade is crucial for the competitiveness of the economy in the long run. There is a large body of evidence to support this. By exposing firms and products to international competition, economies are encouraged to focus on areas of comparative advantage. This helps ensure that scarce skills and resources are deployed where they are most productive. Trade increases, amongst other things, competition (hence boosting productivity and innovation), enables firms to capitalize on economies of scale from having access to larger markets and encourages the spread of skills, knowledge and innovation. This indicator will be influenced not only by the trade policies adopted by the UK and the result of multilateral trade negotiations, but also, and importantly, by the wider macroeconomic context such the state of the world economy. KOF as a Mediator
KOF Swiss Economic Institute defines itself as one of the leading economic “think tanks” in Switzerland. In this prospect, KOF (acronym for the German word "Konjunkturforschungsstelle", which means business cycle research institute) aims to play two roles, one as a mediator between a broader public (politics, society) and the research community, and one as a leading platform for economists, especially within Switzerland.
Another major function of the KOF is scientific research for dissemination in academic and related professional circles via publications and participation in international meetings and conferences.
KOF as a Bridge Between Economists and Society
In order to carry out the first task, KOF offers the public its products (forecasts, indicators, studies) and its expertise. Specifically, KOF communicates the generated scientific results in clear cut terms to a larger public, e.g. in its monthly newsletter KOF Bulletin or in its quarterly in-house journal KOF Analyses. Besides these periodic publications, KOF publishes press releases, gives external lectures, and answers requests for economic data and assessments from the media and other interested parties.
KOF also plays a major role in providing companies and the broader public with survey results amongst Swiss firms capturing different sectors. These surveys mirror the economic situation and mood of Swiss companies and thereby are important in assessing economic developments in Switzerland. Currently, many of these surveys are carried out at a quarterly frequency. It is intended to increase the frequency up to monthly and to communicate especially the firm-, sector- and region-specific results in a more customer-oriented fashion.
Early 2010, KOF launched the internet platform www.oekonomenstimme.org. Ökonomenstimme is a forum (in German) that helps close the gap between economic researchers and a broader audience. That audience includes government economists, international organisations, academia, and the private sector as well as journalists specialising in economics, finance and business in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The goal is to raise the level of public policy discussion by making research-based analysis and commentary more accessible to the informed public and bringing a wider range of researchers into the debate by lowering the entry barriers.
Thursday, 10 March 2011 00:35
Interpreting measures of globalization is a tricky business. Small countries will always come out on top. They have to be global to survive. Singapore, for example, imports everything, including water. Large economies like the US score lower, in part because they trade a lot more internally. And yet they are home to the world’s most global cities, like New York and San Francisco.
All that said, KOF’s Index of Globalization is most certainly worth a look at.
The KOF team has a rather complicated definition of globalization, namely, “the process of creating networks of connections among actors at multi-continental distances, mediated...
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