Spring experts report: The situation of the global and the German economy in spring 2004
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Die Weltwirtschaft befindet sich im Aufschwung. Seit Mitte 2003 expandiert die Produktion in vielen Ländern ausgesprochen kräftig, und die Kapazitätsauslastung steigt. Der Aufschwung hat mit Nordamerika und Ostasien zwei Zentren.
Die Lage der Weltwirtschaft und der deutschen Wirtschaft im Frühjahr 2003
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The global economy is in the midst of a phase of weakness. In the course of next year, at the earliest, GDP will in many regions expand a little faster than potential output. The German economy, even, remains in a phase of prolonged weakness. In the second half of this year an economic recovery is expected to start here. However, it will proceed only slowly. Aggregate capacity utilisation will continue to decline, and the state of the labour market will deteriorate further. Although the recovery will firm next year and domestic demand will rise slightly, economic growth in Germany will continue to lack dynamism.
Germany: Cyclical Improvement not Until the End of the Year
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
During the second quarter of 2001 German overall production stagnated. Weak global development muddied the economic prospects of firms and prevented them from rising their output and their investment activities. In 2001 gross national product will only increase by 1%; the number of unemployed will be higher than expected. Nevertheless, we advise against an increase in public expenditure that aims at stimulating the economy. Anyhow, growing public deficits, caused by cyclical movements, should be accepted. In order to increase employment labour market reforms become more urgent.
In East Germany, currently even a decline in gross national product cannot be excluded. After the first period of restructuring, which has been accompanied by structural problems, cyclical movements become more important. In addition, economic stagnation burdens labour markets. Nonetheless trying to stimulate the East German economy by government spending programmes does not seem to be a viable strategy. From the cyclical point of view they are not very efficient and concerning structural problems they are no solution.
Revenue Implications of Trade Liberalization
IMF Occasional Papers, No. 180,
In recent decades many countries have dismantled trade barriers and opened their economies to international competition. Trade liberalization is seen to promote economic efficiency, international competitiveness, and an expansion of trade, perhaps especially in imperfectly competitive markets. Yet despite this progress in trade liberalization, as evidenced by the conclusion of the Uruguay Round in 1994 and the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, trade barriers are still widespread. Some economies and some sectors (e.g., agriculture in many industrial countries) remain relatively insulated from the global economy by a variety of nontariff and tariff barriers, even as import substitution continues to lose ground as a strategy for economic development.
Innovative Milieux: Advanced Posts of Interpenetration between the Economic System and the Science System
IWH Discussion Papers,
A growing number of governments, political parties, and enterprises set the theme „innovation“ on their agenda and join in the global race to more competitive national economies. In this race the concept of the „innovative milieu“ serves as an important point of orientation and as a political target that, on the first glance, seems to be transferable in concrete political measures. A basic feature of innovative milieux is the quick and easy transfer of knowledge to products in demand. This speed-up in the diffusion of knowledge is not only interesting with respect to the economic advantages but also with respect to science. It is the basic thesis of this paper that innovative milieux represent special cases where the economic system and the science system interpenetrate in an extreme way. Empirical findings show that the actors of innovative milieux have a strong cultural proximity to basic attitudes and behavior within the science system. This relates to the institutionalization of trial and error, the reinforcement of exploratory behavior, the flow of information, and to a special mixture of cooperation and competition. An essential feature of innovative milieux derives from the network relations of its actors. These relations have to be balanced a) to the need to create trust and reduce uncertainty, and b) to the need to stay permeable enough for linkages with new actors from outside. With regard to time innovative milieux have to be conceived from an evolutionary perspective. This involves several steps: Development of prerequisites, consolidation, attraction of labor and enterprises from other regions. From the evolutionary perspective, too, possible factors of preventing or accelerating the „entropic death“ (Camagni 1991) of innovative milieux can be discussed. The exceptional character of innovative milieux has consequences for innovation-oriented political strategies. The self-enforcing dynamics of innovative milieux create a tendency to more economic inequality between regions (core-periphery differences). This is contradictory to political strategies in which innovation-oriented policy is applied to reach an offset between prospering and impoverished regions. In many cases a strategy starting from the assumption of an enduring non-innovative milieu seems to be more realistic and more promising. Further on, the new more direct links between enterprises and research institutes question the current shape of technology transfer institutions. Finally the potential effects of the new trend to encourage the entrepreneurship of research staff on the science system are discussed.