88 research outputs found

    From six to ten and beyond: The European Community at the crossroads

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    The purpose of this paper is to assess the main factors causing the impasse which the EC has reached. The next section examines the lack of consensus of the member states on the aims of the EC and on the means to achieve them. Subsequently, this is related to the EC enlargement. Finally, recommendations will be made on major policy issues in order to provide a new stimulus to the integration process in Western Europe.

    The international trading order at the crossroads

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    As economic theory shows and experience underlines, international trade and the specialization associated herewith is one important source of economic growth, employment creation and technological innovation in participating countries. In awareness of this potential for increasing economic prosperity throughout the world, the architects of the international trading system, which was to emerge from the ashes of World War II, envisaged a framework of rules leading to, and securing, open markets. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which came into being in 1948, laid down such trade rules, basically the principles of non-discrimination and multilateralism in world trade. The aim was not to establish free trade, without any government intervention. What was meant is liberal trade, in which governments may interfere, but using price measures which are transparent and do not rule out competition (i.e. non-prohibitive tariffs rather than quantitative restrictions or subsidies). Adherence by the member countries to the principles of multilateralism and non-discrimination was expected to give rise to the production of an international public good: stability and predictability of trade rules.

    The economic integration of Spain with the E.E.C: Problems and prospects

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    In 1959/60, there was a radical shift in Spain's economic development strategy from a strongly autarchic to a cautiously outward orientation. A group of neo-liberal technocrats who enterered for the first time since Civil War the governmental administration obviously understood that the establishment of the European Common Market (1957) and the introduction of external convertibility by the highly industrialized countries (1958) would accentuate the economic growth path in Western Europe and, thereby, open new possibilities of rapid economic development for Spain. After all, the Government recognized that economic integration is an important device for promoting economic development. This is particularly true if industrialization is considered as a corner-stone of rapid economic and social progress (as was, and is, the case in Spain). The arguments in favour of more integration are too well known to need a detailed elaboration here. Essentially, they refer to the economies of scale that can be achieved in a wider market than the relatively small national one, to the increase of overall efficiency that will result from the more competitive environment, and to the improvement in the allocation of resources that can take place by arriving at a product-mix according to the country's comparative advantage. Whatever the degree to which Spain was able to reap the benefits of integration, the economic boom, which the country has been experiencing since 1960, and which deserves to be regarded as an outstanding success story in terms of income expansion as well as of growth and structural changes of production and foreign trade proves that the opening of the economy was rewarding thus far.

    The domestic resource cost concept: Theory and an empirical application to the case of Spain

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    The problem of how to make an optimum use of a country's limited productive resources is often a crucial one to the policy makers in less developed countries (LDCs). Not surprisingly, therefore, the various methods of cost-benefit analysis have attracted much attention among professional economists and are finding a wide spread application in evaluating the social profitability of investment projects and in the planning decision-making process as well. Relatively less attention has been paid to yet another criterion of project appraisal in a developing country that has been developed independently of social cost benefit analysis - the so called domestic resource cost (DRC) approach to project appraisals. This approach is properly regarded as the application of the propositions of allocation theory when the project, or the industry in question, produces (or saves) foreign exchange. The DRC concept compares the opportunity costs of domestic resources (primary factors such as labour, capital, land) conmitted to the production of final goods with prices at which these goods can be exported or imported - the latter prices (the foreign exchange gained or saved) being considered as the ensuing benefits from production. The rationale for using the foreign exchange gained (through exports) or saved (through imports) as a standard of reference is that foreign exchange is relatively, and often critically, scarce in many developing countries.

    The expansion of manufactured exports in developing countries: An empirical assessment of supply and demand issues

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    Economist's thinking about the role of international trade in the process of economic development exhibits a cyclical behaviour. The classical thinking, which held sway until the 1930s, emphasized the crucial role of trade in promoting growth through the optimal allocation of resources made possible by the exploitation of international comparative advantage. By the 1950s, after years of frustration and disappointment in attempting to foster development on the basis of primary commodity exports, many economists, particularly those associated with the Latin American experience, rejected the logic of the classical argument, maintaining instead that underdevelopment is a fundamental problem of transforming the structure of an economy and not of merely achieving marginal optimality in the allocation of resources. Furthermore, imperfections of the international trading framework, such as increasing oligopolistic competition, discriminatory pricing on world markets and product differentiation, discredited deeply the idea of an export-led growth for developing countries. The economic consequence of the new viewpoint was a fundamental rejection of the market mechanism in favour of direct intervention and control of economic decision-making. The main tactic of this strategy was to force the substitution of imports with domestic production by controlling investment decisions and protecting the domestic market from international competition. By the mid-1960s, however, this strategy, or at least the tactics employed to pursue it, had proved unsuccessful (in terms of sustained growth, adequate expansion of industrial employment and removal of severe balance of payments constraints), in many instances only exacerbating problems they were designed to cure.

    Valoración de la situación económica europea: diagnóstico y pronóstico

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    Documento procedente de la Fundación FAESEuropa pasa por un momento de crisis y una difícil situación económica. El malestar en algunos estados miembros puede ser motivo del resultado negativo del referendum de ratificación de la Constitución europeaEurope is going through a crisis and a difficult economic situation. The unrest in some member states may be the reason for the negative result of the referendum of ratification of the European Constitutio

    Export liberalization and the outward oriented trade regime

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    The purpose of this essay is to re-assess the case of outward- oriented trade regimes in the process of economic development. The nature of outward-orientation is briefly explained in the next section. As developing countries usually start their industrialization through import substitution strategies, the shift from an inward- to an outward-oriented trade regime raises questions concerning the set of economic policies to be reshaped, the timing of the policy reform, and the feasibility of such changes, which all are discussed in the third section. The fourth section provides evidence on successful as well as on unsuccessful liberalization attempts undertaken in the seventies and traces the causes for success or failure by relating the country experiences to the policy framework for export liberalization outlined in the previous section. In the fifth section, the revival of export pessimism is evaluated.

    Der Nord-S√ľd-Dialog in der Sackgasse? Eine Nachlese zum Brandt-Bericht im Hinblick auf das Cancun-Gipfeltreffen

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    Die im Brandt-Bericht propagierte Umverteilungsstrategie (verst√§rkter Ressourcentransfer in Nord-S√ľd-Richtung) und offenbare Reformeuphorie (neue Weltwirtschaftsordnung) tragen wenig dazu bei, Armut in der Dritten Welt dauerhaft zu √ľberwinden und anhaltenden wirtschaftlichen Fortschritt zu sichern. Der Schl√ľssel zur wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung liegt in den Entwicklungsl√§ndern selbst. Viele Entwicklungsl√§nder verharren im Zustand der Unterentwicklung, weil tradierte Wertvorstellungen, politische Instabilit√§t und wirtschaftspolitisches Autarkiedenken als dauerhafte Wachstumsbremse wirken. Zahlreiche L√§nder haben aber im weltwirtschaftlichen WachstumsprozeB, zum Teil spektakul√§r, aufholen k√∂nnen, weil dort auf Leistungsethik und individuelles Erfolgsstreben gesetzt und Spezialisierungsvorteile im Rahmen der internationalen Arbeitsteilung geschickt genutzt wurden. Nichts spricht daf√ľr, da√ü unter einer neuen Weltwirtschaftsordnung, in der der internationale G√ľteraustausch und Kapitalverkehr beh√∂rdlich gelenkt werden, die Entwicklungsl√§nder besser fahren als bei einem System, das Rechtssicherheit, Vertragsfreiheit und offene M√§rkte gew√§hrleistet. Die Industrienationen m√ľssen es sich, auch im eigenen Interesse, zur Aufgabe machen, ein solches System funktionsf√§hig zu halten. Statt selektivem Importprotektionismus ist wieder Importliberalisierung auf breiter Front gefragt, und zwar unter Einschlu√ü des Agrarhandels. Bei der Gew√§hrung von Entwicklungshilfe soll auf Lieferbindung verzichtet werden, weil diese den Realwert mindert. Auflagen zur F√∂rderung einer effizienten Wirtschaftspolitik im Nehmerland sollten gemacht werden. Gro√üz√ľgiger kann gegen√ľber den besonders armen Entwicklungsl√§ndern verfahren werden; doch mu√ü sichergestellt sein, da√ü die Entwicklungshilfe die bed√ľrftigen Menschen auch wirklich erreicht. Im Bereich der internationalen Rohstoffpolitik k√∂nnen die Industriestaaten mittels gro√üz√ľgiger Zusagen f√ľr kompensatorische Finanzierungskredite kooperieren. Diese Kredite sollten jedoch zu Marktbedingungen gew√§hrt werden, damit f√ľr Entwicklungsl√§nder ein √∂konomischer Anreiz besteht, ihrerseits Ma√ünahmen zum Abbau von Exporterl√∂sfluktuationen zu ergreifen. Entwicklungserfolge in der Dritten Welt h√§ngen nicht vom "guten Willen" der Industriestaaten ab. Tragf√§hige L√∂sungen f√ľr das Entwicklungsproblem lassen sich nicht auf internationalen Konferenzen aushandeln. Es sind die Regierungen in den Entwicklungsl√§ndern, die Bedingungen herstellen m√ľssen, unter denen sich die Bev√∂lkerung zu Leistung und Strukturwandel motivieren l√§√üt. --
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