Competitiveness in the International Economy 2015W Term 2
Practice Questions for the First Test Thursday Feb 4, in class ART 204 (1 hour)
Professor: P. Wylie; Office: Art 309 Tel: 807-9341 E-mail: [email protected]
Ten (10) of the questions below will be on the midterm test and you will be required to answer any Three (3) in a short legibly-written answer (essay-type) each. Each question will be equally weighted in your grade. This test is worth 25 percent of your overall grade in the course.
1. Paradoxically, the most enduring competitive advantages and disadvantages in a global economy lie increasingly in local things.” Do you agree or disagree? Discuss.
2. “Along virtually all dimensions, competitiveness can be influenced markedly by purposeful action in both the public and the private sectors.” Discuss.
3. How does the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI seek to measure the competiveness of nations? What is the relative role of the public versus the private sectors in this measurement? Discuss.
4. Discuss the way the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) defines competitiveness and compare and contrast this definition to other definitions you might think of.
5. What does the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) define as “institutions” as a factor in national competiveness? How important a factor would you argue this is, and why? Discuss.
6. What does the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) define as “macroeconomic environment” as a factor in national competiveness? How important a factor would you argue this is, and why? Discuss.
7. What does the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) define as “goods and services market efficiency” as a factor in national competiveness? How important a factor would you argue this is, and why? Discuss.
8. What does the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) define as “labour market efficiency” as a factor in national competiveness? How important a factor would you argue this is, and why? Discuss.
9. What does the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) define as “business sophistication or the ideas ecosystem” as a factor in national competiveness? How important a factor would you argue this is, and why? Discuss.
10. What does the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) define as “innovation or ideas implementation” as a factor in national competiveness? How important a factor would you argue this is, and why? Discuss.
11. “Complex arrays of national circumstances support high, sustainable and growing levels of productivity and competitiveness.” Discuss in the context of the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI).
12. “Relentless upgrading of productivity is what defines the international competitiveness of a modern economy.” Discuss.
13. ‘The GCI is intended to identify factors determining productivity, more specifically, it aims to measure the capacity of national economies to achieve high and sustainable levels of per capita GDP and growth in the medium term, after controlling for the current level of development.” Explain and discuss.
14. “In the context of competitiveness, the optimal level of government expenditure and intervention in an economy is a difficult question.” Explain and discuss.
15. ‘A nation’s prosperity depends on its competitiveness, which rests on its microeconomic and macroeconomic fundamentals.” Explain and discuss.
16. “The determinants of competitiveness are the set of institutions, market structures, policies and regulations that support high levels of productivity and drive productivity growth and sustained increases in output.” Discuss
17. “High productivity is beneficial, not because it helps a country compete with other countries, but because it lets a country produce and therefore consume more. Period.” Explain and discuss.
18. An old cliché is “If you don’t measure it, you probably aren’t managing it.” Explain and discuss if this applies to the issue of a nation’s economic competitiveness.
19. “The “globalization paradox” is that the role of the home nation is stronger than ever in the modern age of increasing globalization”. Explain and discuss.
20. “Productivity, innovation and knowledge, not low taxes, low government spending, low wages, abundant raw materials, or a devalued currency, are the means by which true competitiveness in the international economy is attained, and this creates issues for rich and poor countries alike” Explain and discuss.
21. Compare and contrast the competitiveness of any 2 of Germany, France, the Nordic Countries (as a group), Russia and/or the United Kingdom.
22. “I say yes to a market economy but no to a market society” (former President of France). “I am not a believer in either a public sector or a private sector religion” (former Prime Minister of Germany). Discuss these views in the context of the organization of both the French and the German economies.
23. The European Union has a goal of making itself “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better social cohesion.” Discuss what you feel the EU must keep on doing and build on, and/or what the EU must change, to become so.
24. What makes the so-called “social/coordinated market economies” of many Europe countries such as Germany and Sweden different from the so-called “free/liberal market economy” of the United Kingdom? Critically explain. Discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of both systems.
25. What are the differences between “shareholder” capitalism and “stakeholder” capitalism? Which countries in Europe practice which systems, and why? Discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of both systems.
26. “The remarkable success of rebuilding Europe since the Second World War has been the product of institutions and polices that favoured competitiveness and growth while guaranteeing equity and social cohesion.” Critically discuss.
27. “In the last 30 years or so there has been a massive shift of thinking regarding the role of the state versus the role of the market in fostering economic growth, competitiveness and development.” Critically discuss the nature of this shift and give your overall views on it. Does it require, in your view, a declining role of the public sector in national competitiveness? Explain.
28. “For the first time in several decades, Russia’s great resource abundance, scientific and technological capabilities, and educated, skilled and enterprising population are now linked to the global economy.” What are some of the problems Russia currently faces in managing this transition, and what must it do, in your view, to solve them?
29. “Placing legal limits on the workings of free-wheeling, enterprising entrepreneurship does not destroy it. In fact, it can make it work better, for the good of all in society.” Critically discuss.
30. Discuss what, in your view, are the most critical factors determining the competiveness of your choice of any two European countries.
31. Discuss what, in your view, are the most notable successes and failures of competiveness in your choice of any two European countries.
32. Is it “wise to deindustrialize”? Discuss, compare and contrast the approach of the UK, France and Germany to this question.
33. Former UK Labour Party Prime Minister Tony Blair said in the 1990s that “freedom of enterprise under the law is better than government control over industry and people”, that “the presumption should be that economic activity is best left to the private sector” and that “you have to create wealth before you can redistribute it.” Discuss in the context of the competitive performance of the UK economy since 1945.
34. What have been the keys to the economic success of the Nordic countries since 1945? Is it long, dark and cold winters and lots of wilderness? Why, in your view, has Russia not been so successful? Discuss.
Competitiveness in the International Economy 2015W Term 2