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Thursday, November 01, 2007

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wookiemagnet

Ummm.. I don't know if you noticed it but two of the five Anglo-Saxon countries (Australia and New Zealand) that are supposedly so globally competitive are actually ranked BELOW France!:

http://www.gcr.weforum.org/pages/GCI_2007_2008.aspx

jefff

"Fourth, in Europe smaller countries seem to do better than the larger ones."

I did a plot of scores against population with European nations and no useful correlation of that type is evident.

Basically Italy and Spain are the worst and the other nations are scattered across 4.75 and 5.75.

Country Score Population
Switzerland 5.6 7.5
Denmark 5.5 5.5
sweden 5.5 9.2
Germany 5.5 82.6
Finland 5.4 5.3
UK 5.4 60.6
Netherlands 5.4 16.4
Austria 5.2 8.3
Norway 5.2 4.7
France 5.1 64.1
Belgium 5.1 10.5
Ireland 5 4.3
Luxembourg 4.8 0.5
Spain 4.6 45.1
Italy 4.3 59.2

ricardo

One of the points of Peter Lindert's "Growing Public" is that the Nordic economies can only afford the spending/taxes they do have because their spending/tax systems are more efficient, others things equal; one feature of this greater efficiency being _lower_ corporate taxes.

Arthur Eckart

Ricardo, how are the Nordic economies "spending/tax systems" more efficient? You seem to be suggesting Nordic economies are poor models, because they're constrained on spending & taxes. When real value is created, then government spending & taxes can increase. However, when real value is only redistributed, there's no real value created. As a matter of fact, some real value is destroyed. Moreover, the creation of future real value can lead to less constrained spending & taxes in the current period.

Lafayette

wm: “two of the five Anglo-Saxon countries … that are supposedly so globally competitive are actually ranked BELOW France!”

I’m not sure this country-by-country comparison is valid.

First of all, the WEF is not totally unbiased. They’ve got their Davos Forum, a real money-spinner, to think about (in the background).

I suggest that it colours the criteria employed to generate their analysis and, frankly, I would not put it past them.

Also, comparing any one European country against the US is a demographic no-no. The two are not comparable. It would be about time that we got to comparing the EU and the US, which are a better demographic comparison.

You know, apples and apples, oranges and oranges?

Lafayette

And another thing: Looking at the Competitiveness Scores, one might imagine that the lowest scores seem to go to the most interventionist states. Meaning that competition and statism, seemingly, do not go hand in hand.

This makes de facto sense, for anyone who has lived within such a country or even tried to do business in one.

But, I note at the top, just after the US, that tiny alpine country called Switzerland. Which I cannot qualify as an absolutely open and utterly deregulated country. And certainly not as regards the US. Not by any means.

And, yet, there it is - home of the World Economic Forum (Geneva) and in second place in the chart.

Makes the mind boggle, doesn't it ...

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