Progressive globalization and digitilization are increasing the pressure of international competition. Ageing and shrinking industrial societies are challenged by young countries with a high level of economic dynamism. Where competitiveness cannot be maintained, economic shrinking processes, rising unemployment and growing public debt, including the associated social consequences, will follow.
A more precise understanding of economic globalization and mutual dependencies, especially their consequences for the individual economies and for their respective average citizens, is therefore becoming increasingly important for political and economic action. Model-limited theoretical discussions will hardly suffice for this, however; rather, sound empirical data, quantified forecasts and calculations of the economic effects of different scenarios are necessary, on the basis of which concrete options for action can in turn be derived and evaluated.
The aim of the Global Economic Dynamics project is therefore to make a contribution to ensuring that Germany remains economically successful in the future despite the challenging global general framework without endangering the social cohesion and the long-term stability and performance of the socio-political, economic and ecological systems. We consider a high level of international competitiveness and deep integration into the global economy to be desirable, because this is linked to a high level of production (high provision of goods and services to citizens as a prerequisite for a high standard of living), a high level of employment (participation in the labour market enables income to be generated and thus access to social participation) and a solid basis of public finance (high state revenues as a prerequisite for political ability to act).
To achieve this goal, challenges for Germany's competitiveness are identified on the basis of selected international development trends and their mutual interaction, in order to subsequently develop options for dealing with these challenges and to contribute to their implementation.
The interplay of globalization, digitization and demographic change gives rise to numerous possible challenges and questions. The project focuses primarily on four selected thematic areas:
- Winners and losers of economic globalization, determinants and development trends ("globalization" theme)
- governance of international trade - trade agreements, institutions and the future of multilateralism ("trade governance" theme),
- foreign direct investment and the development of the international division of labour ("FDI and GVC" theme),
- influence of digitilization and automation on economic exchange ("digitilization" theme).
The project work can be described in four steps:
- Relevant questions and hypotheses were identified through fundamental qualitative analyses of the expected development and changes in the global general framework (globalization, technological progress/digitization, demographic change) and their long-term macroeconomic effects on Germany.
- If no satisfactory empirical findings on the questions are available, corresponding calculations on the effects on Germany in Europe were commissioned from external project partners.
- On the basis of the challenges for Germany identified in the econometric analyses, medium to long-term strategies have been developed for the four thematic areas and discussed and finalized with experts from research and politics.
- In 2019, main results were combined in a road-map 2030, a consistent and integrated package of measures designed to respond to the central expected changes in the global economy in Germany. The political recommendations for action are limited to the four thematic areas worked on in the Project.
In addition to classical publications, we mainly used online formats to communicate our studies and expertise. In addition to a YouTube channel, Twitter feeds and a Facebook account, the project mainly featured an extensive blog page.- this had been handed over in 2022 to our colleagues specialized in european ecomics. In addition, conferences and workshops at home and abroad were used to present and discuss our contents.
In the Global Economic Dynamics project, we worked together with various institutions. Science and consultancy: e.g. ifo Institute Munich, Prognos AG Basel, Institute for the World Economy Kiel, European University Institute Florence, World Trade Institute Bern, Brookings Institution, Economist Intelligence Unit London, European Trade Study Group, ECIPE Brussels); international organizations: e.g. World Trade Organization (WTO), International Trade Center (ITC), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); politics and administration: e.g. Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, EU Commission (Directorate General Trade & Internal Market).