This paper discusses achievement and failure of science in increasing world animal production. The paper highlights that the application of modern animal production technology is virtually confined to Western Europe, to the North American continent, to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The new technologies are not yet used in other parts of the world. Hardly more than a handful of their farmers have any knowledge or understanding of production methods commonplace in highly developed countries.
This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that despite the better cyclical outlook, medium-term trends for Italy remain troubling: potential growth is estimated at just 1¼ percent, as low productivity growth and high domestic costs have led to a steady erosion of competitiveness and export market share. The 2005 fiscal deficit target of 4.3 percent of GDP is estimated to have been met, thanks in part to measures introduced by the authorities. For 2006, the authorities have committed to a deficit target of 3.5 percent of GDP.
Using symmetric data sets of 92 weekly return observations before and after the introduction of the euro, the paper analyzes the impact of the new currency on the return structure of equity markets in the European Monetary Union. Variance decompositions, cluster analyses, and principle component analyses are used to explore the changes in the structural relations. European industry factors are found to have dramatically increased in importance with the launch of the single currency, and a new 'country-size' factor in European stock returns is detected. Furthermore, inner-European correlations are documented to have been reduced sharply with the start of the monetary union.
This paper develops an aggregation procedure using time-varying weights for constructing the common component of international economic fluctuations. The methodology for deriving time-varying weights is based on some stylized features of the data documented in the paper. The model allows for a unified treatment of cyclical and seasonal fluctuations and also captures the dynamic propagation of shocks across countries. Correlations of individual country fluctuations with the common component provide evidence of a “world business cycle” and a distinct European common component. The results suggest that macroeconomic fluctuations have become more closely linked across industrial economies in the post–Bretton Woods period.
Motivated by the literature on the capital asset pricing model, we decompose the uncertainty
of a typical forecaster into common and idiosyncratic uncertainty. Using individual survey
data from the Consensus Forecasts over the period of 1989-2014, we develop monthly
measures of macroeconomic uncertainty covering 45 countries and construct a measure of
global uncertainty as the weighted average of country-specific uncertainties. Our measure
captures perceived uncertainty of market participants and derives from two components that
are shown to exhibit strikingly different behavior. Common uncertainty shocks produce the
large and persistent negative response in real economic activity, whereas the contributions of
idiosyncratic uncertainty shocks are negligible.
Information on seasonal frequencies can provide valuable insights for understanding economic fluctuations. This is particularly true for Italy, where the variability of production in manufacturing is extremely high and almost entirely due to seasonal factors. This paper discusses the option of exogenous seasonality resulting from changes in underlying technology and preferences, versus the possibility of endogenous seasonality arising because of synergies across agents. It then highlights the size of the seasonally-driven capacity slack and discusses its relevance from a welfare standpoint.