A research group of the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, in co-operation with IDE@-Research Area on International Economics, with the financial and scientific support of the Global Development Network and the World Bank, Human Development and Social Protection Unit, is carrying out a research program aiming at detecting empirically the phenomenon of macrovulnerability linked to trade openness. This research program has been carried out partially in Rome and partially in Washington DC, at the World Bank, HDSP Unit..The scope of this research program is to underline the role of the integration process and forward looking policies in reducing exposure to external shocks. The analysis is focused on Eastern Europe, in consideration of the dramatic and unprecedented trade liberalization process experienced in the area at the beginnings of ‘90s, and the on going accession process towards EU. The difficulty of properly measuring macrovulnerability to trade shocks at the macro level is acknowledged and emphasized. We propose an original measure to combine trade shocks, volatility and human development. The main result of the analysis is to demonstrate that trade liberalization in Eastern Europe, if not associated with adequate tools or consistent policies, could be harmful for CEECs’ human development and sustainable livelihood and that the apparent association in Eastern Europe between trade liberalization and socio-economic performance could be misleading. The social and economic convergence process, currently in place, between CEECs and EU member countries could in fact hidden that actually trade liberalization negatively influences the human development levels in most of CEECs. This preliminary evidence provides a substantive contribution to the debate, currently in place, about the role of international trade on the socioeconomic performance of emerging countries, as well as the determinants and effects of volatility. Though the concept of vulnerability has been discussed both at the macro (national) level and at the micro (household/individual) level, most of the vulnerability analyses usually adopt a micro approach. However, the growing and widespread globalization process compels to look at vulnerability explicitly considering its macroeconomic dimensions and implications. This consideration induced us to exert some efforts to develop a broader approach to vulnerability starting from the macroeconomic (comparative) level. The preliminary results of the research have been presented at the Fifth Annual Global Development Conference “Understanding Reform” held in New Delhi, India January 28-30, 2004. IDE@ will follow up this event organizing, in co-operation with the World Bank, HDSP Unit, and again with the financial support of GDN, two Risk and Vulnerabiliy Assessments at the “meso” level. The idea is to test the results obtained at the macro level, trying to analyze more in depth the economic and social linkages and the actual channels of transmission between external shocks and the main internal socioeconomic variables in specific socio-economic contexts such as a specific country or region. We are planning to carry out two preliminary meso analyses in Algeria and Puglia Region. A specific focus on the characteristics of the entrepreneurial local system will be also carry out, benefiting from the specific knowledge of some of the IDE@ associates.

Pierluigi Montalbano, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
In the contemporary world, national economies are undoubtedly much more interdependent than in the past, owing to the presence of active international trade in goods, services, and assets. Hence, in a such interdependent world economy, one cannot analyze the internal macroeconomic policy formation without taking international policy interactions into account..The phenomenon of macroeconomic coordination is indeed a very complex and articulated subject. A central issue of international macroeconomic policy coordination is “how to keep the benefits of extensive international agreements, while at the same time preserving a maximum degree of freedom for each nation to pursue its legitimate economic objectives” (Cooper, 1968). Moreover, one needs to consider that rules and procedures of International Commitments are subject to erosion and reinterpretation, and evolve in response to the interests of the different actors and their bargaining power, sometimes with radical deviations from the original aims. Nevertheless, the issue of macroeconomic interdependence had not been analyzed in a formal, systematic framework until some decades ago. The first seminal work on this issue was “The Economics of Interdependence” by Richard Cooper, published in 1968. Cooper pointed out that increasing interdependence interfere with the successful pursuit of national objectives and suggested the possibility of applying game theoretic apparatuses. This apparatus was used for the first time by Hamada in ‘70s, in the context of the fixed exchange rate regime. In the ‘80s, thanks to the frequent meetings of the major industrialized countries to discuss international financial affairs, the need for international macroeconomic policy coordination attracted considerable attention, notwithstanding it was mainly related to the monetary aspect of the phenomenon. The complexity of international macroeconomic coordination has been usually analyzed by the use of Game Theory. We can say, indeed, that this subject is now one of the most active fields of the application of game theory in international economics. Nowadays, other aspects of the international coordination are becoming increasingly relevant and topical in the international debate: trade, budget, environment, development, welfare etc. These are very delicate issues, both from an economic and a political point of view. The “Millennium Round” of WTO Multilateral Negotiations and the current difficulties to carry on the huge number of issues (ranging from agriculture to FDI regulations, from labor standards to Intellectual Property rights) of the new “Developing Round” after the Doha Meeting (November 2001) and that of Cancun (September 2003) show clearly how important these issues will be in the near future. (......)


Silvia Nenci, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Integrated Mobile System Units by Postal Offices for the implementation of advanced
services in remote minor localities.


Many small-scale postal offices show an unsatisfactory and insufficient demand level for traditional services required by local customers which do not guarantee the ordinary managing costs. This situation often drive the postal system to a complete close down of those offices with some important side-effects particularly on local employment, heavy consequences compared to those of other more developed areas and on the social economic cohesion of the mountain areas and remote minor localities. To those critical factors in remote and minor areas the recent budget policy improvements have caused a structural reduction and rationalization of the main peripheral public services, particularly those services with insufficient demand level (e.g. postal offices, health, telecommunication, financial services etc.). A rationalization process of the small and medium postal offices (particularly those situated in mountain and minor localities) and the consequent coherent actions require for the managing and operational restructuring an appropriate implementation planned approach to achieve increasing of the global demand level, adoption of advanced technologies, appropriate training of postal officers and definition of a minimum service standard level for the basic services for dismissed small postal offices. An effective and prompt solution to the above mentioned objectives facing the rationalization process is constituted by the deployment of a specific “Integrated Mobile Service System”by the local post offices in remote minor areas and mountain ones. The “Integrated Mobile Units Service System” foresees in its different modular applications, three different types of “units”, integrated with its competent postal office Service Hub, localized in a key center of gravity position. Those “units” equipped with advanced Information and Telecommunications Technologies, structured in modular solutions/applications, will guarantee to the customers in the interested target area, the access to information services, internet on-line services together with the professional consulting services supply and traditional agency services. The postal office, equipped with the Integrated Mobile System Unit, will represent a tangible an effectiveness technology advanced service infrastructure together with the consulting services and business advise for the local development. (.......)


Vincenzo Cappellini
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Paolo Liberati
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