APEC: Modeling and Evaluation of Initiatives
— Dr. Ponomarenko, please tell us more about the organizers and the key tasks of this conference.
— The conference took place as part of the Russian project at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum which was initiated by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development. In 2012 our country will chair the APEC forum, and that’s why this project was considered a priority. The idea of the conference was introduced to the APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) on economic and technical cooperation in May 2011 and was approved. The main task of the conference was to define the demand and opportunities for the use of modern methods of economic modeling for the quantitative evaluation of APEC initiatives aimed at promoting economic growth and economic integration in the region. We wanted to provide the APEC Secretariat and the people who implement state policies with information on the most important achievements in economic modeling, and I believe we have succeeded.
— What economic models were considered at the conference? What are input-output tables?
— Input-output tables are an integrated system of indicators of demand and supply for intermediary and end-user goods and services provided in a matrix form. In other words, this is a schematic and analytical tool which is integrated into the national accounts of almost all countries.
When combined with additional data (such as the statistics of foreign trade, specific carbon emissions, labour productivity etc.), input-output tables allow the construction of reliable models for forecasting the consequences of specific economic policies.
— What is the practical application of these models?
— Let me give you one topical example. In relation to Russia’s forthcoming entry into the WTO we often hear forecasts on the potential effects for the Russian economy. One of the most often quoted is a study by the World Bank which predicts a highly stimulating effect and which came from a model of the Global Trade Analysis Project by Purdue University (USA). This model is based on a large database of input-output tables for most of the world economies.
— Who participated in the conference?
— At the invitation of HSE, IIES leading experts on statistical analysis and economic modeling from Japan, USA, Australia, China, Taiwan as well professionals from APEC Secretariat and the WTO participated in the conference. The speakers represented such organizations as the Japan External Trade Organization Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO), Hitotsubashi University (Japan), the U.S. International Trade Commission, the University of Sydney (Australia), State Information Center (China) and the Taiwan Research Institute.
— Please tell us about the key topics of the forum’s presentations and discussions.
— The participants focused on two areas of the application of models based on international input-output tables: regional economic integration through the development of international production chains and the policy stimulating ‘green’, environmentally oriented growth. And we had good reason to focus on these topics, since they are in accordance with current APEC priorities.
You can get more detailed information on the conference papers on the HSE IIES website.
— What were the results of the conference? And how do you see the next stage of the work?
— The application of models based on international input-output tables is not limited to academic science. They can be an effective tool for guiding economic policy. For APEC it can be particularly topical, since some long-term guidelines for closer economic integration and for ‘green’, sustainable growth currently require a deeper quantitative evaluation.
Representatives of the APEC Secretariat’s administration, such as Muhamad Noor Yacob, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, and Denis Hew, Director of the Policy Support Unit, APEC Secretariat, also spoke on the practical application of models based on international input-output tables.
I believe that this conference has demonstrated the intellectual input made by the HSE in preparation for Russia’s chairmanship of next year’s APEC forum and I hope that work on this important topic will continue.
Valentina Gruzintseva, HSE News Service
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