Category Archives: Economy

Resource Productivity — Good for China, Good for the World

This title contrasts with the preoccupation with labour productivity during the last 200 years of technological progress. Labour productivity has been the melody of the first Industrial Revolution. It increased twentyfold or more during those 200 years. This has been the basis of prosperity and it is the main theme of China’s stunning economic progress. more…

Globalisation, Democracy and the Role of NGOs

In my role as Chairman of the parliamentary Select Committee on Economic Globalisation I learned with a degree of surprise that the term globalisation was brand new. It began to play a role in public life not earlier than in 1993. The strongest reason for the sudden appearance of the term globalisation has been the end around 1990 of the Cold War. more…

Making Prices Work for the Environment

Let me at the outset distinguish two different tasks of environmental policy. One is pollution control which is predominantly a local and a national activity. The other task of environmental policy relates to global and long-term challenges such as climate change, biodiversity losses and unsustainable lifestyles. Prices can work for the environment in both arenas.  more…

Globalisation: Speech at the Koenigswinter Conference in Oxford, UK

Over 200 years ago, when Adam Smith set about forming his moral ideas of the free market, he made it clear that the wealth of nations requires a strong state, not a weak one! At least three conditions need to be granted by the state: External peace, a reliable legal frame, and a healthy infrastructure that benefits all competitors but would not be paid for by any individual actor. more…

The Old and New Europe: Alternatives for Future Transatlantic Relations?

When I began preparing this address on the Old and New Europe in their transatlantic relations, I saw with a degree of relief that hundreds of wise men and women had already written or spoken about the subject in recent months. So my task looked like a pretty easy one, just to summarise what wiser people than myself have said. more…

On Globalisation

Globalisation is a new phenomenon. The very term “globalisation” appeared in the languages of the world around 1993. The strongest reason for the sudden appearance of the term globalisation has been the end of the Cold War. We all, I am sure, were glad about many things that happened in this context. more…