Jointly organized by CompNet and National Bank of Slovakia
Conference on Sustainable development, firm performance and competitiveness policies in small open economies
Bratislava (Slovakia), 23-24 April 2020
Globalization and the wide acceptance of the free market paradigm followed by the expansion of the global value chains and foreign investments have supported capital-embedded technological change and knowledge transfer across transition and recently advanced economies. Deregulation and promotion of competition have increased those countries productivity tremendously. However, rising trade barriers and the fall back to nationalist thoughts might represent huge obstacles for their future growth. Moreover, while the expansion of global production networks initially helped transition countries to grow and prosper, some of these economies now may find themselves locked in the downstream part of the value chain, depleted from the most creative activities such as R&D. This may hamper the efficient labour allocation within the host economy and prevent a proper reaction to new challenges at both, micro and macro level. Also, competition among countries that have recently grown to an advanced economy status is fierce and few have any permanent competitive advantage.
At the same time, wide ranging “sustainability” concerns have become more urgent, thus defeating the traditional measures aimed to promote economic growth and help countries to escape the middle-income trap. Switch to low-carbon economies is an example of new additional challenges influencing the competitiveness of firms, industries and countries. Another concern is the increasing inequality not only among consumers, but also among firms in terms of efficiency and costs of capital, which implies that while high growth is limited to a narrow number of firms, aggregate productivity of the economy increases only slowly.
As a result, to create the new “tigers” of the future, policies need to encompass a much more complex set of issues, which may contrast with the sole objective of improving productivity.
The Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet) and the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) are jointly calling for papers addressing one or more of the topics mentioned above from both, micro and macro level perspectives.
We are particularly interested in academic work with strong policy relevance on the following topics:
• Competitiveness policies in small open economies
• Structural transformation and distributional consequences
• Inequality and political populism
• Transition to low-carbon economies
• The interaction between monetary and competitiveness policies
• Factor reallocation and growth
• Sustainable development and middle-income trap
• New drivers of firm performance