From the Editor

By Crow, Robert Thomas | Business Economics, October 2005 | Go to article overview

From the Editor


Crow, Robert Thomas, Business Economics


This issue leads off with the 2005 winner of the Edwin A. Mennis Award, given annually to a NABE member for the best paper in an open contest. The author, Thomas F. Siems, calls attention to an underappreciated contributor--innovations in global supply chain management--to non-inflationary economic growth. Not only has improved supply chain management improved aggregate productivity, but it is also likely to have reduced aggregate volatility. However, some of the efficiency gains from improved supply chain management have been due to the increased ease of substituting foreign for domestic labor, thus increasing protectionist pressure.

The NABE Award is given to the second-place finisher in the Mennis contest. This year, papers by Xiaobang Shuai and Cliff Waldman tied; and they both receive NABE Awards. In his paper, Shuai asks whether the common-knowledge proposition that central city growth drives suburban growth is really true. His statistical tests indicate that causation may run the other way quite frequently, implying that policy assumptions concerning urban and suburban development will need to be rethought.

Waldman's award-winning paper examines the effects of demographic change on China's long-run economic growth. Unlike other countries that have become prosperous, China is on a path to grow old before it attains prosperity. Analysis of China's demography indicates that it will not influence China's growth in the short run. However, in a decade or so demographic changes are likely to have a profound influence on China's economic growth and global competitiveness.

There has been concern that the U.S. economy is approaching full capacity in manufacturing, thus limiting its potential for sustained, non-inflationary growth. One piece of evidence that has been cited for this is the divergence of estimates of capacity utilization of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) from those of the Federal Reserve. Recently, the ISM rates have been higher than those of the Fed. However, Norman Morin and John J. Stevens find that the differences are more apparent than real, suggesting that these differences should not be given undue weight in the formulation of macroeconomic policy.

Google's recent initial public offering via online auction was intended to minimize a first-day price surge, which represents "money left on the table" for the company. Nayantara Hensel examines the extent to which it was successful in this objective and explores the developing record of online auctions compared to traditional IPO processes. She finds that, from the perspective of the issuer, online auctions have not yet delivered efficient results compared to traditional results. …

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