Annual reports 2000


Presidential Address

Economics should be economics as an empirical science. Thereby, we intend to analyse economic phenomena objectively, being completely detached from any ideologies, by developing and deepening economic theory with measurements.'' I surely think that this is a common spirit among all of the members of our International Input-Output Association. During the 20th century, we experienced tremendous structural changes of society with the rapid economic growth far beyond the historical standard of human beings. We might say that the 20th century was a magnificent experimental period for the design of the economic society. The movement toward the planning economy, which was started at the beginning of the century, ended around the last decade of that and moved to the transition period to the market economy. On the other hand, however, the market economy itself has been gradually changing its structure during the century. The analytical framework of the Input-Output theory has been contributing to proposing the direction of the design we should be following in society, whether in the market economy or in the planning economy, since the founder, Wassily W. Leontief completed his scientific ideas.

Generally speaking, if we suppose that the objective of economic analysis is to propose the direction of the design of the economic system, we should change in order to create a preferable society of human being from the viewpoints of efficiency as well as equity. We should know at first the `structure' of the economy quantitatively and empirically by making use of economic theory with measurement. The structural analysis in which we can evaluate the structural changes, and the driving force of the changes is one of most important tasks in the input-output analysis. Needless to say, in order to perform these analyses along with the empirical framework, we should begin with collecting the observations and clarifying the observed facts as evidence of the structural changes.

I know that the input-output table has already been constructed currently in more than 80 countries around the world. For example, in Japan, the first trial of the construction of the input-output table could be traced back to the year 1951. After 1955, comparable tables are available continuously in every five years until 1995. Now the year 2000 table is being constructed. Successive ten tables since the middle of the 20th century might give us the affluent observations to analyse and evaluate the structural changes. Other developed countries like Canada and the Netherlands also have had a fruitful experience of developing the database for input-output tables. Recently there are many developing countries where the compilation of the table has just started. In the recent globalisation of the economy, the international interdependency among the different economies is strengthening. The importance of understanding the mechanism in the international interdependency is increasing rapidly in order to make design of the economy. International linked input-output tables provide efficient analytical tools to evaluate the international interdependency of the economy.

In the process of the compilation of the database for input-output table we need the laborious co-operative work among economists and statisticians. We are proud of the sources of co-operation among academic societies in our association. Again, the improvement of the precision of the database is highly important in order to collect the exact fact-findings in the analysis. The theory without measurement makes no sense and simultaneously the measurement without theory is also useless. The collaboration among economists and statisticians is extraordinary important in order to promote economics as an empirical science.

In the global circumstance in the 21st century, another collaboration among the regions, including developing and developed countries will also be highly important. Our association can also provide the sources of regional collaboration for the promotion of our intellectual knowledge.

It is my great honour to be elected as President of the International Input-Output Association. I recognise that my most important task is to encourage our mutual academic discussion and promote our intellectual and academic knowledge. I hope we can stimulate the activities of our association along with our academic legacy, which has been accumulated by the effort of all of the senior scientists in this society.

Masahiro Kuroda
President, IIOA

Membership

Membership was rather stable in 2000: It total we have now 8 individual members more than a year ago.

Membership (as of 31 March 2001)

Individual members

Individual members (including members nominated by institutional members) 343

 

Institutional members

 

Institutional members 13

Plus one contributing institutional member

 

Work of the Secretariat

The usual work of the Secretariat - in close co-operation with the treasurer - comprised as usual the following activities: (a) Membership administration, (b) Recording of payments of Membership Fees, including dispatching reminders, (c) Responding to letters from members and others, (d) Communicating with our Publishing Company (subscription of members, address changes), (e) Communicating with the Editor of the journal Economic Systems Research.

The Secretariat was also involved in the preparation and organisation of the 13th International Conference on Input-Output Techniques, 21 - 25 August 2000, Macerata, Italy.

The Secretariat was also organising the creation of a website for our Association which was available since summer 2000. The address is: http://www.iioa.org/.

The 2000 regular General Assembly was held on 31 May 2000 in Vienna.

The 2001 regular General Assembly will be held on 29 May 2001, 5.00 p.m., at the Institute of Econometrics and Operations Research of the Technical University of Vienna, Argentinierstraße 8, A-1040 Vienna. This meeting will be held in German language and all members of the Association can attend.

Council Meetings

  • Report by the officers of the IIOA on main activities since the last Council meetings held during the New York conference.
  • Discussion on new statutes and bylaws that have been prepared by Karen R. Polenske, Reiner Stäglin, Josef Richter and Norbert Rainer. The main reasons for the new legal basis were necessary updates, clarifications, consideration of the new activities of the IIOA. The new versions should finally be approved by the new Council in 2001.
  • Preparation of the Council elections 2000.
  • Report by Chris DeBresson on the plans for the14th International Conference in October 2001 in Montreal.
  • Based on the proposal by Chris DeBresson the Council nominated Erik Dietzenbacher as Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for the Montreal Conference.
  • The Council intensively discussed the suggestion made by Graham Pyatt at Council meetings held during the New York conference for a name change to the IIOA and a name change for the IIOA Journal "Economic Systems Research". The Council decided neither to change the name of the Association nor the name of its journal.
  • Preparation of the members meeting on 24 August 2000.
  • Further topics on the agenda referred to questions of membership (individual and institutional), necessary update of the description of the mission of the IIOA, and possible future conferences and conference sites.

Members meeting

A meeting of the members was held on 24 August during the Macerate conference. The members were informed on the results of the Council meetings and the planned future activities of the IIOA.

Reports were given orally by the President, the Secretary and the Editor. Chris DeBresson presented the plans for the Montreal conference. The members were also informed on the candidates for the Council elections to be held in autumn 2000.

Results of the Council Elections 2000

According to the bylaws of the IIOA every three years Council elections have to take place in order to replace three elected Council members whose election period expires. At the end of 2000 the election period of the following three Council members expired: Karen R. Polenske, Graham Pyatt and Reiner Stäglin.

A call for candidates for the Council elections 2000 was sent to all members in June 2000 and at the end of the deadline 15 member have stated that they are ready to stay as candidates for the Council elections.

The ballots together with short curriculum vitaes have been sent to the members in October 2000. The filled in ballots should be returned to our auditor, Dr. Baumgartner, who made the counting of the votes and reported the results the IIOA.

The following three candidates (in alphabetical order) have received the highest number of votes and are thus elected Council members for the years 2001 - 2009:

Faye DUCHIN

Michael LAHR

Jan OOSTERHAVEN

New President and Vice-Presidents of the IIOA

As the election period of Karen R. Polenske ended in 2000, the new Council had to elect a new President: the Council elected

Masahiro KURODA

as the new President for the years 2001 - 2003.

As the election period of Reiner Stäglin also ended in 2000 and the new Council elected Masahiro Kuroda as the new President, the new Council had also to elect two new Vice-Presidents: the new Council elected

Faye DUCHIN and

  Jan OOSTERHAVEN

as the two new Vice-Presidents for the years 2001 - 2003.

Preparation of the 14th International Conference on Input-Output Techniques, 10 - 15 October 2002, Montreal, Canada

Another task during 2000 was to proceed with the preparations of the Montreal conference to be held form 10 - 15 October 2002. A call for papers has been prepared by Chris DeBresson, Head of the Local Organizing Committee, and by Erik Dietzenbacher, Head of the Scientific Program Committee.

The organizers are in particular interested in receiving papers in an input-output framework on the general theme "Ecological and Economic Sustainability in the New Economy", in particular on environmental accounts and estimating, under different scenarios, emissions of "green house gases" which may contribute to climate change. The Call for Papers is attached to this mail.

As it was the case for several previous conferences, there will be the offer of up to five travel grants to members from non-OECD countries under the age of 40. The IIOA is also pleased to announce the second Leontief Memorial Prize for the best conference paper of young authors. Conditions of these travel grants and the Leontief Memorial Prize can be found on the website of the IIOA: http://www.iioa.org/

Further information about the Montreal conference can be found on the conference website: http://io2002conference.uqam.ca/

Norbert Rainer
Secretary, IIOA

Report on the 13th International Conference on Input-Output Techniques, 21 - 25 August 2000, Macerata, Italy

The 13th International Conference on Input-Output Techniques was held in Macerata, Italy, 21-25 August 2000. Chaired by Maurizio Ciaschini, the Local Organizing Committee put together a wonderful program of local musical, culinary, and cultural delights in and around this historic hill-top city in Italy.

About 20 of the 55 conference sessions were organized by someone other than the program chair. The abstracts of papers in the remaining 35 sessions composed by the program chair each were deemed acceptable by two of three members of the Scientific Program Committee. Special efforts were made to recruit papers from central and eastern Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America, as well as those by young scholars.

The program, which was issued to attendees in Macerata, listed 221 papers (the same as in New York) with contributors from at least 37 countries. About 184 of those papers were actually presented (nearly 83 percent of those promised). Two keynote talks were presented: one by Michio Morishima and the other by Jean Paelinck. In addition, in this first input-output full conference since his passing, four sessions containing twelve papers were dedicated specifically to Wassily Leontief's memory.

The final program listing will be provided in Vol. 13 No. 3 of Economic Systems Research. A set of papers prepared for the conference is available at http://policy.rutgers.edu/cupr/iioa/iioa.htm

A new, special award for young scholars-the Leontief Memorial Prize-was issued for the first time to Bart Los (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) for his paper "Endogenous Growth and Structural Change in a Dynamic I-O Model." It recently appeared in Vol. 13 No. 1 of Economic Systems Research.

Macerata marked the second time that Travel Grants were awarded by the Travel Grant Committee to young scholars from non-OECD nations to enable them to attend the International Conference on Input-Output Techniques. The winners of this award for the Macerata conference were Ju-e Guo (P.R. of China), Cuihong Yang (P.R of China), Muhammad Handry Imansyah (Indonesia), Giovani V. Machado (Brazil), and Carlos Eduardo Frickmann Young (Brazil).

Finally, I thank the Macerata conference SPC, all organizers of special sessions, and the Executive Council of the IIOA for their help.

Michael L. Lahr
Chair, Scientific Programme Committee
13th International Conference on Input-Output Techniques

Report on the International Input-Output Conference, 23 - 26 February 2000, Balatonfüred, Hungary

The International Input-Output Association (IIOA) and the Hungarian Society for Economic Modelling (HSEM) in co-operation with the Hungarian Statistical Association and the Hungarian Central Statistical Office organized a Central European conference on 'Inter-industrial Relations in Economic Modelling' in Balatonfüred from 23 - 26 February 2000.

The aim of the conference was to overview the main up-to-date economic modelling methods and to discuss the forthcoming trends. The organiser (Csák Ligeti) and the programme committee (Mária Augusztinovics, András Bródy and Tamás Révész) did not limit the programme to conventional input-output topics. The relatively small number of participants (36 registered participants from 11 countries) gave the conference a familiar and at the same time a constructive workshop-character. In the frame of 4 sessions (chaired by Jan Oosterhaven, Ernö Zalai, Utz-Peter Reich and Helmut Maier) 18 papers were presented.

The round table discussion was the last momentum of the conference chaired by András Bródy. He praised Leontief's initiative compared the approaches of Leontief and Neumann, and encouraged the participants to refer to the practical modelling, economic policy and educational aspects of the topic. Some claimed that input-output cannot give room to new theoretical ideas any more, and generally the interest in macro-models has decreased. The majority of the participants were more optimistic in the judgement of the present and future of input-output. It is obvious that input-output itself does not provide much new ground for theoretical research, but an increasing number of new application areas emerged. Its system of interdependence is included in almost every complex economic model. An interesting new phenomenon is that more and more researchers of analogous areas attend input-output conferences, since the organic way of thinking, which is induced by input-output, encourages the analysis of logically similar problems not described by input-output.

Csak Ligeti
Conference organiser

Editors Report

The year 2000 was an exceptionally fruitful year for Economic Systems Research (ESR). Fruitful because volume 12 had no less than 550 pages, which may be indicative of a growing interest in our field. Exceptional because we have a strict page limit of 464 pages per year. Fortunately, the publisher was so kind as to permit us to exceed our limit by almost 20 percent. This volume included the special issue "Input-Output Analysis and Classical Economic Theory", edited by Heinz D. Kurz and Christian Lager. The nine papers were all presented at the international input-output conference in New York, 1998, one of which was the keynote address delivered by William J. Baumol. Also in this volume were two obituaries, written in the memory of Jiri Skolka and Moss Madden, precious colleagues who died early in the year and who have made important contributions to our field.

A full account of the number of submissions and their current status is always made on July 1. On that date the manuscripts for issue 4 are sent to the publisher and the editorial year ends, so to speak. A detailed overview for the period July 2000 - June 2001 and a comparison with foregoing periods will be included in the last issue of volume 13 (December 2001). As has been mentioned in previous editor's reports, the number of submissions depends strongly on the input-output conferences. Therefore, I was looking forward to the Macerata conference, expecting a considerable stream of new submissions. I regret that this is not what has happened. Addressing the participants of the Macerata conference in particular, please do consider ESR as the outlet for your research whenever you feel your paper is of publishable quality. Next to submissions in areas that have been covered relatively well in the past (such as structural decomposition analysis, energy & environmental issues and accounting), I would particularly welcome papers studying R&D, innovations, international technology and knowledge spillovers, TFP growth, patents and citations, all in an input-output framework (i.e. based on data in an input-output format or with methodological similarities to input-output analysis). At the same time, I would very much like to encourage the members of the IIOA to organise a special issue. If you feel that there are topics which are not covered so well by ESR, or if you wish to bring together a coherent set of papers on a certain topic, please contact me.

The year 2000 ended with a rather unpleasant, and somewhat unexpected, message. As I told at the Members' Meeting in Macerata, the publisher applied ESR for inclusion in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI). The application went out in the spring of 1999 and the evaluation was expected in the fall of 2000 (we already knew that it would take a long time before a decision would be reached). Given the journals that are included in the SSCI, and in particular the standing of quite a few of them, I was fairly optimistic about the outcome. I am sorry having to inform you that our submission has been declined.

The report states that "comparatively low citations to the journal, in combination with a fairly low priority for enhancement of journal coverage in this extremely crowded discipline led to [the] decision not to accept the journal for coverage at this time." As we all know, it is true that the economics field is overcrowded with journals and it is also true that the performance of ESR may not be overwhelmingly spectacular, it being a relatively new journal in (again) an overcrowded discipline. The decision is even more painful because the SSCI database contains many economics journals that have a performance that is much worse than that of ESR.

In my opinion, both reasons for declining ESR can be seriously questioned. First, ESR is filling a gap in the list of journals. It is the major journal in the field of input-output analysis. Although the larger part of the contributions in this subdiscipline belongs to the field of economics, there are also contributions from the fields of sociology, management science, demography, and applied mathematics. Of course, papers in input-output analysis do appear in other journals as well, but this seems to occur much less than before, now that researchers know about ESR. All this implies that not including ESR means that a whole subdiscipline (with a high practical relevance) is simply neglected.

Second, to my knowledge the SSCI impact factor is obtained as follows. The impact factor for year t is the number of citations in year t, citing articles published in the years t-1 and t-2, divided by the number of published articles in the years t-1 and t-2. Citations are those found in the SSCI database. In 1999, for example, there were 21 citations in ESR of articles published in ESR in 1997 and 1998. The total number of articles in these two years was 49. So, if ESR had already been included in the SSCI database, its impact factor would have been at least 21/49 = 0.43. If the citations in other journals are added, the impact factor becomes 0.70, which is remarkably high for an economics journal. This indicates that for a specialized journal that is not included, it will be extremely difficult to ever get covered by the SSCI. Their evaluation does not take account of "own" citations, which are very relevant in the case of specialized journals. All this means that we will have to wait for the re-evaluation that starts in January 2003.

Erik Dietzenbacher
Editor, Economics Systems Research

Report of the Treasurer

In 2000 we had - because of the Macerata




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