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Criterion of the Month archive

The World Competitiveness Newsletter is written by Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, Dr Christos Cabolis, Chief Economist or Dr José Caballero, Senior Economist. It includes information drawn from the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook.

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March 2018

Gender parity: Key trends in women's empowerment

To celebrate the many accomplishments by women and acknowledge the on-going efforts for gender parity, this issue of the Criterion of the Month explores the evolution of three key areas of women participation and decision-making in the last decade.

February 2018


Gender inequality and R&D
Do competitive economies employ the highest share of women researchers?

Two years ago, the United Nations set a thought-provoking and aspiring agenda for sustainable development to be accomplished by 2030.


January 2018

 The German election & sentiments on migration

Mrs. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has led her country in successful economic performance since she took office in 2005. Indeed, Germany exhibits increasing values in the traditional economic indicators. 

December 2017

Is the flow of skilled labor related to the agility of an economy?

eflecting on the popular topics for 2017, two themes stand out among those which captured the interest of researchers and commentators. First, the extent to which economies successfully address the future loss of employment due to the introduction of new technologies; and second, the benefits associated with the general concept of globalization.

November 2017

Has the world become more globalized?

How open an economy is affects its size and the level of competitivenessof the country. The free flow of goods and services, talent, and ideas benefits economies in many ways from making them more efficient to transferring know-how, to facilitating the adoption of new technologies. 

October 2017

Government transparency: Are we better off than a decade ago?

Transparency on the government level has been a key issue for more than a decade. Theoretical and empirical work along with the advocacy of NGOs have strengthened the idea, have suggested ways to measure it, and have kept the issue on the forefront of any discussion about the necessary conditions that a high-quality government must follow.

September 2017

Education dilemmas in the digital era

September marks the beginning of the academic year for most of the northern hemisphere. It is the time to make decisions over what courses to take and which disciplines to study. 

August 2017

Business efficiency and productivity (part II)

In this Criterion of the Month, we continue to explore the relationship between business efficiency and productivity, and the institutional framework.

July 2017


Brexit: A Year After


It is a little more than a year since Britain surprised pundits and analysts by voting to exit the European Union. In the last few months, economic and financial publications have been comparing the evolution of different dimensions of the economy. The general picture is not encouraging with consumer prices rising above the Bank of England’s target, real weekly earnings decreasing, and the pound declining in comparison to the dollar and other currencies.


June 2017

Do more adaptive economies exhibit higher productivity?

The new ranking recently released by the IMD World Competitiveness Center prompts to a host of different inquiries, particularly with respect to the new criteria utilized.

The IMD World Digital Ranking provides a measure of a country’s ability to adopt and explore digital technologies that ultimately lead to transformation in government, business and societal practices. An important factor in assessing this ability of a country is the Future Readiness which reflects the preparedness of an economy to recognize and confront the implied disruptions of the digital technologies.

May 2017

A new publication at the IMD World Competitiveness Center: The World Digital Competitiveness Ranking

Technology changes at great speed and affects not only how businesses function but also how countries perform today and evolve in the future. From 3D-printing, robotics, and neuro-technology to digital-currencies and e-participation the landscape of current capabilities and future prospects changes swiftly. In order for the decision makers in both public and private sectors of an economy to address this rapid transformation, it needs to be quantified and accounted for.

April 2017


Can competitiveness data predict the French election? 

April 23 is the first round of the French Presidential election. As with many recent elections, there is an intense interest in the outcome, especially with Le Pen as a contender and with Trump and Brexit still making daily headlines.



March 2017

Competitiveness and gender parity: A long way to go

March 8 marks International Women’s Day: a celebration of the many accomplishments by women as well as the acknowledgement of on-going efforts for gender parity in the social, political and economic spheres. In this issue of the Criterion of the Month, the IMD World Competitive Center recognizes the International Women’s Day by exploring the relationship between competitiveness and different criteria related to women’s activities.


February 2017

Business efficiency and productivity (Part I) 

The actions and policies of government and their outcomes (e.g., infrastructure indicators) affect the efficiency and productivity of the private sector. In this Criterion of the Month, we assess some of the key indicators driving business efficiency and productivity.


January 2017 

The continuous attractiveness of Switzerland: 
Talent availability and other sources of competitiveness

Why do MNCs such as Philip Morris and ABB choose Switzerland as a base for their operations? There are several significant factors that define the attractiveness of Switzerland.


November 2016

The IMD World Talent Report 2016

The IMD World Competitiveness Center is delighted to present the IMD World Talent Report 2016. The report includes a talent ranking for all countries in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook (61 countries as of this year).

October 2016Structure and drivers of digital competitiveness

Using the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook's data for 2016, we develop a measure of digital competitiveness; that is, the adequacy of the different components of an economy's structure for facilitating its digitalization.

September 2016IMD World Competitiveness Ranking: Survey and hard data 
Following up on feedback from several readers, in this criterion of the month we explore the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking's core components: its hard and survey data elements. We divide our overall ranking into these components and rank both sets of data individually for the years 2015 and 2016. The objective is to observe variations in the data in a one-year period. We must emphasize, however, that the two core rankings should not be compared with each other nor with the overall ranking.
June 2016Policy stability and government efficiency 
There are certain particularities that underline the competitiveness of countries. We consider these characteristics as attractiveness indicators and asked respondents to our Executive Opinion Survey to select the top five indicators (from a list of 15) for their respective economies. Among these indicators we include cost competitiveness and the availability of skilled workforce.
May 2016IMD releases its 2016 World Competitiveness Ranking 
Lausanne - (May 30, 2016) - The USA has surrendered its status as the world's most competitive economy after being overtaken by China Hong Kong and Switzerland, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Center.
April 2016Social disparities and competitiveness 
Data show that a structural transformation is a precondition for increasing competitiveness. Such transformation entails enabling all individual members of society to fully participate and contribute to economic activities. Moreover, competiveness, understood as the extent to which a country achieves long-term value creation, involves the improvement of the welfare of the community as a whole.
March 2016Innovation, values and high-tech trade 
The IMD World Competitiveness Center in partnership with Thailand's Department of Trade Negotiations (Ministry of Commerce) recently organized an event aimed at improving Thailand's competitiveness. The three-day event included several interrelated activities and culminated in a highly dynamic and interactive workshop - a "Mega Dive."
February 2016Competitiveness and Digital Challenges 
The IMD World Competitiveness Center recently partnered with Accenture (Germany and Switzerland) to conduct a study about digitization trends and the digital challenges that German and Swiss companies are facing. We assess the impact of digitization on the competitive context and the digital practices that the competitive firms adopt in such environments.