The aim of this article is to contribute to the discussion on designing alternative economic development indices by measuring economic progress in the face of the discontinuity of globalisation. To this end, we use different evaluation criteria for the ‘old’ (1960–1990) and the ‘new’ (1990–2019) globalisation. First, the historical context that has shaped the contemporary globalisation processes is outlined, which makes it possible to identify the 1990s and the subsequent change in the structure of the world industrial production and the world GDP as the most important tipping point. Based on the observation that none of the existing indices sufficiently cover all the issues, a new pilot measure of economic progress is proposed, which takes into account two time periods: the old (1960–1990) and the new (1990–2019) globalisation. The analysis of the data sample of 18 countries (G6, I6 and selected LDCs) using this measure makes it possible to assign their economies to four categories, depending on the results they have achieved; the ‘winners’, the ‘losers’, the ‘late-bloomers’ and the ‘inmates of industry’. Furthermore, possible directions for the future research on the subject are indicated. The data set supporting this study has been made publicly available to help in its continuation.
- Economic progress is a narrower concept than development, but it encompasses more than just economic growth dynamics. Designing any progress index, one needs to consider a set of complementary indicators.
- Globalisation is not a continuous process. Measuring the progress shaped by different waves of globalisation calls for a dynamic approach and appropriate change of indicators used. The 1990s brought the first significant shift, as reflected in the proposed new index structure. A second shift is currently taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding responses of the national economies. In the future, it will be possible to adjust the indicators making up the progress index to the post-pandemic era, allowing for tailor-made macroeconomic policy recommendations.
- Alongside winners and losers of globalisation, one can also distinguish late-bloomers and inmates-of-industry that call for special attention and a specific bundle of policy tools.
- The progress index could prove helpful for experts at international organisations such as the World Bank or IMF in formulating policy recommendations for groups of economies that are similar in terms of indicators contained in the index, rather than using income level classification. A "late-bloomer" might require different treatment than a "loser", de-spite both of them belonging to the "low in-come" group.
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya