In response to increasing demand for better measures to analyse the trends of globalisation, the OECD took the initiative to draw up a conceptual and methodological framework for gathering quantitative information and constructing indicators. This work led to the OECD Handbook on Economic Globalisation Indicators, published in 2005. It is the outcome of co-operation among experts from the OECD Secretariat, member countries and international organisations.
Improving the understanding of the impacts of globalisation requires quantitative work in at least three areas: measurement of its magnitude and intensity, its economic impact, and lastly its links with structural adjustment policies. The Handbook covers only the first area, for which a set of indicators is proposed, essentially in the form of ratios derived from basic statistics measuring the magnitude and intensity of the process of globalisation in its different dimensions.
Even though the scope of the Handbook is limited to measuring the magnitude of the globalisation process, the task encompasses a potentially large number of areas. Priority is given to those that are considered the mainsprings of globalisation: international trade, foreign direct investment, the activity of multinational firms and the production and international diffusion of technology.
The five chapters contained in the Handbook are followed by a brief description of the sources of data for the proposed indicators, a list of acronyms and a glossary which recalls the definitions of the principal terms used. The main indicators proposed in the Handbook are presented in the companion volume, OECD Economic Globalisation Indicators (2010).