April 2008

Public Pensions

From the time Bismarck invented the modern welfare state in Germany, public pensions have become a cornerstone of public policy in virtually every advanced economy. But as populations everywhere age, it is becoming more and more costly to run generous public retirement systems. Which of the following OECD countries promises the average worker the most generous public pension benefits?

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Global Market Shrinking

Following the U.S. sub-prime crisis, stock markets around the globe are feeling the aftershocks. While the world had gotten used to financial market crises being spawned by emerging market countries, the shoe now seems to be on the other foot — that of the industrialized countries, and specifically that of the United States. We wonder: By how much has the capitalization of global stock markets declined over the first three months of 2008 alone?

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China’s Netizens

As China modernizes its economy by leaps and bounds, the number of its Internet users keeps rising. Given the size of its population, at some point China will have more Internet users than the United States. We wonder: Which of the following statements are true?

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Women in Politics

Considerable progress has been made in women's rights during the last 100 years. While some countries have achieved near parity in electing women to national legislatures, others are lagging far behind. We wonder: Which country has the largest percentage of women in its national parliament?

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