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Project LINK is an international research group for econometric modelling coordinated by the University of Toronto and the Development Policy and Analysis Division of UN/DESA. The project LINK meeting, also known as UN / DESA Expert Group Meeting on the World Economy, takes place every October in order to discuss the economic situation in the world and perspectives. Project LINK links experts from research institutions, international economic organizations, the economic research institutions, academia, and representatives of five regional commissions[1]:

  • the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE),
  • the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA),
  • the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA),
  • the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
  • the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)


The genesis of the Project LINK dates back to the late 1960s when the Committee for Economic Stabilization and Growth at the Social Science Research Council in New York decided to create a world model system project for the industrialized economies of the interlinked countries. The project was intended to analyze the global transmission mechanism of economic activities and forecast its effects and impact. This initiative led to the initiation of the LINK project, bringing together experts from various countries around the world as well as organizations who are building a system of global models of economies. The methodological basis of the project is the matrix of world trade built by L.R. Klein, which enabled particular countries to combine exports and imports. L.R Klein assumed that the demand of other countries determines the volume of its exports, and domestic import prices are the same as the weighted sum of export prices in world trade. (Klein 1982). It allowed to develop multinational models of the world by international organizations (EU, OECD, World Bank, IMF) research institute (CEPI, FUGI, NIESR, Fair), central banks (Germany, USA) and a commercial organization (Global Insight) [2].

Scale of the Project LINK

Over the years, Project LINK has grown dynamically. The number of participants increased from 7-13 in the first half of the 1970s to over 100 participants by 1987. The number of macroeconomic models also grew dynamically. The macromodeles developed by various national centers have replaced the models of minimodels describing centrally planned countries and developed countries. With the increase in the number of models, the system based on equations grew. From the number of 1,500 equations in the early 1970s, up to 30,000 equations in 1998. This led to the development of available computer software [3].

Above model are being used in forecasting the world economy and policy simulations including the impact of the world economy on domestic development. Thanks to the project LINK, a lot of initiatives related to the creation of new models for the developing countries have been created. Especially in Asia and Latin America, and not so long ago in Africa. Since 2002, 15 members within the African Research Network for Development Policy Network support activity that are coordinated by DESA UN and Pretoria University [4].


  1. Project LINK, 2019
  2. B. G. Hickman, 1991, (pp. 482–506)
  3. L. R. Klein, 1999, (pp. 27–151)
  4. B. G. Hickman , K. G. Ruffing , 1995, (pp. 271)


  • Economic Analysis & Policy Division (2019), Department of Economic & Social Affairs
  • Hickman, B. G. (1991), Project LINK and multi-country modelling, Elgar, Aldershot
  • Hickman, B. G., Ruffing, K. G. (1995), Project LINK: past, present and future, Tokyo: UNU Press, Tokyo
  • Klein, L. R. (1999), Project LINK Principles of macroeconometric modeling, Amsterdam: North-Holland
  • LINK 2018 Report (2018), Project LINK Meeting Document 2018, "Department of Economic & Social Affairs"
  • LINK Global Economic Outlook 2018-2020 (2019), Project LINK Meeting Document 2018, "Department of Economic & Social Affairs"
  • Project LINK (2019), Project LINK Meeting Document 2018, "Department of Economic & Social Affairs"
  • Report on the Project LINK meeting 2017 (2017), Project LINK meeting document 2017, "Department of Economic & Social Affairs"

Author: Tomasz Kalemba