Volume 69-I The following articles were published in the first issue of the Aussenwirtschaft 2018. Do Swiss foreign assets hedge the business cycle? Nicolas Stoffels and Cédric Tille Abstract While Switzerland's net creditor position is sizable, it has long remained steady despite large and persistent current account surpluses. This pattern reflects valuation losses on Swiss foreign assets driven by movements in exchange rates and assets prices. We compute estimates of these valuation effects and the associated rates of returns on Swiss external assets and liabilities. While Switzerland benefits from a modest advantage in terms of yields (interest and dividends in percent of holdings), we show that this has been dwarfed by valuation losses driven by the strengthening of the Swiss franc, even before the crisis. We then assess the extent to which the return on assets and liabilities (including capital gains) provides a hedge against movements in Swiss GDP and the purchasing power of income. While we find little evidence of such a hedge at a quarterly frequency, financial returns provide some offset for business cycle movements at the horizon of a year. This hedging property has strengthened since 2010 and is more pronounced for privately held assets and liabilities than for the fast-growing holdings of reserves by the Swiss National Bank. Comment on "Do Swiss foreign assets hedge the business cycle?" by Nicolas Stoffels and Cédric Tille Pinar Yesin [No abstract is available for this item.] Demographics and the current account Joschka Gerigk, Miriam Rinawi, and Adrien Wicht Abstract This paper investigates the relationship between demographics and the current account. We analyze the impact of recent demographic changes and provide a forecast of its future impact. Overall, we find a strong and robust, non-linear demographic effect. In particular, we find a positive association between the current account and the share of a population’s prime-age individuals and a negative association with the share of the elderly. Our forecast suggests that, given the dramatically aging population in most industrialized countries, demographics will likely decrease the current account balance in the near future in those countries. Comment on "Demographics and the current account" by Joschka Gerigk, Miriam Rinawi, and Adrien Wicht Monika Bütler [No abstract is available for this item.] Comparing estimation methods of trade costs Michael Knuchel Abstract Gravity models are used to understand intra- and international trade flows. Trade costs play a central role in these models, but are not clearly observable. In order to infer these costs, different estimation methods exist. The aim of this paper is to investigate these methods on systematic patterns in their predicted trade costs. By applying the methods to one dataset, the resulting trade cost estimates become comparable. For a given trade elasticity, the inverse gravity framework from Novy (2013a) is found to predict lower values than ratio gravity, used for example by Simonovska and Vaugh (2014). However, when moderating the impact of outliers, inverse gravity produces lower estimates.