Marc Piopiunik, Guido Schwerdt, Lisa Simon, Ludger Woessmann, 23 February 2018

Applicants use CVs to signal cognitive and non-cognitive skills to potential employers, but we know little about how effective those signals are. Based on an experiment in which HR managers chose between CVs, this column argues that signals of cognitive skills, social skills, and maturity matter for successful entry into the labour market. The relevant signals depend on gender and entry stage.

Marcel Fratzscher, Lukas Menkhoff, Lucio Sarno , Tobias Stöhr, 23 February 2018

Central bank interventions in foreign exchange markets have long been viewed with scepticism by academics. This column examines foreign exchange interventions for a sample of 33 advanced and developing economies. Interventions occur frequently, in episodes that can last several days, and are often successful in smoothing exchange rates. These results show that central bankers, particularly in emerging markets, appreciate the efficacy of interventions.

Stephen Cecchetti, Kim Schoenholtz, 22 February 2018

Investment is shifting from tangible physical assets to intangible goods like software, data, and R&D. This column analyses the impact of this shift on the structure of firm financing. The financial system’s shift from public to private equity is, on the whole, an encouraging reflection of its response to the changing needs of the economy.

Panicos Demetriades, 21 February 2018

Europe’s new framework for resolving banks includes a ‘bail-in’ mechanism that aims to ensure that banks’ shareholders and creditors pay their share of costs, and which was first used to resolve the 2013 banking crisis in Cyprus. This column, written by the economist who was the country’s central bank governor at the time, examines the unintended consequences of the bail-in, which have proved more toxic than could ever have been imagined, and not just in Cyprus. Several euro area central banks and their governors have found themselves in the eye of political and legal storms when taking actions to resolve failing banks and/or restore stability in their banking systems.

Anna Stansbury, Lawrence H. Summers, 20 February 2018

Since 1973, there has been divergence between labour productivity and the typical worker’s pay in the US as productivity has continued to grow strongly and growth in average compensation has slowed substantially. This column explores the causes and implications of this trend. Productivity growth appears to have continued to push workers’ wages up, with other factors to blame for the divergence. The evidence casts doubt on the idea that rapid technological progress is the primary driver here, suggesting rather that institutional and structural factors are to blame.

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