Justin Wolfers, 24 July 2009

Justin Wolfers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about happiness economics – the state of knowledge; the explosion of data; the debate about the Easterlin paradox; the impact of inequality and the business cycle on people’s happiness; and the implications for public policy. The interview was recorded at the Centre for Economic Performance in London in June 2009.

Tito Boeri, 10 July 2009

Tito Boeri of Bocconi University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his research on public perceptions of migrants in Europe, which, in the middle of a recession, are increasingly seeing migrants as a fiscal burden and are pressing governments to reduce their access to welfare and tighten immigration policies. The interview was recorded at the Centre for Economic Performance in London in June 2009.

Morris Goldstein, 19 February 2009

The global crisis has laid bare the inadequacies of the existing global financial architecture. Absent a grand bargain to address the need for major reforms, countries will resort to beggar-thy-neighbour policies. This column outlines a major package – including increased IMF lending, significant IMF governance reform, coordinated fiscal stimulus, and greater WTO discipline – that could meet the needs of both developed and developing economies. Negotiations should start at the London summit.

Mike Elsby, Bart Hobijn, Aysegul Sahin, 14 February 2009

Unemployment is rising – job losses are up 30% in the US and 50% in the UK since 2007. How bad will it get? This column uses data on unemployment inflows and duration to predict labour market trends. A conservative estimate says that unemployment will reach at least 5% in Britain and 13.5% in Spain.

Axel Leijonhufvud, 13 February 2009

This recession is different. Balance sheets of consumers, firms, and banks are under strain. The private sector is bent on reducing debt and this offsets Keynesian stimulus more than standard flow calculations would suggest. Bank deleveraging is by far the most dangerous. Fiscal stimulus will not have much effect as long as the financial system is deleveraging.

Nicholas Bloom, Max Floetotto, 12 January 2009

A key source of the today’s economic weakness is uncertainty that led firms to postpone investment and hiring decisions. This column, by the authors whose model forecast the recession as far back as June 2008, report that the key measures of uncertainty have dropped so rapidly that they believe growth will resume by mid-2009. This means any additional economic stimulus has to be enacted quickly. Delaying to the summer may mean the economic medicine is administered just as the patient is leave the hospital.

Nicholas Bloom, 18 November 2008

Every economist is predicting a macabre 2009, but no one knows for sure how bad things will get or who will survive. This column, by comparing the current crisis to uncertainty shocks of the last 40 years, predicts GDP growth could be reduced by as much as 4.5%. But, if politicians protect free markets, growth should be back in 2010.

Marco Terrones, M. Ayhan Kose, Stijn Claessens, 07 October 2008

The house and equity price busts on top of a credit crunch make this an unprecedented crisis for the modern US economy; its real economy effects are thus difficult to assess. This column provides insights based on evidence from 122 recessions in 21 advanced nations since 1960. Findings suggest recessions in such circumstances are much costlier and slightly longer. But the outcome can be affected by policy, and it’s high time that policymakers act swiftly and decisively.

Barry Eichengreen, 28 September 2008

The Paulson Plan, whatever its final form, will not end the crisis quickly. Unemployment will rise but will the most serious credit crisis since the Great Depression bring about a new depression? Here one of the world’s leading economic historians identifies the relevant Great-Depression lessons. We won’t see 25% unemployment as in the 1930s, but double digits are not out of the question.

Tito Boeri, 03 August 2008

Italy may be headed for recession. The government's fiscal position would allow it to use prudent tax cuts to prevent recession, but its new budget plan only signals trouble.

John Muellbauer, 20 July 2008

Recent empirical estimates of the housing wealth effect suggest that a UK recession will be hard to avoid. With the housing-wealth decline compounded by falling equity prices and inflation-eroded real incomes, a drop in consumption is in the offing. The US situation could be even worse.

Nicholas Bloom, 04 June 2008

The credit crunch has produced significant volatility in the stock market. This column argues that the wave of uncertainty troubling the markets will likely induce a recession – and render policy instruments powerless to prevent it.

Charles Calomiris, 23 November 2007

The Subprime troubles caused a liquidity shock, but there is little reason to believe that a substantial decline in credit supply under the current circumstances will magnify the shocks and turn them into a recession. We have not (yet) arrived at a Minsky moment.

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