Nauro Campos, Paul De Grauwe, Yuemei Ji, 10 October 2018

The tragedy of structural reforms is that they have been captured by policymakers. This column argues that the incessant repetition of the ‘must-reform’ mantra as a solution to the crisis has discouraged academic economists from embracing it as the important research topic it clearly is, and attempts to address the lack of adequate knowledge which makes the implementation of reforms more difficult and limits their effectiveness. 

Wouter den Haan, Martin Ellison, Ethan Ilzetzki, Michael McMahon, Ricardo Reis, 12 August 2016

The outcome of the UK’s referendum on EU membership has prompted much soul-searching in the economics profession, which was nearly unanimous in anticipating negative economic consequences from a vote for Brexit. This column presents the July 2016 Centre for Macroeconomics survey of experts, which asked for views on the role played by economic arguments in the referendum outcome, and whether institutional change is needed in the way that the findings of academic economic research – and the views of the profession as a whole – are communicated. While opinions are divided, many of the respondents who do not advocate institutional change still see considerable problems in the relationship of the academic macroeconomic community with policymakers and the public at large.

Refet Gürkaynak, Troy Davig, 25 November 2015

Central banks around the world have been shouldering ever-increasing policy burdens beyond their core mandate of stabilising prices. This column considers the social welfare implications when central banks take on additional mandates that are usually the domain of other policymakers. Additional mandates are shown to worsen trade-offs faced by the central bank, while distorting the incentives of other policymakers. Central bank ‘mandate creep’ may be detrimental to welfare.

Kris Mitchener, 11 April 2008

Institutions play a central role in determining trade flows. Evidence from the age of high imperialism suggests that political relationships can be as powerful at dictating trade flows as geography and other institutional factors, such as currency unions or widespread fixed-exchange rate regimes like the gold standard.

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