Centre for Macroeconomics

Global risks from rising debt and asset prices

Wolfgang Schäuble, the outgoing German finance minister, warned in an FT interview last week that ‘economists all over the world are concerned about the increased risks arising from the accumulation of more and more liquidity and the growth of public and private debt.’ This follows an assessment by the Bank of International Settlements, whose chief economist, Claudio Borio, […]

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    Strong patent rights accelerate the diffusion of new medicines across countries

Strong patent rights accelerate the diffusion of new medicines across countries

In 1999 lovastatin, a blockbuster cholesterol drug with annual peak sales of more than $1 billion in the U.S., became commercially available in Egypt — twelve years after it was first approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Our research shows that this is not exceptional — long launch lags are common and 45 per cent […]

Flexible labour markets, real wages and economic recoveries

In its 2016 Employment Outlook, the OECD documents that real hourly wage growth has behaved quite differently across countries over the past ten years.

This is true even among the large European economies. Comparing the level of real hourly wages in the fourth quarter of 2015 with a counterfactual value based on the assumption that wages had grown according to […]

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    Is a loose monetary policy still appropriate for the Eurozone?

Is a loose monetary policy still appropriate for the Eurozone?

Protest at ECB headquarters, by JIP, own work, under a CC BY-SA 3.0 licence or GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons
The November 2016 expert survey of the Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM) and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) invited views on a recent report by the German Council of Economic Experts (Sachverständigenrat), which argues that the current monetary policy of the European […]

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    Are academic economists out of touch with voters and politicians?

Are academic economists out of touch with voters and politicians?

Following the referendum decision for the UK to leave the European Union (EU), policy-makers in both the UK and the EU face will face some difficult choices. These choices are likely to have non-trivial and long-lasting consequences, and macroeconomists can offer guidance on their macroeconomic aspects. This raises questions not only about what macroeconomists can do to obtain a […]

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    Brexit could bring a potential catastrophe for the UK financial sector

Brexit could bring a potential catastrophe for the UK financial sector

The June 2016 Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM) survey of experts asked for views on the impact of the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union for the country’s financial sector. Almost all panel members thought that a vote for Brexit would lead to a significant disruption to financial markets and asset prices for several months, which would put […]

The future role of unconventional monetary policy

Quantitative easing is called ‘unconventional monetary policy’, but monetary policy could get much more ‘unconventional’. Things like ‘helicopter money’, abolishing currency and negative nominal interest rates have entered the public policy debate. This column reports the views of leading experts on the future role of unconventional monetary policy, and what might be called ‘unconventional unconventional monetary policies’. Opinions are […]

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    Most countries in the ’10 most likely’ to adopt bitcoin are in the developing world

Most countries in the ’10 most likely’ to adopt bitcoin are in the developing world

Which markets have the greatest potential for bitcoin adoption?

With over $250m of venture capital invested in bitcoin startups to date, much is at stake in understanding which markets will prove most fertile for bitcoin. In addition, many governments and regulatory agencies are seeking to better understand the economic opportunities presented by bitcoin along with the perceived risks.

The new Bitcoin Market Potential Index […]

It’s time to rethink the way we measure economic activity

The modern economy is a complex entity, subject to a continual process of change and development. The challenge is to ensure that economic statistics — and the methodologies used to construct them — evolve so as to capture these changes such that they remain relevant, accurate, and timely.

The national accounts provide the basic framework for monitoring the evolution of […]

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    The Brexit question will increase financial market volatility

The Brexit question will increase financial market volatility

In late February, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the referendum on the country’s continued membership of the European Union (EU) would be held on 23 June. Over the following weekend, a number of leading Conservative MPs announced their support for the campaign to leave the EU – ‘Brexit’. The pound sterling declined as trading opened on the […]