What does Yanis Varoufakis want?

With the approval of the reform proposals by the Greek government, the Euozone has returned to calmer waters. But it is only a brief interlude. With renegotiations due in a few months, it is a matter of time before tensions resurface. The future of the Euro will hence continue to depend on one small country and its charismatic Minister of Finance. Who is this Yanis Varoufakis, and what does he want? Based on his academic publications, interviews and blogposts an interesting picture emerges. Read more

Finding Till Düppe

NB : once again, I am stepping out of my - self-inflicted - retreat to write on this blog, of which I am not supposed to be a permanent member anymore. Sorry for this self-indulgence. Read more

Thinking About Banking Crises

Statement on Banking and Banking Regulation* 
o The Joint Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis

Leinster House, Dublin, Ireland
Speaking Version Used at Hearing, January 28, 2015


Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for inviting me here to testify today.  I want to congratulate you and your Committee for trying to get to the bottom of why the banking crisis this country experienced was so severe.  It is an honor to have a chance to help you in this work. Read more

The Wealthless Recovery

While attention has recently focused on the so-called “wageless recovery” coming out of the Great Recession, an equally pernicious trend is the “wealthless recovery.”  From 2007 to 2010, the wealth of the average household plunged by 44 percent. This was largely due to the collapse of home prices and the high degree of indebtedness of the middle class. However, from 2010 to 2013, despite sharp gains in asset prices, including homes, median wealth was virtually unchanged. This was mainly due to very high dissavings (negative savings) among the middle class. Read more

Why Don't Economists Go to Hollywood Parties?














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Reflexivity Between Micro and Macroeconomics

Co-Authored with Steven Bosworth
American Economic Association Meeting, Boston, 3 Jan. 2015
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Lance Taylor: What Thomas Piketty and Larry Summers Don’t Tell You About Income Inequality

Featured: Huffington Post

In a new paper for the Institute For New Economic Thinking’s Working Group on the Political Economy of Distribution, economist Lance Taylor and his colleagues examine income inequality using new tools and models that give us a more nuanced — and frightening —picture than we’ve had before.  Their simulation models show how so-called “reasonable” modifications like modest tax increases on the wealthy and boosting low wages are not going to be enough to stem the disproportionate tide of income rushing toward the rich. Taylor’s research challenges the approaches of American policy makers, the assumptions of traditional economists, and some of the conclusions drawn by Thomas Piketty and Larry Summers. Bottom line: We’re not yet talking about the kinds of major changes needed to keep us from becoming a Downton Abbey society. Read more

History of policy evaluation: a few questions

I need a history of policy evaluation. I want my students to know why and how the theories, tools and practices they will later use on a daily basis were conceived and spread, and a good 80% of them will participate in a policy evaluation in the next 10 years. This need also derives from my research program, aimed at understanding the transformation of applied economics between 1965 and 1985. Policy analysis is a large part of what economists mean by ''applying economics.” It is area of expertise most emphasized in the ongoing advertising campaign designed to reemphasize economists' contribution to society. Read more

The Brace is On

With few exceptions, most emerging market countries failed to regulate the surge in financial flows that poured into their countries like a tsunami in the wake of the global financial crisis.  As capital now appears to be drying up, the foundations of growth and stability are in question across much of the developing world. 

As emerging market and developing countries brace to prevent the worst, they may have to take bold action. If they do, they should be granted the flexibility to do so under international institutions and fickle capital markets. Read more

Coyle's "Wordly Philosophers 2.0": Suggested Readings

Diane Coyle has a list of twelve economists who she argues "clearly shaped the character of economics in a meaningful and lasting way – going up to the early 1980s." As such, they would form the basis of the 12 chapters of the follow up to Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers. Below is the, with link to some autobiographical reflexions by those economists, and pieces where historians examine their wordviews. Read more