Economic Policy

The Challenge of Europe - Niels Thygesen

Niels Thygesen, Emeritus Professor of International Economics at the University of Copenhagen,speaking in the panel "Optimal Currency Areas and Governance: The Challenge of Europe" at the Bretton Woods Conference on April 10, 2011.

The Challenge of Europe - Jeffrey Frankel

Jeffrey Frankel, Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, speaking in the panel "Optimal Currency Areas and Governance: The Challenge of Europe" at the Bretton Woods Conference on April 10, 2011.

The Challenge of Europe - Wendy Carlin

After reviewing the panelists' contributions, Wendy Carlin points out that the expectations of Europe's core and Europe's periphery haven't been met. The core, notably Germany, entered the European Monetary Union with a view to the benefits of a single market. The periphery considered the EMU as a means to achieve price stability. Yet, the institutional wage bargaining that characterizes the German labor market wasn't available in the periphery, and that's one reason why inflation was low in Germany and high in the periphery, says Wendy Carlin. Real interest rates exercised a destabilizing role. Read more

The Challenge of Europe - Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich

Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich compares the current Euro crisis with the US debt crisis in the 1840s, when the US had a common currency and a fully-fledged central government, and nine out of 27 US states defaulted. That crisis, he says, did not endanger the US dollar then, just as the current crisis does not endanger the euro now.

Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich is a Professor of Economics and Economic History at the Freie Universitat Berlin. He is speaking in the panel "Optimal Currency Areas and Governance: The Challenge of Europe" at the Bretton Woods Conference on April 10, 2011.

The Challenge of Europe - Kevin O'Rourke

Kevin O’Rourke describes a political trilemma in Europe. He says that if the nation state remains dominant in the Eurozone, the trilemma suggests two possibilities. Either public opinion is successfully ignored in countries like Germany, Greece, and Ireland; or the European Monetary Union will come under threat in the longer run.

Kevin O'Rourke is Professor of Economics at Trinity College in Dublin. He is speaking in the panel "Optimal Currency Areas and Governance: The Challenge of Europe" at the Bretton Woods Conference on April 10, 2011.

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Philippe Aghion: The Market or the State?

State-owned firms are not as innovative as private firms. But it does not follow, Philippe Aghion says, that government ought to be small. Government is needed as investor in the economy’s productive capacity – R&D, education, green innovation – as well as insurer against market risks. Aghion calls for a competition-friendly industrial policy to address inefficiencies, in particular in path-dependent dirty industries. Read more