Archive for October, 2012

Advertising! Inequality and Macroeconomic Performance Workshop

October 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I have been busy organizing a workshop on Inequality and Macroeconomic Performance, to be held in Paris on October 16-17.

The program can be found below  (pdf here), and a description of the motivation behind it (in French) in the Blog de l’OFCE.

If you happen to be around and are interested, just send a mail to the address provided in the program.


A Broader Perspective

October 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The EU received the 2012 Peace Nobel Prize. I think it is an helpful reminder of what the whole construct has been about for the past sixty years. Especially when you are critical of men and institutions, gloomy about the future, exhausted by endless postponements, frustrated by the chronic lack of ambition,it is from time to time useful to take some perspective, and recognize what a tremendous success Europe has been and still remains. I still remember my grandmother, terrorized by the German reunification, saying with a sigh: “We are lucky to have the European Union…”

My first class on the EU economy traces a sketchy outline of the developments from Jean Monnet to today.  I conclude telling to my (mostly non European) students that whatever they will hear from me over the rest of the semester, mostly negative horrible things, they should not forget the first class. This project remains a tremendous accomplishment precisely for the reasons that motivated the Nobel prize.

But then we go back to real life. The first thing that came to my mind when I heard the news was this:

Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: “With great power comes great responsibility.” This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spider-man The European Union

Precisely because what they have in their hands is a precious object, our beloved leaders need to get their act together, and do something to preserve it.
Those who speak of Grexit should maybe sit in my first class? Better still, the Spiderman DVD is on sale at Amazon…

IMF Schyzophrenia

October 10, 2012 5 comments

I had already noticed that the IMF at times looks like Jekyll and Hide. But not to this point. Last time I cited a simple working paper. This time we are talking about the most important document produced by the IMF. Here are some excerpts from the October  IMF World Economic Outlook, released on Monday:
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