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New Economist

New economic research, data, events and analysis from a London-based economist

Updated: 2012-05-24T08:03:00+01:00


Economist job of the week: Director of Global Economics, European University Institute


I rarely give academic economist jobs much attention, having chosen a different career path. But one plum job did catch my eye recently. The European University Institute are looking for a Director for their Programme on Global Economics: The Programme on ‘Global Economics’ will focus on the connected fields of the economic and financial trends of the global economy and the mechanisms of global economic governance. The programme should develop a research agenda departing from the consequences of economic globalisation...

Weekend reading/viewing: Explaining the rise of child labour in Victorian Britain


In Victorian Britain child labour was cheap and plentiful. Few today know much about the era; but they should. Next week Jane Humphries, a Professor of Economic History at Oxford University, is due to give a seminar at the Paris School of Economics about her work on the topic. She published a book on Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution in 2010, and her excellent 2010 Tawney lecture summarises that larger work. The lecture is forthcoming in...

Economist job of the week: International economist at Standard Life (2 posts)


Edinburgh-based fund manager Standard Life Investments is looking for two economists. According to their vacancy posting: The aim is to have two or more economists, one to focus on OECD economies, especially the UK and Europe, and one to focus on emerging markets, especially China and Asia. These would coordinate international economics coverage with the North Amercian economist based in Montreal. As a result, a considerable degree of travel is probable for one or both positions. The economists would be...

UK recession roundup: the magnificent seven


A lot of interesting newspaper articles and blog posts on the Q1 UK GDP results have been published since my post earlier today. Here are links to seven of the best, along with an excerpt from each: 1. NYT columnist and uber econoblogger Paul Krugman (@NYTimeskrugman) lambasts the UK Government's austerity plans: Cameron’s Remarkable Achievement Now Britain is officially in double-dip recession, and has achieved the remarkable feat of doing worse this time around than it did in the 1930s....

UK’s double dip recession: your questions answered


This morning the Office for National Statistics published preliminary estimates of an -0.2% fall in March quarter 2012 GDP. This follows a -0.3% contraction in Q4, so pulling the UK into a ‘double dip’ recession (the first since the 1970s). Below are some frequently asked questions, and my response. Was the fall a surprise? Most forecasters were expecting very modest growth in Q1, with the median estimate (according to Bloomberg) for a +0.1% increase. These forecasts were in line with...

Dixit on 'the 21st Century’s Economic Hurricane'


Princeton emeritus professor Avinash Dixit is always worth reading, even when he is speculating about the economy over the next hundred years. Likening economic forecasting to weather forecasting (plenty of caveats and uncertainty), his approach is suitably sceptical. Here's how he kicks off: At least one prediction can be made with high confidence... in the course of the next century there will be several financial and economic crises. Each crisis will be preceded by a boom and by a state...

Economist job of the week: Director of Economic Analysis, Competition Commission


I have a number of economist friends and former colleagues who are looking for work, so I thought it might be helpful to post a 'job of the week'. They will mostly be senior, and mostly based in London - so apologies to my overseas readers and to more junior economist reading this post. I also plan to offer some advice on looking for jobs. My first job of the week is a senior role at the UK's Competition Commission:...



I'm back again ..and would like to kick off by highlighting a recent and very welcome initiative by Christian Zimmerman and colleagues at the St Louis Federal Reserve: According to the email I received this week: lives at and aggregates blog posts that discuss economic research. The aggregator looks through blog posts for a link to some research indexed on a RePEc service, currently EconPapers, IDEAS and NEP. IDEAS then also links back from the abstract page...

Chart of the week: Spanish unemployment


Spaniards vote today, with opinion polls pointing to a change of government. Incoming conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy faces unsustainably high sovereign bond yields, a depressed economy most likely sliding back into recession and, at 21.5%, the highest unemployment rate in the Eurozone. While the European Commission's autumn economic forecasts, published earlier this week, forecast tepid GDP growth for Spain of 0.7% in 2012, most market economists are more pessimistic. Without further austerity measures, JP Morgan economist Greg Fuzesi expects...

Nudging behaviour: When incentives do (and don't) work


Behavioural economics has blossomed in recent years, to the point that the Fall 2011 edition of the Journal of Economic Perspectives can, along with articles on neuronomics, genetics and retirement, include a fascinating 20 page review paper on incentives. That's not surprising; a lot of people have taken an interest in them lately, including President Obama and Britain's prime minister. When and Why Incentives (Don’t) Work to Modify Behavior was written by Uri Gneezy from the University of California–San Diego,...

I’m back


For various reasons I have been unable to blog for almost three years. But now I'm back. It would be an understatement to say I have missed a lot. Not only the Great Recession and the not-so-great recovery, but all the fun and games in the Eurozone as well. Regulators are flexing their muscles, central banks have gone all 'unconventional' on us, European politicians are still struggling to find a lasting solution to their problems, American politics is as polarised...

IMF: "Risks to financial stability have intensified"


For those hoping that credit conditions might gradually be returning to normal, today's IMF Global Financial Stability Report market update contained a stark warning: Risks to financial stability have intensified since October 2008. Macroeconomic risks have risen as global growth has fallen precipitously alongside a sharp slowdown of global trade. Credit risks have also risen as a deterioration of economic and financial conditions have resulted in rising loan losses. At the same time, the flight from risky assets and illiquid...

CBO: largest growth shortfall since the Great Depression


The Congressional Budget Office's new director, Douglas W. Elmendorf, testified on the state of the US economy before the House Budget Committee today. It makes sober reading. An accompanying blog post summarises his three key points: The economy is currently weathering a recession that started more than a year ago, and absent a change in fiscal policy, CBO projects that the shortfall in the nation’s output relative to potential levels will be the largest– in duration and depth– since the...

'Lone dove Danny' quits the MPC


Controversial Monetary Policy Commitee member and Dartmouth professor Danny Blanchflower is leaving the Bank of England, according to The Times: Man who wanted early rate cuts David Blanchflower steps down from MPC Professor Blanchflower, who has voted to cut interest rates every month since October last year, said that he would not seek reappointment when his three-year term ends on May 31. Once can hardly blame him. Despite being one of the first to call the economic slowdown, global recession,...

Are emerging Asia’s reserves really too high?


Aside from China, no, according to a new IMF working paper by Marta Ruiz-Arranz and Milan Zavadjil. This is in large part an attempt to insure against a repeat of the 1997 Asian currency crisis: The paper has presented evidence that to a large extent explains Asia’s large reserve accumulation since the 1997–98 crisis through the precautionary motive. Current reserve holdings in most of Asia (excluding China) are not seen excessive when compared with levels predicted by a simple model...