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Forum for Economic Dialogue - 16.11.2015
The Economics of War and Peace
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Decision rights carry not only instrumental value but may also be valuable for their own sake. The ideas of autonomy, freedom, and liberty derive their intuitive appeal—at least partly—from an assumed positive intrinsic value of decision rights. Providing clean evidence for the existence of this intrinsic value and measuring its size, however, is intricate. Björn Bartling, Ernst Fehr, and Holger Herz from Zurich University developed a method capable of achieving these goals. The data reveal that the large majority of the subjects intrinsically value decision rights beyond their instrumental benefit. NZZ Article (in German) Download Workingpaper
Jaume Ventura (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and Joachim Voth (Zurich University) say that when the dangers of debt in today’s world are considered, the potential benefits should not be forgotten. Looking at the conditions under which the Industrial Revolution in Britain took place, the researchers ask why the country that borrowed the most industrialised first. Read More
Sovereign debt is presumed to be problematic. According to Joachim Voth, there are at least three positive aspects to public sector loans. Read More (in German)
Read about recent and current highlights of the UBS Center. Download PDF
Within the scope of the academic conference on "The Economics of Sovereign Dept", Harald Uhlig (University of Chicago) was interviewed by the Swiss Television SRF. Watch his view on the Greek debt crisis: Video (in German)
Kenneth Rogoff (Harvard University) spoke about "Dealing with debt" at the University of Zurich. He regards the elimination of the zero bound as a major turn in monetary policy, after the ending of the gold standard and the fixed exchange rates. Article NZZ (in German) Article FuW (in German) Article Handelszeitung (in German)
After a golden decade, economic growth in China has slowed down since 2012. In the year 2014, a growth of 7.4% of the GDP was reported for China. Forecasts for 2015 set the GDP growth rate below 7%, with no rebound in sight for 2016. Fabrizio Zilibotti says China’s institutions have been successful in promoting investment-led growth. However, the transition towards innovation-led growth necessitates economic reforms that raise the opposition of vested interests. FuW-Comment
In an interview with NZZ am Sonntag, Economist Kenneth Rogoff asks for drastic measures to keep Greece in the Eurozone. Also, he defends the Swiss National Bank’s measure to abadon the minimum price for a euro. Read more (in German)
Fabrizio Zilibotti will be the keynote speaker of a conference on Innovation and Global Economy organized by the College of Economics (Zheijang University), the Center for Finance and Development (The Graduate Institute Geneva), and the Alibaba Group. The conference will take place at Alibaba Headquarters in Hangzhou. Conference website
Professor Ernst Fehr talks about self-interest and altruism as incentives for human behavior and about behavioral economics as an adviser for politics and economics with NZZ-editor-in-chief Eric Gujer and Marco Färber. Video (in German)
Andreas Müller, Kjetil Storesletten, and Fabrizio Zilibotti say the best response to the Greek debt crisis is pragmatism and sequential compromise. The economists plead for an assistance programme providing the country with debt relief. Read more
At the Economy Festival Trento, economy scholars, Nobel Prize winners and managers from all over the world meet for dicussing economic topics with the audience. Fabrizio Zilibotti talked about "Parents put to the Test. Educational Styles and Social Consequences". Video (in Italian)
In the policy circles, there are confronting positions regarding Greece’s assistance programme and the structural reforms it should implement. In a recently published column Fabrizio Zilibotti, Kjetil Storesletten, and Andreas Müller argue that the best response is pragmatism and sequential compromise. Efficiency requires an assistance programme providing the country with debt relief with an intervention of an institution such as the IMF. Thus, misconceived economic principles could bring large welfare losses for Greece and renewed financial instability in the Eurozone. Article on voxeu.org NZZ Article (in German)
In their recently published paper, Hans-Joachim Voth and Nico Voigtländer use survey data on anti-Semitic beliefs and attitudes in a representative sample of Germans to show that Nazi indoctrination was highly effective. Between 1933 and 1945, young Germans were exposed to anti-Semitic ideology in schools, in the (extracurricular) Hitler Youth, and through radio, print, and film. As a result, Germans who grew up under the Nazi regime are much more anti-Semitic than those born before or after that period. Article IBTimes Read more
It is a common misconception that large governments are the main obstacles to economic prosperity. That is according to Joachim Voth, keynote speaker at the Citywire Montreux 2015. He said big governments are not a source of inefficiency but tend to drive economic performance and stability. Read more
In his opening address at the Citywire Montreux 2015, Joachim Voth said the ECB’s stimulus measures are not doing enough to dispel the fear of a ‘full-blown’ European crisis. According to Voth, political support for measures are on an increasingly fragile footing which could lead to an economic collapse in the next 12-to-24 months. Read more