New CGR Working Paper: The Persistence of Inequality across Indian States, by Dr Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay

Dr Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay -Senior Lecturer in Economics at Queen Mary, University of London, and CGR Deputy Director- has published a new CGR working paper on “The Persistence of Inequality across Indian States”. Dr Bandyopadhyay organises the annual “Workshop on the Theory and Empirics of Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility” and, as she remarked in this year workshop, these are interesting times for researchers on inequality and development, with vibrant debates on inequality and poverty across academia and beyond. Not only have the recent works of Thomas Piketty and Tony Atkinson revived the public debate on inequality, but Angus Deaton received the Nobel Memorial Prize on Economic Sciences for his analysis on consumption, poverty, and Welfare.

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“Unconventional monetary policy in the past: Lessons for today” CGR working paper covered in VOX

In one of the latest CGR working papers, “Danger to the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street? The Bank Restriction Act and the Regime Shift to Paper Money, 1791-1821”, Prof Patrick O’Brien and Dr Nuno Palma obtain important lessons of past monetary policies to explain today’s unconventional monetary policies. As they describe in the abstract:
 

The Bank Restriction Act of 1797 made legal the Bank of England’s suspension of the convertibility of its banknotes. The current historical consensus is that it was a result of the state’s need to finance the war, France’s remonetisation, a loss of confidence in the English country banks, and a run on the Bank of England’s reserves. We argue that while these factors help us understand the timing of the Restriction period, they cannot explain its success. We deploy new long-term data which leads us to a complementary explanation: the policy succeeded thanks to the reputation of the Bank of England, achieved through a century of monetary stability

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Does increased flexibility in labour institutions makes labour markets more resilient to recessions? The new CGR working papers by Prof Pedro Martins present positive evidence

Recessions hit hard and fast while wages and labour conditions are sticky and difficult to adapt, which tends to lead to high unemployment levels during business cycle downturns. We can see an example of this in the unemployment levels of some European economies.  According to Eurostat, Spain had an unemployment rate of the 22.7% in April 2015, a rate that skyrocketed from 8.1% in January 2008. Similarly Greece’s unemployment rate went from 8% in 2008 to 25.6% in 2017. Portugal has also experienced a bumpy ride, albeit a more moderate one. The unemployment rate started at similar levels to Spain and Greece in 2008, peaked around 17.5% in January 2013 and start decreasing afterwards down to 13% in April 2015.

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