In her latest article for Project Syndicate, Professor Brigitte Granville scrutinized the anatomy of the populist movements that have been gaining political ground in many western countries. Published this February and drawing on the insights of various Project Syndicate contributors, the article explained how these different movements have a similar zero sum view of the world and pointed to the then forthcoming elections in the Netherlands and France as bellwethers.
The upcoming French elections are the new bellwether of populist politics. In the two-round presidential contest, polls point to Marine Le Pen making it into, but then losing, the second round run-off. Nonetheless, reflecting the growing appeal of the National Front (FN), Ms Le Pen is poised to do considerably better than her father – Jean Marie Le Pen – did in 2002, when he got through to the second round against the then incumbent, Jacques Chirac. In her latest article for the OMFIF bulletin, “Unemployment spurs Le Pen Phenomenon”, Professor Brigitte Granville – CGR Director – argues that to explain the strength of the FN, the poor performance of the French economy matters even more than immigration and other issues touching on identity politics.
The consequences of Brexit – especially at pivotal moments in the process like the UK triggering Art.50 at the end of March 2017 – will command attention not only in the UK and the rest of Europe but also among all those around the world looking at Europe with interest and concern. While the implications of Brexit should not be downplayed, the whole subject risks becoming a distraction from the even more important question of the sustainability of the Euro. The deep effects of the chronic crisis of the Eurozone – including, arguably, contributing to Brexit – are generally overlooked, with the economic and political tensions of the Euro only resurfacing periodically when the Greek government needs to access new tranches of the bailout agreement. The fundamental tensions remaining largely unresolved. Since the Eurozone is a source of major potential shocks to the global economy and financial system, the reasons for the failure to resolve those tensions deserve continued close scrutiny.
In 2009 the German government spent around 5 billion € to incentivize the replacement of older cars and to keep the car industry afloat after the financial crisis of 2008. The graph on the left below shows the smoothed market shares of the main manufacturers selling cars in Germany before and after that year.
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.
“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”