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Insurance and Adjustment in a Diverse Monetary Union: what can the Eurozone learn from the UK?

LSE European Institute Towards a Genuine Economic and Monetary Union panel discussion

Date: Wednesday 29 January 2014 
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Professor Julia Darby, Professor Danuta Hübner MEP, Dr Alberto Montagnoli, Professor Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

A major innovation in the Four Presidents’ report is the proposal for a shock absorption mechanism that helps regions in the Euro area to adjust. This proposal is a revival of an earlier insurance device that the Commission was asked to develop in the 1990s. The stabilisation potential of such a scheme and its political viability have not been scrutinised in depth so far. It is therefore useful to draw on the experience of another heterogeneous monetary union, namely the UK. The North-South divide in terms of economic structure has been profound, leading to deindustrialisation in the North of England and housing bubbles in the South. With the benefit of hindsight, what would have been measures that could contain counterproductive dynamics such as deindustrialisation and financial overheating? How can the pooling of risks in a heterogeneous union benefit from diversity?

Julia Darby, a graduate of University College, Cardiff and the University of York, previously a research officer at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in London, a researcher at the University of Strathclyde, a lecturer at Stirling University and then senior lecturer at Glasgow University. She has held visiting fellowships at Nuffield College, Oxford, the National Institute of Economic Research and the University of York and has worked on research projects funded by the ESRC, EU and HM Treasury. Her main research areas are in applied macroeconomics and labour economics. Publications include papers in the Economic Journal, Oxford Economic Papers, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, European Journal of Political Economy and Labour Economics.

Danuta Hübner is a member of the European Parliament (since 2009). She is the chair of the Regional Development Committee, and also works in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Special Committee on the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis. She is also a member of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the United States, and the Delegation for Relations with Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and to the EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee, and she works closely with the Baltic-Europe Intergroup, the Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Intergroup, the Federalist Intergroup and the URBAN Intergroup. Since the early 1990s, as an academic and politician she has held numerous public positions in Poland and in the EU. She became the first minister for European affairs in the Polish government, as well as the first Polish EU commissioner (regional policy). Prior to these appointments she served as UN undersecretary general. She received her Masters degree in 1971 from the Foreign Trade Department at the Warsaw School of Economics and was awarded her PhD in 1974 by the same institution. In 1980 she received her postdoctoral degree (habilitation) and in 1992 she was awarded the title of professor of economics by the president of Poland. At present she continues to teach at the Warsaw School of Economics in the Development Economics and Political Economy department. She is the author and co-author of many scholarly articles and books.

Alberto Montagnoli graduated from the University of Padova (Italy) and gained his MSc and PhD from Brunel University. Before joining the University of Sheffield he worked as a lecturer and senior lecturer in banking and finance at the University of Stirling. Alberto’s research interests lie in the area of financial markets and banking. A central theme of his work has been the interaction between financial markets, monetary policy and the real economy at both a national and regional level. Recently his work has focused on various areas of behavioural finance and macroeconomics.

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose is a professor of economic geography at the London School of Economics, where he was previously head of the Department of Geography and Environment. He is the current holder of a European Research Council (ERC) advanced grant. He is president-elect of Regional Science Association International, where he will serve as vice-president of the Association in 2014 and as president in 2015-2016. He has also been vice-president (2012-2013) and secretary (2001-2005) of the European Regional Science Association. He is the joint managing editor of Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, an editor of Economic Geography, and sits on the editorial board of 24 scholarly journals, including many of the leading international journals in economic geography, human geography, regional science, and management.

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