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Structural Reforms to Stimulate Growth: more pain for workers and another credit bubble in the making?

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

Date: Wednesday 4 December 2013 
Time: 6.30-8pm 
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor Tito Boeri, Dr Laurence Boone, Professor Gilles Saint-Paul
Chair: Dr Corrado Macchiarelli

The financial crisis has hit employment and pay in the private and even more in the public sector very hard. It also impaired credit flows to small and medium enterprise and to mortgage-seeking households for an extended period. In response, authorities in the Euro area and in the UK have declared their intention to undertake ‘growth-enhancing structural’ reforms. Structural reforms seem to be without alternative as a route to recovery but the difficulties of transition between the short and the long run are considerable: is the recourse to labour market flexibilisation a priority when unemployment is so high that workers accept pay and benefit cuts already, thus weakening demand even further? Are policies of underwriting private credit risk not simply a reversion to demand stimulus through financial markets that is bound to create the next bubble?

Tito Boeri is Professor of Economics at Bocconi University and Scientific Director of Fondazione Debenedetti; research Fellow at CEPR, IZA and Igier-Bocconi.

Laurence Boone is the managing director and head of developed Europe Economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, and was previously managing director at Barclays Capital.

Gilles Saint-Paul is a member of the Paris School of Economics and Global University Professor at New York University in Abu Dhabi. He is a research fellow at CEPR, IZA and CES-Ifo and a member of the Conseil d'Analyse Economique. 

The ‘Towards a Genuine Economic and Monetary Union’ series is coordinated by members of staff at the LSE European Institute: Paul De Grauwe, Corrado Macchiarelli, Vassilis Monastiriotis and Waltraud Schelkle.

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