Grant me microeconomic efficiency, but not yet

It has always struck me that the first order consequence of making it easier for firms to fire people in the middle of a depression would be that…firms would fire more people. And it has never struck me that this would be desirable.

Now Gauti Eggertsson, Andrea Ferrero and Andrea Raffo have a new paper pointing out that at the zero lower bound, where monetary policy cannot offset the deflationary impact of structural reforms that would otherwise be desirable (lowering mark-ups in product and labour markets), such reforms can be contractionary (by generating expectations of deflation and raising real interest rates).

All of which seems obvious once you think about it, but it needed someone to point it out. And this is a problem for a continent whose leaders refuse to take the demand side of the economy seriously, and are hoping that “structural reforms” will obviate the need for them to rethink their macroeconomic strategy.

Another chance for Paul Krugman to cite St Agustin!

(H/T Eurointelligence, which also links to a report on how the Greek government is saying that there will be no more austerity next year, even under a third bailout. This crisis is not yet over.)

Conference at UL: Reform in the Aftermath of the Crisis

Reform in the Aftermath of the Crisis:

Exploring Agenda for Health, Political and Financial Reform

Admission is free, but spaces are limited. We hope to see you there on the day.  If you can make it please RSVP to

Date: 19 September 2013

Venue:      Pavilion, University of Limerick

Time:        0930 – 16h30



Registration & Coffee

Welcome by Professor Paul McCutcheon

Vice President Academic and Registrar , University of Limerick


Seminar 1: Political and Health Care Reform

Chair: Dr. Maura Adshead, Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Limerick

Dr. Colin Doherty, Consultant Neurologist

St. James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin



Professor David Farrell, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin

Audience Contribution and Discussion led by Dr. Chris McInerney, Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Limerick


Complimentary lunch Served at the Pavilion





Seminar 2: Economic and Financial Reform

Chair: Professor Helena Lenihan, Department of Economics, Kemmy Business School , University of Limerick

Professor Stephan Gerlach

Deputy Governor, The Central Bank of Ireland

Fiona Muldoon

Head of Banking and Insurance Regulation, The Central Bank of Ireland

Audience Contribution and Discussion led by Ross Maguire, co-founder of New Beginnings ‘A movement of mortgage holders’


Close and Thanks

Reminder re conference on The Developmental Origins of Health

The Developmental Origins of Health Conference

Keynote Address by Professor James J Heckman

9.00 am-3.30 pm Thursday 10th October 2013

Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, No 6, Kildare St, Dublin 2

On Thursday October 10th, 2013, UCD Geary Institute will host a conference entitledThe Developmental Origins of Health. This conference presents the mid-term results emerging from a major European Research Council Advanced Investigator project led by Professor James Heckman at the University College Dublin, in partnership with the University of Bristol and the University of Essex.

Understanding the origins and the evolution of health inequalities is key to developing policies to promote human development. The conference highlights the work of aninterdisciplinary team of researchers who are active at the frontier of their disciplines ineconomics and epidemiology. This team is working together to create an integrated developmental approach to health which will allow us to understand the socio-biological determinants of health.  The conference presents innovative findings on the role of cognition, personality, genes, and the environment on health across the life course and across generations. Speakers will include Professor Frank Windmeijer(University of Bristol), Dr. Neil Davies (University of Bristol), Professor Steve Pudney (University of Essex), Dr. Orla Doyle (University College Dublin). The keynote address will be given by Professor James Heckman (University College Dublin & University of Chicago).

To register for the conference, please email: Carol Ellis Advance registration is essential for attendance at the conference, as numbers are strictly limited. There is no charge for the conference. Tea/Coffee and lunch will be provided.The deadline for registration is Friday 20 September 2013. For further details see UCD Geary Institute Website

One-day conference on economics and psychology

The sixth annual one day conference on Economics and Psychology will be held on November 25th in NUI Maynooth. The purpose of these sessions is to develop the link between Economics, Psychology and cognate disciplines in Ireland. A special theme of these events is the implications of behavioural economics for public policy though we welcome submissions across all areas of intersection of Economics and Psychology. We welcome submissions from PhD students as well as faculty and also welcome suggestions for sessions on policy and industry relevance of behavioural economics. Programmes from the previous five are here. Abstracts (200-500 words) should be submitted before September 30th. Suggestions or questions please send to