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Understanding the great recession: From micro to macro


IFS and the Bank of England held a conference to explore how recent developments in capital and labour markets can help to explain aggregate outcomes since the Great Recession. The conference combined microeconomic studies relevant for the UK with papers that draw lessons from other countries.

This event brought together academics, researchers and policymakers. Papers and discussions covered issues around:

• participation and labour supply,
• adjustments in real wages and the differences across workers,
• the allocation of workers and capital,
• investment following a financial crisis,
• productivity.

The presentations are now available below:  

Wednesday, 23rd September

Richard Blundell (UCL), Opening remarks.

Session 1: Labour Markets since the crisis

Chair: Robert Wood (HM Treasury)

Tito Boeri (Bocconi University and INPS), Financial frictions, financial shocks and unemployment volatility: lessons from the Great Recession.

Steve Machin (UCL), Real wage trends.

Christian Dustmann (UCL), Germany and the Great Recession.


Session 2: Speech by Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent


Thursday, 24th September

Session 3: Trends around the recession

Chair: Richard Blundell (UCL)

Orazio Attanasio (IFS and UCL), (S)Cars and the Great Recession.

Hamish Low (Cambridge University and IFS), Recovering from recessions: household consumption over the business cycle.

Greg Thwaites (BOE), The banks that said no: banking relationships, credit supply and corporate outcomes in the UK.

John Fernald (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco), The Pre-Global-Financial-Crisis slowdown in productivity growth.


Session 4: Productivity and the allocation of resources

Chair: Helen Miller (IFS)

Helen Miller (IFS), Capital allocation and productivity.

John Van Reenen (LSE), Productivity, management and reallocation.

Rebecca Riley (NIESR and CFM), Productivity dynamics in the wake of the financial crisis: evidence from UK businesses.

Chiara Criscuolo (OECD), The future of productivity.


Session 5

Chair: Paul Johnson (IFS)

Keynote Speaker: Robert E. Hall (Stanford University), Understanding the deep contraction and slow recovery of the U.S. Economy.

Panel Discussion: Draw comparisons between developments in the US and UK and discuss implications for policy.

  • Richard Blundell (UCL and IFS)
  • Jonathan Haskel (Imperial College)
  • James Richardson (HM Treasury)
  • Gertjan Vlieghe (MPC, Bank of England)
  • Robert E. Hall (Stanford University)

Closing Remarks: Gertjan Vlieghe (MPC, Bank of England)