Chief Economist Talks


The Chief Economist Talks are part of the OECD’s high-level distinguished speaker series in which global economic leaders, top thinkers and decision makers from major organisations are invited to discuss their perspective on the world economy with the OECD Chief Economist.  The talks that aim to foster learning and inspiration and provoke discussions that matter. Participation in these events is by invitation only and aimed at OECD staff and the OECD Ambassadors and delegations. They are not open to the press.



Friday, 19 November 2021

Massimo Rostagno: Monetary Policy in Times of Crisis

The 20th anniversary of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) offers an opportunity to look back on the record of the European Central Bank (ECB) and learn lessons that can improve the conduct of policy in the future. This volume charts the way the ECB has defined, interpreted, and applied its monetary policy framework—its strategy—over the years from its inception, in search of evidence and lessons that can inform those reflections. Our ‘Tale of Two Decades’ is largely a tale of ‘two regimes’: one—stretching slightly beyond the ECB’s mid-point—marked by decent growth in real incomes and a distribution of shocks to inflation almost universally to the upside; and the second—starting well into the post-Lehman period—characterized by endemic instability and crisis, with the distribution of shocks eventually switching from inflationary to continuously disinflationary. We show how the most defining feature of the ECB’s monetary policy framework, its characteristic definition of price stability with a hard 2 per cent ceiling, functioned as a key shock absorber in the relatively high-inflation years prior to the crisis, but offered a softer defence in the face of the disinflationary forces that hit the euro area in its aftermath. The imperative to halt persistent disinflation in the post-crisis era therefore called for a radical, unprecedented policy response, comprising negative policy rates, enhanced forms of forward guidance, a large asset purchase programme and targeted long-term loans to banks. We study the multidimensional interactions among these four instruments and quantify their impact on inflation and the macroeconomy.

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Previous speakers

Robin Brooks, IIF

The Secular Slowdown in EM Growth

19 October 2021

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Philippe Aghion, Collège de France and INSEAD

The Power of Creative Destruction

23 June 2021

Other previous speakers

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