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2020 Young economists’ competition

Young economists can play an important role in shaping the future of Europe, and this competition gives them the chance to share their fresh perspectives on today’s challenges.

Every year we invite young economists to enter our research competition. Finalists are invited to the annual ECB Forum on Central Banking, and the overall winner is awarded €10,000.

Meet the 2020 finalists

In 2020 the competition focused on the same topic as that year’s Forum: Central banks in a shifting world. Nine PhD students from universities around the world had the unique opportunity to join the event, where they had the chance to discuss their research with ECB Executive Board members.

Selection committee

  • Inês Cabral, Counsellor to the Executive Board, European Central Bank
  • John Muellbauer, Professor of Economics at Nuffield College, Oxford
  • Ricardo Reis, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics
  • Glenn Schepens, Economist, European Central Bank (Secretary)

Philipp Hartmann, Deputy Director General Research, European Central Bank (non-grading Chairman)

Congratulations to Roxana Mihet, the winner of the 2020 competition!

“I show that the explosion of financial technologies for retail investors does not guarantee broad increases in household wealth. Instead, the sophisticated investors who already have relatively high levels of wealth are most likely to benefit from many of the new technologies.”

University of Lausanne and Swiss Finance Institute

Who benefits from financial innovation?

Find out more about the other young economists

Angelo D’Andrea

Bocconi University

High-speed internet, financial technology and banking

“We study the effects of high-speed internet on banking in Africa through a unique natural experiment. We find that fast internet promotes financial technology adoption, interbank transactions and lending. Results indicate that infrastructure investment is a driver of capital markets integration.”

Kristy Jansen

Tilburg University

Long-term investors and the yield curve

“Long-term investors such as insurance companies and pension funds are important investors in government bond markets. I study how long-term investors change their bond holdings following a shift in regulation and how these changes subsequently impact yields.”

Alistair Macaulay

University of Oxford

Cyclical attention to saving

“Paying more attention to choosing a savings product will often earn you more interest. I find that savers increase attention in recessions - that’s when extra interest income is most useful. Higher interest rates push them to save more and spend less, making the recession worse.”

Antonio Marsi

University of Bologna

Unconventional monetary policy in the euro area: A tale of three shocks

“My paper analyses whether the policies of the ECB affect the risk premium of peripheral countries’ debt, measuring them by identifying several types of shocks around ECB press conferences. I find that these types of policies have tangible effects on the euro area economy and are effective in boosting inflation.”

Yingjie Qi

Copenhagen Business School

Big broad banks: How does cross-selling affect lending?

“Combining loan and non-loan products (cross-selling) has two benefits. It increases credit supply, especially in recessions; and the likelihood of receiving lenient treatment in delinquency. Cross-selling affected lending by reducing information asymmetry and increasing banks’ return from the relationship.”

Magdalena Rola-Janicka

Tilburg University

The political economy of prudential regulation

“I study the equilibrium level of prudential regulation set by an elected politician in a model with borrowing externalities. Low income borrowers support tight regulation as they suffer most in a crisis. Under imperfect enforcement (i.e. capture) preferences may be reversed, resulting in an inefficiently lax regulation.”

Elisa Rubbo

Princeton University

Networks, Phillips curves and monetary policy

“I am building an analytical framework for monetary policy in an economy with many sectors that sell goods to each other and to final consumers. I study how policy impacts different producers, bringing new insights on the relationship between inflation and employment (Phillips curve) and on the optimal policy response to sector-level shocks.”

Xuan Wang

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute

When do currency unions benefit from default?

“This paper shows that a lenient bankruptcy environment in the cross-border capital markets union can improve banking stability and the welfare of a currency union that lacks a fully-fledged fiscal union. This result is broadly consistent with the 2016 legal directive by the European Commission.”