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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.

2021 Young economists’ competition

What was the theme of the 2021 competition?

The theme of the 2021 ECB Forum on Central Banking was “Beyond the pandemic: the future of monetary policy”.

How were the finalists selected?

The papers were assessed using two selection criteria: (i) innovative thinking and scientific merit and (ii) European policy relevance. The information provided in the CV and recommendation letter were also taken into account.

What did the finalists do at the Forum?

The ten selected finalists had the unique opportunity to attend the ECB Forum on Central Banking on 28-29 September 2021. The work of the selected finalists, as well as research posters summarising the main findings of their papers, were displayed on the ECB’s website and shared with all Forum participants, including policymakers, top academics and market economists from around the world.

During the Forum, finalists had the opportunity to join panel discussions and expert talks within the Forum’s programme.

The finalists’ papers and posters were assessed by a jury of top academics and senior ECB staff, taking into account votes cast by Forum participants.

Congratulations to Diego Känzig from London Business School, the winner of the 2021 competition!

After this year’s Forum with the topic “Beyond the pandemic: the future of monetary policy”, our moderator Claire Jones conducted an interview with Diego, in which he explained why his paper is relevant for policy makers and the economy.

Diego Känzig

London Business School

The economic consequences of putting a price on carbon

Meet the other 2021 finalists

Find out who were the other selected finalists and have a look at their contributions.

Oliver Giesecke

Columbia Business School

The bond lending channel of monetary policy

“Firms’ share of financing from the bond market reached a record high at the end of 2020. How does the bond share affect monetary policy transmission? We show that bond-financed firms react more strongly to monetary policy actions than bank-financed firms in the eurozone, which suggests a “bond lending channel” of monetary policy.”

Frederico Godinho

University of Texas at Austin

Monetary information shocks in a currency union

“I find a new monetary policy dimension for the ECB, which captures the transmission channel through government bond yield spreads. Only by considering this dimension can the dramatic contribution of the ECB to economic stabilisation following the debt crisis be perceived.”

Adrian Ifrim

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

The Fed put and monetary policy: An imperfect knowledge approach

“Asset price cycles driven by animal spirits can have sizeable effects on aggregate demand through consumption wealth effects. When economic agents have imperfect knowledge about the structure of the economy, monetary policy can increase macroeconomic stability by reacting explicitly and transparently to stock prices.”

Ilja Kantorovitch

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Exuberant and uninformed: how financial markets (mis-)allocate capital during booms

“Booms shape investors’ incentives for information gathering. But not all booms are alike: booms driven by exuberance discourage information acquisition, leading to a lower average quality of investment, whereas booms as a result of new technologies are generally beneficial.”

Shohini Kundu

UCLA Anderson School of Management

The externalities of fire sales: evidence from collateralized loan obligations

“Since the financial crisis of 2007-2008, CLOs which play a key role in the provision of credit to constrained corporations, have grown at an unprecedented rate. My research shows that financial contracts, which are designed to safeguard investors’ interests, may in fact amplify risks and catalyze CLO fire sales, fomenting instability.”

Jian Li

Columbia Business School

The importance of investor heterogeneity: an examination of the corporate bond market

“We study liquidity concerns in the corporate bond market. The bond market disruption in March 2020 suggests fragility has been building up in the bond market. Leading up to the crisis, we find that the sensitivity of credit yields to liquidity had increased fourfold in the United States over the past 15 years. ”

Philip Schnattinger

University of Oxford

Non-performing loans due to inefficient capital reallocation

“The differences countries exhibit in their share of NPLs, together with the varying size and duration of the increase in NPLs during recessions, are probably due to differing efficiencies in repurposing sub-optimally used capital for new and more productive use.”

Elizaveta Sizova

KU Leuven

Banks’ next top model

“I study the design of regulation using banks’ internal risk models. I show that the current regulation is ineffective in eliciting truthful reporting and improving risk model quality. My model suggests that recent regulatory changes may further impair truthful disclosure.”

Maëlle Vaille

University of Bordeaux

Central bank balance sheet and systemic risk

“This paper explores whether central bank balance sheet policies have side effects on financial stability. I find that these policies reduce systemic risk in the short and medium term, and have no effect in the long term. Moreover, these effects are stronger for the financial firms with the highest level of leverage.”


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ECB Forum on Central Banking

The ECB Forum on Central Banking is an annual event organised by the European Central Bank and is ordinarily held in Sintra, Portugal.

Find out more