2018 Forum – Young economists’ session

Young economists, with their fresh perspectives and innovative approaches, have a great deal to bring to discussions on monetary policy, macroprudential policy and other issues challenging policymakers in a changing world. That’s why every year we invite PhD students to the ECB Forum on Central Banking to present their ideas on the Forum’s key topic.

In a first for the ECB, in 2018 we invited Simon Clark, a YouTuber and PhD graduate from the University of Exeter, to interview the young economists.

The 2018 Forum focused on price and wage-setting in advanced economies. Eleven PhD students came to Sintra, Portugal, to compete in the young economists’ poster session, sharing their research with policymakers and top academics. During the event, Forum participants had the opportunity to vote for the best poster.

Congratulations to Nuno Clara and Mishel Ghassibe, the winners of the 2018 competition!

Nuno Clara

London Business School

Winning paper: Demand elasticities, nominal rigidities and asset prices
Winning poster

Nuno collected and analysed data from products sold on Amazon.


He identifies higher returns for companies in which changes in price have a strong effect on the quantity of the products demanded. He also finds that these companies do not tend to change their prices more often than others.

Mishel Ghassibe

University of Oxford

Winning paper: Monetary policy and production networks: an empirical investigation
Winning poster

Mishel looks at production networks and how they influence the impact of monetary policy.


He shows that:

  • production networks (i.e. the way that services and products are produced, distributed and consumed) account for 20-45% of the total effect of monetary policy changes on consumption in the United States
  • the effect of production networks comes with a delay of around 18 months

Meet the other young economists who came to Sintra this year

Cían Allen

Trinity College Dublin

Revisiting the current account: insights from sectoral balances

Cían shows that businesses (and to a lesser extent the public sector) play a more important role than households in the current account balance of advanced economies.

Agnieszka Dorn

Columbia University

The cyclicality of wages, job duration and match quality

Agnieszka’s research shows that the salaries of people who are starting a new job tend to be lower when the economy is growing and higher when it is in recession.


This is particularly the case for those who were already employed and are changing jobs and less pronounced for those who were previously unemployed.

Rong Fu

Heriot-Watt University

Financial integration in a changing world

Rong models and predicts financial integration in a changing world.


Her findings show that:

  • financial integration is generally increasing
  • legal, political, economic and societal factors on a global level play a more important role for global financial integration than those on a local level

Jonathon Hazell

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Posted wage rigidity

Jonathon analyses posted wages (i.e. wages that are advertised in job descriptions and are not negotiated by the successful candidate) in online vacancies in the United States.


His findings show that posted wages:

  • rarely change, irrespective of how the economy is doing
  • are especially unlikely to decrease

Karin Kinnerud

Stockholm University

Removing the mortgage interest deductibility: policies and welfare effects

Karin analyses the short-term effects on welfare of several government policies that aim to make it easier for people to borrow money to buy a house in the United States.


Her research shows that:

  • in the long run the removal of these policies would benefit most American households and result in lower taxes and house prices
  • in the short term, however, homeowners with large mortgages and high earnings (who are usually relatively young) would suffer large losses

Matteo Leombroni

Stanford University

Central bank communication and the yield curve

Matteo’s findings show that before 2009, the ECB’s communications on monetary policy had the same effect on government borrowing costs in all euro area countries.


However, after 2009 a gap developed between core countries (Germany, France, Benelux, etc.) and periphery countries (Spain, Greece, Portugal, etc.) in terms of borrowing. The post-2009 policy announcements made it significantly easier for the governments of core countries to borrow, while they had much less of an impact in periphery countries.

Michal Marenčák

University of Konstanz

Price points and price dynamics

Michal introduces a new model which explains the way businesses set prices and supports the idea that monetary policy can affect growth in the short term.

Tomohide Mineyama

Boston College

Downward nominal wage rigidity and inflation dynamics during and after the Great Recession

Tomohide takes a look at the relationship between inflation and the level of economic activity.


He presents a model showing that employers’ relative unwillingness to reduce salaries can explain:

  • why inflation declined less than expected in 2007-08, known as the “missing deflation puzzle”
  • why inflation was extremely slow to increase again in the years following, known as “excessive disinflation”

Stylianos Tsiaras

University of Surrey

Financial crisis, monetary base expansion and risk

Stylianos’ paper shows that when the ECB supplies liquidity during turbulent times, banks give loans to riskier businesses.


However, this increases the likelihood that these businesses will default and has a negative effect on the economy despite the improvement in banks' health. He concludes that this increase in risk makes banks reluctant to continue granting loans to businesses, which explains why banks have been accumulating reserves recently.

Selection committee

  • Philipp Hartmann, Deputy Director General Research, European Central Bank (Chairman)
  • Peter McAdam, Principal Economist, European Central Bank (Secretary)
  • 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 Columbia University and the London School of Economics