Monday, October 31, 2016

Macro Musings Podcast: Rudi Bachmann

My latest podcast is with Rudiger Bachmann. Rudi is an associate professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame and a research affiliate at the Center for Economic Policy Research. Rudi has published widely on macroeconomic issues in top journals and is an active member of the German Economic Association. He also blogs and write popular press articles for the German media. Rudi joined me on the show to discuss German macroeconomics as well as some of his own research. 

Our conversation begins by noting that German macroeconomics appears to be very different than Anglo-American macroeconomics. Rudi notes that is partly a misperception problem, but there is indeed something different. What is different is how macroeconomics is currently practiced in Germany: it reflects the ordoliberalism view that stresses a rules-based approach to policy. This approach to macroeconomics makes lawyers rather than economists top advisers to policy in Germany and it reflects the lasting legacy of Walter Eucken. This view not only affects Germany, but macroeconomic policy throughout the EU. 

One of the interesting issues that emerge from this discussion is that the German polity seems to worry more about repeating the mistakes of the Weimar hyperinflation in the early 1920s than the mistakes of the Great Depression in the late-1920s. The former is well known but the latter was arguably more consequential since it helped bring the Nazi to power in Germany. It is not clear why the hyperinflation experience trumps the Great Depression experience, but its experience helps shape the ordoliberalism approach to economic policy in Europe today. 

Rudi and I then shift our conversation to the future of Europe. Rudi remains hopeful that EU project will survive the Eurozone crisis and other challenges now facing it.

We conclude by discussing Rudi's work on uncertainty and the business cycle and the importance of inflation expectations for consumers. 

This was a fascinating conversation throughout. 

You can listen to the podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or your favorite podcast app. You can also listen via the embedded player above. And remember to subscribe since more shows are coming.

Related Links
Ruid Bachmann's homepage

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