US academic Robert B. Wilson and his long-time collaborator and friend – and now neighbour – Paul R. Milgrom, won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences this year for their work on auction theory and how to improve them in action.
In the official announcement, the members of the Prize Committee said the pair’s insights had led to the design of new auction formats for goods and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, such as radio frequencies. Their discoveries have benefited sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world, they said.
In a blog for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Foundation, which in normal years gathers together around 30-40 Nobel Laureates in Lindau to meet the next generation of leading scientists, I pulled together all the many tributes that poured in from fellow experts and collaborators in the field who believed that the joint award as highly deserved. The article is here.
Phil has been commissioned to write a weekly column on economics and related issues for The Independent news website.
The first column on 6 January looked at how Boris Johnson’s focus on getting Brexit done means that he is ignoring Britain’s parlous record on productivity – which is the real key to future long-term economic growth.
The second column on 13 January dismissed Domald Trump’s “greatest ever” trade deal with China and argued that the US president has declared war on the multilateral trade system by refusing to allow judges to be appointed to the World Trade Organization’s appeals court, so leaving the world vulnerable to ongoing tit-for-tat trade wars.
Phil helped drive the coverage by the magazine GlobalMarkets of the annual meetings of the IMF and World bank that were held in October 2018 in Bali Indonesia. GlobalMarkets is the new name for the magazine Emerging Markets that has covered the meetings of all the multilateral banks for a quarter of a century.
He wrote a number of features analysing key issues that came up at the meetings of the finance ministers and central bankers of the 187 member countries. Three of the features looking at the outlook for the two institutions: the first examined the new strategy of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim regarding fragile states (here); the second looked at the role that the IMF should play in revitalising multilateralism here. and the challenge of closing the iinfrastructure gap here.
He also wrote a number of news stories including: a warning by Professor Barry Eichengreen on the impact on the from a trade war; concern among leading experts that the IMF is losing relevance; an interview with World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva; criticism of the Bank’s Human Capital Index; and concerns over a rollback on regulation.
He was also heavily engaged in news planning, copy sub-editing and headline writing.
We have developed a specialism in covering mjor conferences of academic and policy experts, covering the main issues and producing plan English reports.
Phil was hired by the organisers of the The 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences in Germany that featured presentations and debates involving several recipients of the Nobel prize in economics. He wrote a number of pieces a day that captured the essence of some of the presentatioons and debates. One looked at how economists would design a good pension syste, based on what Peter Diamond called ‘a paternalistic need’ to use policy measures to encourage people to save more during their working lives. Another focused on what that path looks loike topwards a Nobel prize, based on the recollections of Oliver Hart, Bengt Holmstöm, and Jean Tirole. His final blog was looking ahead to the state of economics in 2020, the next meeting, featuring the thoughts of Peter Altmaier, Chris Pissarides and Deleza Hays.
Phil helped produce a highly commended article based on on innovative conference looking at consumer finance and behavioural ecojnomics. The first summit by the Think Forward Initiative held in Brussels looked at how Mainstream models in economics and finance restrict the factors relevant for financial decisions to emotionless logic, perfect information, and impeccable mathematics. The article covered debates over the ability of consumers to process information correctly, the potential gains for the aplication of behavioural economics, and the state of financial literacy. The article was published on the VoxEU portal.
Phil has played a key role in the coverage of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for Global Markets newspaper. At the last meetings he held interviews with the President, Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank and helped produce daily newspaper editions. He also wrote features on the outlook for the World Bank and IMF.
We have contributed columns to the innovative opinion-only website Disclaimer for the past three years. The website, which is free to read and contains articles by experts contributing pro bono, focuses on economics, politics and the arts as well as wider issues relating to London. It is non-partisan but tends to favour liberal views on these topics.
Our latest column looks at the planned exit from their prestigious London headquarters by companies such as BT and Rolls-Royce and asks whether these moves are the “canary in thecoal mine” about the deleterious impact that high property prices arehaving on the capital’s economy. YoYouan read that article here.
We assisted with the coverage by the magazine GlobalMarkets of the annual meetings of the IMF and World bank that were held in October 2017 in Washington DC. GlobalMarkets is the new name for the magazine Emerging Markets that has covered the meetings of all the multilateral banks for a quarter of a century.
We wrote a number of features analysing key issues that came up at the meetings of the finance ministers and central bankers of the 187 member countries. Two of the features looking at the outlook for the two institutions: the first examined the new strategy of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to become a catalyst for private finance here; and the second looked at the role that the IMF should play after the recent crises here.
We supported these with on the capiral increase based on a question to Mr Kim (here), an interview with WB vice president Axel van Trotsenburg on funding for the poorest countries (here), and a warning byb a senior WB economist on corporate debt in emerging economies (here).We also contributed a review of the racy account of a life in banking and Buddhism by Michael Dobbs-Higginson here.
Now that the dust has settled on the shock Conservative victory in the UK General Election, we were asked to look at the implications for FDs and CFOs by Financial Director magazine. While it is early days and many companies are waiting to see what measures Chancellor George Osborne will put in place in his early 8 July Budget, some trends emerged. On the one hand the clear result has removed the uncertainty that many executives were expecting from a hung parliament as all seven parties negotiated to form a government. Allied to that were the market-friendly measures on taxation that the Conservatives have promised. However on the other side of the balance is the uncertainty posed by the threat of a twin referendum on UK membership of the European Union – likely in 2017 or even in 2016 – and a possible vote of Scottish separation. The outlook for the UK economy is clearly uncertain and will be important to monitor the views of FDs as time passes. The full article is here.
Working as a freelance consultant, I helped to generate content for the London School of Economics’ research impact website, including writing summaries of the impact of various academics in areas including macroeconomic policy, regulation of markets, education impacts and public policy impacts.
The full range of almost 70 impact studies of which I was involved in around 20 can be found here: http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/researchImpact/Home.aspx
We were in Washington DC for the week of 6 October to cover the annual 2014 meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for Emerging Markets newspaper at a time of mounting concern over the state of the economy and the impact of the conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine and the terrible Ebola outbreak.
We were involved in planning the newspaper’s coverage, putting together the daily news list, working with reporters as well as carrying out live reporting.
We looked in detail at the role of relevance of the IMF 10 years after it was written off as irrelevant and asked what’s its role should be in what MD Christine Lagarde has called a “new mediocre” era of growth. The feature is here.
We also looked at the World Bank on its 70th birthday and asked what President Jim Kim should do to ensure that the bank remained relevant in an increasingly crowded development arena. The feature is here.
We spoke with World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu about the economic impact of the outbreak of Ebola as the death toll broke the 4,000 barrier during the week. The story is here. We also spoke with World Bank climate envoy Rachel Kyte and discussed her strategy of working with businesses in countries where there ‘constraints’ on political leadership. The story is here.
We hope to be covering the 2015 meetings that will be held in Lima, Peru