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Department of Economics online seminars 2020-21

See the schedule of online seminars taking place in the Department of Economics. All our seminars are free to attend.

October 2020

Seminars in October.


Wednesday 21 October 2020

Title: Central Bank Digital Currency: When price and bank stability collide (joint with: Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde, Daniel Sanches and Harald Uhlig)

Abstract: An account-based central bank digital currency or CBDC may provide to be an attractive alternative to traditional demand-deposits in private banks. With that, the central bank needs to confront its role in the classic banking issues of financial intermediation, maturity transformation and demand-liquidity or 'spending' shocks by its private customers.

We analyze these issues in a nominal version of a Diamond and Dybvig (1983) model, with an additional and exogenous price stability objective for the central bank. While the central bank can always deliver on its nominal obligations, runs can nonetheless occur, manifesting themselves either as excessive real asset liquidation or as a failure to maintain price stability.

We demonstrate a CBDC Trilemma: of the three goals efficiency, financial stability (i.e. absence of runs) and price stability, the central bank can achieve at most two. We discuss how the analysis applies to a token-based CBDC, a hybrid CBDC and physical cash as well, with appropriate caveats.


November 2020

Seminars in November.


Wednesday 4th November 2020

Title: Sequential Vote Buying (Joint with: Ying Chen: Johns Hopkins University)

Abstract: To enact a policy, a leader needs votes from committee members with heterogeneous opposition intensities. She sequentially offers transfers in exchange for votes. The transfers are either promises paid only if the policy is put to a vote or paid up front. With transfer promises, the leader buys the votes of those least opposed at a cost near zero.

With up-front payments, she does not necessarily buy the votes of those least opposed, and a vote can cost significantly more than zero. The leader is better off with up-front payments. We discuss several extensions including private histories and simultaneous offers.

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Title: Grades and employer learning

Abstract: We identify the signalling value of a grade point average (GPA) on labour market outcomes and how fast employers learn about variation in GPA that is unrelated to labour market productivity. Exploiting a reform-induced variation in university graduates’ GPA, we find that a higher GPA causes higher earnings in the first two years after graduation, after which the signalling effect goes to zero.

We provide suggestive evidence that the signalling effect is more relevant to majors related to larger wage dispersion and the private sector and that the earnings adjustment happens both within and across firms.

We conduct a range of sensitivity tests to validate that the identified relationship represents a signalling effect. Importantly, we show that the recoding scheme that causes variation in the GPA is unrelated to labour market outcomes for non-treated cohorts. Our findings are consistent with a learning model whereby employers initially screen graduates based on observable signals but update their beliefs about worker productivity.

Wednesday 18 November 2020


December 2020

Seminars in December.


Contact us

If you would like to attend one of these seminars or if you have an enquiry then you can contact the seminar organisers.