Economic Policy and The OUBEP Debate

Wed 26 July 2017


8:00 Breakfast
8:45 Director’s Introduction and Academic Briefing
9:00 Central Bank Intervention  (Rui Esteves)
10:00 Break for coffee
10:15 Fiscal Policy  (Rui Esteves)
11:15 Syndicate Discussion
12:15 Break, followed by Lunch at 12:30
1:15 Recession Economics  (Rui Esteves)
2:15 Debate Preparation and Research
6:15 The OUBEP Debate: Title to be selected during OUBEP. In 2016 the title was: “Uber and AirBnB should be banned.”
7:00 Drinks Reception followed by Dinner at 7:30
8:45 Evening Speaker: Robin Bew


Today we continue to develop our understanding of the aggregate economy by considering how policy can help steer the economy toward better outcomes, namely in terms of unemployment and inflation. In the first lecture we consider the central bank’s objectives and her policy instruments. Central banks in most economies converted to target inflation by controlling the interest rate and we will discuss how that is a way of managing the economy. The other side of macro policy, fiscal policy, is the topic of the second lecture. We will review what instruments governments can use to stabilize the economy and how they articulate with monetary policy. In the final lecture we tie all the material together in the light of the macroeconomic scenario since the financial crisis. The global recession was so severe that it required new policy tools, the better known of which is Quantitative Easing (QE). We will also review in this lecture the issue of debt sustainability.

The keynote event of the day is the OUBEP debate. The OUBEP syndicates will be divided into two teams (for and against the motion). They will be given the afternoon to research their arguments before some (randomly) selected delegates will be chosen to speak for and against the OUBEP motion. All delegates, whether speaking from the podium or interrogating the speakers from the floor will contribute to the debate. The winning position will be selected by the evening speaker. The debate is a critical test of the extent to which the delegates are able to turn the economic thinking they have been exposed to throughout OUBEP into real world insight.

Robin Bew – Economist Intelligence Unit

Robin Bew joined the Economist Intelligence Unit in 1995, became239_robin_bew Chief Economist in 1997, and Editorial Director in 2006. He was previously an Economist at Her Majesty’s Treasury, where he was variously involved in the forecasting of government expenditure, the analysis of UK fiscal policy, and the forecasting of UK trade performance. As Editorial Director for the Economist Intelligence Unit, Robin is responsible for all editorial operations across the company worldwide, driving the intellectual debate within the business. In his capacity as Chief Economist, he is responsible for the formulation of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s overarching view on the outlook for the global economy.

Rui Esteves – Senior Tutor

pic_estevesRui runs the academic side of the Oxford Finance and Economics Group. Rui is an Associate Professor in Economics at Oxford, and a Fellow and Tutor of Brasenose College, Oxford. He was educated in the Universities of Porto and California, Berkeley. Before coming to Oxford, Rui held an academic appointment at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His research focuses on topics of international finance, institutional economics, and public finance in a historical perspective. Recent  projects deal  with the nature of governance in the sovereign debt market, the determinants of capital flows to developing nations, infrastructure investment, emigrants remittances, and rent-seeking in public office.