Economic Policy and The OUBEP Debate

Wed 25 July 2018


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 2017 the title was: “The current asset price bubbles pose a large danger to the world economy and must be popped.”
7:00 Drinks Reception followed by Dinner at 7:30
8:45 Evening Speaker: John Ferguson


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.

Rui Esteves – Senior Tutor

Rui 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.

John Ferguson – The Economist Intelligence Unit

As the Director of Global Forecasting at The Economist Intelligence Unit, John is responsible for providing leadership and oversight for the EIU’s global economic analysis and forecasting. He is a leading voice on the global economy, geopolitics and the future of globalisation.  John has more than 15 years’ experience in policy and economic analysis. He joined the EIU in 2010 and, most recently, he was a Senior Economist in the EIU’s Public Policy, Economics and Politics practice. This time involved research into many of the major factors impacting the global economy: climate change; shifting patterns of geopolitics; foreign direct investment flows; global employment patterns; artificial intelligence; cyber-crime; and trade protectionism. He has also covered global trade for the EIU’s Global Forecasting team for the past 5 years.