Topical Economics Programme – Currencies and Exchange Rates

Fri 21 July 2017


8:00 Breakfast
8:45 Director’s Introduction and Academic Briefing
9:00 Exchange Rates (Beata Javorcik)
10:00 Syndicate Discussion
11:15 Currency Wars (Peter Sinclair)
12.15 Break, followed by Lunch at 12:30
1:15 Syndicate Discussion
2:15 Cryptocurrencies (Garrick Hileman)
3:15 Syndicate Discussion
4:30 Economic Events Round Table  (Peter Eso, Beata Javorcik, Kevin Sheppard)
7:00 Depart Egrove for a formal College Dinner.
7:30 Drinks Reception followed by Dinner Balliol College


Today is the Topical Economics Programme Day dedicated to the economics of exchange rates and currencies. In the first session we introduce the standard macro framework to understand how foreign exchange markets work and, in particular, why currency volatility is so high. In the second session we will try and make sense of the developments since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09. The crisis led to an unprecedented monetary easing among the main advanced nations (US, Eurozone, UK and Japan), which is still with us and put pressure on the currencies of emerging economies. Many speak of a status of currency wars that is delaying the recovery from the crisis and we will explain why. At a time when there have been calls for a new reserve currency to replace the dollar, the cryptocurrency industry emerged with the promise of a more convenient means of payment, disconnected from central banks policies and administrative controls on capital flows. The third session deals with cryptocurrencies. The final session is a topical economics round table. Each of the tutors will present an economic analysis of a major recent economic event. The round table allows the delegates to ask questions to the tutors on these and other economic issues. The day completes with the set-piece OUBEP dinner inside Balliol College.

Peter Eso – Syndicate Tutor

Peter is a Associate Professor (Reader) in Economics and Tutorial 315_Peter_EsoFellow of Jesus College, Oxford University. After completing a PhD in Economics at Harvard University, Peter became an Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (USA) in 2001. He joined Oxford in 2009, and has been teaching Microeconomics and Game Theory at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. His research focuses on game theory and the economics of information, studying questions such as the role of risk aversion in trading games (e.g. auctions); communication and bargaining when parties may obtain provable information; and what determines the  price of advice (how to sell and disclose information).  Peter occasionally advises companies on auctions of telecommunication licenses.

Beata Javorcik – Syndicate Tutor

Beata Javorcik is a Professor of Economics at the224_beata_javorcik Department of Economics at Oxford, and a Fellow of All Souls College. She specializes in international trade, economic development and macroeconomics. Prior to coming to Oxford, she worked for eight years at the World Bank in Washington DC where she was involved in lending operations and provided policy advice to developing countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia. Her research interests focus on determinants and consequences of inflows of foreign direct in- vestment, links between exporting and firm performance, and tariff evasion. She holds a PhD in Economics from Yale University and a BA from the University of Rochester.

Garrick Hileman – Cambridge University

Garrick is senior researcher associate at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and a researcher at the LSE’s Centre for Macroeconomics. Garrick is best known for his research on financial and monetary innovation, particularly distributed ledger technology (blockchain) and cryptocurrencies. His teaching at the University of Cambridge includes developing the UK’s first university course on blockchain technology. Prior to turning to academia Garrick worked for 15+ years in the private sector with both start-ups and established companies such as Bank of America, The Home Depot, IDG, and Allianz. Garricks technology experience includes co-founding a San Francisco-based tech incubator, IT strategy consulting for multinationals, and founding MacroDigest. Garrick has a BA in Accounting and International Political Economy from the University of Washington and a PhD in Economic History from the LSE.

Kevin Sheppard – Syndicate Tutor

Kevin Sheppard – Syndicate Tutor
Kevin studied economics and mathematics at the Universities of Texas before obtaining his PhD in Economics at the University of California-San Diego. He specializes in measuring and modeling risk. His current research analyzes how risk evolves over time focusing substantially on asymmetric transfer across time. Other current projects include exploring how shocks in one market spread across the globe and how uncertainty about the future affects the amount of reward required to bear a risk. Kevin also researches theoretical issues in econometrics with a specialization in the tools needed to analyze financial market data.

Peter Sinclair – University of Birmingham

Peter has been Professor of Economics at the University of Birmingham since 1994. Prior to that he was a fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford for over twenty years. During his time at Oxford, Peter was a long-serving tutor at OUBEP. He has published widely on a range of economic subjects, including the optimal rate of inflation, central bank independence, the costs and benefits of monetary union, and international trade policy. Peter previously headed the Bank of England’s Centre for Central Banking Studies and served as consultant to the Financial Services Authority, the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Labor. He holds a BA in PPE and a MPhil and a DPhil in economics from Oxford.