17 Dec Thanasis Stengos, University Research Chair in Econometrics
Thanasis Stengos discusses his analysis historical economic data to create a better understanding of how and why economies grow.
My name is Thanasis Stengos, I’m a professor of economics and a University Research Chair, at the Department of Economics & Finance, of the College of Business and Economics. My research centers on developing statistical methods that apply to two main areas in economics, economic growth and economic development. One of the main questions that arises in policy circles is to see why for instance countries like Greece in the European Union all of a sudden takes a different path, alongside say countries like Portugal and perhaps Italy, as apposed to countries in the north like Germany, or Holland, or Finland, that seem to be taking
a different route. In other words how do countries move over time into something that really resembles only one type of country as opposed to many. As far as economic growth goes my main area of interest is developing a way of establishing club membership. If one understands what these clubs are all about one would be more capable of designing policies that are designed to address the issues that are facing the particular club as apposed to one sort of fits all. Policy makers essentially talk to academic economists for advice so in order for policy makers to be able to refer to academic research this academic research has to be disseminated and understood and perhaps accepted by the academic community. Once you do research the best reward you get is when people start following what you do and extend what you’ve done. I think there’s going to be a lot of questions that perhaps need answers right now. We thought that these questions have been settled yet it’s clear that they have not. The big question that essentially remains is whether countries will be, will grow forever given, you know the economic models that exist and predict such a thing or not and this is an empirical question that would support a set of theories as opposed to others. Hopefully at the end we will have an answer to that.