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German macro: how it’s different and why that matters

date Date: March 1, 2016
date Author(s): George Bratsiotis and David Cobham
date Affiliation: CEP

The papers in this ebook arise from a seminar on ‘German macro: How it’s Different and Why that Matters’, which was held at Heriot-Watt University in December 2015, with financial support from the Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) and the Money, Macro & Finance Research Group (MMF). Six of the papers were presented there in earlier versions, and the editors sought some additional papers to complete the range of perspectives offered.

The starting point for the project was the question of whether the macroeconomics of the German political establishment does indeed differ, as it often seems to do, from standard western macroeconomics: in particular, the former appears to neglect demand management (although it may be quite interventionist in other ways), to reject debt relief and to emphasise structural reform designed to improve competitiveness as the (only) key to economic growth. How far is this true? How much of whatever difference exists is due to a well worked out set of ideas in the form of Ordoliberalism? How does it relate to Germany’s own experiences in different periods? How far is this the result of political preferences and how much do the idiosyncrasies of these German views matter, for the development of the Eurozone and indeed the health of the German economy?

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