The MacroFinance and MacroHistory Lab is based at the University of Bonn and affiliated with the ECONtribute Excellence Cluster. We are supported by the European Research Council and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Aiming to lead the way in new research on central questions facing society, researchers at the Lab study the causes and consequences of financial instability and rising debt, the evolution of income and wealth inequality, as well as economic history and political economy.
You can find the latest research of the team and the Director of the Lab, Moritz Schularick, here. This website also hosts the Jordà-Schularick-Taylor Macrohistory Database. The database provides comprehensive coverage of long-run macroeconomic and financial data for 18 countries since 1870. The database is the outcome of a collaborative data collection effort of many scholars over several years. We provide open access to the data under a creative commons license.
The project, entitled “Linking National and Regional Income Inequality: Cross-Country Data Harmonization and Analysis", aims to measure and analyze the evolution of regional and national income inequality from a consistent cross-country perspective.
The rise of populism in the past two decades has motivated much work on its drivers, but less is known about its economic and political consequences. This column uses a comprehensive cross-country database on populism dating back to 1900 to offer a historical, long-run perspective. It shows that (1) populism has a long history and is serial in nature – if countries have been governed by a populist once, they are much more likely to see another populist coming to office in the future; (2) populist leadership is economically costly, with a notable long-run decline in consumption and output; and (3) populism is politically disruptive, fostering instability and institutional decay. The analysis suggests that populism is here to stay.
Racial income and wealth gaps in the US are large and persistent. Central bankers and politicians have recently suggested that monetary policy may be used to reduce these inequalities. This column investigates the distributional effects of monetary policy in a unified framework, linking monetary policy shocks both to earnings and wealth differentials between black and white households. Over multi-year horizons, it finds that while accommodative monetary policy tends to reduce racial unemployment and thus earnings differentials, it exacerbates racial wealth differentials, which implies an important trade-off for policymakers.