Banking workshop draws global participants
by Rebecca Lindell
For one week in
September, the James L. Allen Center became a "state-of-the-art
monetary policy laboratory" as two dozen international central
bank researchers gathered to discuss the latest trends their
Hosted by the Kellogg
School, the Advanced Central Bankers Workshop drew participants
from Europe, Canada and the United States. For many, it was
a unique opportunity to integrate cutting-edge research on
international finance and monetary economics into their policy
for the workshop came from the explosion of academic research
that is relevant to monetary policy," said Sergio
Rebelo, the Tokai Bank Distinguished Professor of International
Finance at Kellogg and one of the conference organizers. "We
are exposing central bank economists to the research frontier
in topics that range from model building to forecasting techniques."
during the week included the role of risk and uncertainty
in monetary policy decisions. Participants were also curious
about how to transform leading research into tools useful
for policy makers.
gave attendees the opportunity to do just that through practicum
sessions during which they used faculty-developed tools and
software to generate information relevant to the conduct of
monetary policy. "In effect, we converted an Allen Center
classroom into a state-of-the-art monetary policy laboratory,"
The workshop also
featured lectures by Rebelo and Northwestern University economics
professors Martin Eichenbaum and Lawrence Christiano, as well
as other top scholars in the field.
was a great success," said Stefan Palmqvist, head of the applied
research division in the monetary policy department of the
Swedish central bank "It was well-organized, with a great
venue and an excellent social program. The mix of lectures
and assignments, in the form of easy-to-follow yet very insightful
tutorials, gave a deeper understanding of the material taught.
But by far the most important, the lecturers were extremely
enthusiastic about their work, which made their lessons engaging
Most of the conference
attendees work in the research departments of their nation's
central bank. The information they produce is an important
input into monetary policy decisions.
"The kinds of models
we are discussing are now being used at the European Central
Bank, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the Bank
of England and in many other central banks," Rebelo said.
was the second year for the workshop, which was organized
by Northwestern University's Center for International Economics
and Development. "We are hoping that this will become an annual
event and that it will help make Northwestern University a
focal point for research on monetary economics and international
finance," said Rebelo, who with Eichenbaum is the center's