Professors Voth and Galí Awarded Advanced Grants from the ERC

Two Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professors, Joachim Voth and Jordi Galí, have been selected as recipients of Advanced Grants from the European Research Council. ERC Advanced Investigator Grants (ERC Advanced Grant) are offered to recognize and promote the work of European researchers and establish the EU a global leader in research. The ERC received a total of 2167 applications for Advanced Grants from applicants representing 50 nationalities and linked to host institutions in 36 different countries.

The Advanced Grants aim to encourage risk-taking and interdisciplinarity, and support pioneering frontier research projects. They complement the ERC Starting Grants by targeting researchers who have already established themselves as independent research leaders in their own right. ERC Advanced Grants allow exceptional established research leaders in any field of science, engineering and scholarship to pursue frontier research of their choice.

Prof. Joachim Voth, Director of the MSc in International Trade, Finance, and Development

Prof. Joachim Voth (Barcelona GSE and CREI) is an ICREA Research Professor and Director of the Barcelona GSE Master in International Trade, Finance, and Development. He received an Advanced Grant for his research in asset return in times of political and economic turmoil.

Says Prof. Voth, “The importance of this research lies in the fact that most of our results about asset prices come from periods of tranquil social, economic, and political conditions. When times are tough, the data often disappears. This is troublesome because it is during times of turmoil that it matters most how investments perform, and how liquid they are - when you lose your job, or need to flee from an invading army, or lose your house and other income due to revolution or other turmoil. “

His project will collect information on how various assets - houses, bonds, stocks, foreign exchange, precious metals, etc - did during crises. He also plans to collect data on the portfolio holdings of groups that suffered negative shocks - Russian emigrees, German Jews, polish factory owners, to name a few.

Prof. Jordi Galí (Barcelona GSE and CREI) is Senior Researcher and Director of CREI, one of the founding academic bodies of the Barcelona GSE. He was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for his project in Labor Markets, Economic Fluctuations and Monetary Policy. “The New Keynesian (NK) model has emerged in recent years as the workhorse for monetary policy analysis,” states the project’s abstract. “The first part of the proposed project is motivated by two shortcomings of that framework: (i) the lack of an explicit analysis of unemployment and its potential role in the design of policy, (ii) the limited empirical support for the model's wage-setting block. One of the objectives of this part of the project consists in the empirical assessment of the specification of the wage-setting bock found in standard versions of the NK model, with a special focus on their implied wage-unemployment dynamics.”

Prof. Jordi Galí, Director of CREI and professor in the Barcelona GSE MSc in Economics

In continuation, the second part of the project “is motivated by the significant changes in the co-movements among some key macro variables that have accompanied the recent period of low macroeconomic volatility (the so-called Great Moderation). One objective of the proposed research is to understand the role that structural change in the labor market may have played as a source of those changes. In addition, the project will include an analysis of the consequences that such structural changes may have had on wage setting, their ability to account for the apparent increase in wage flexibility during the recent period, and the implications for the conduct and design of monetary policy.”

Earlier this year, two Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professors were announced as recipients of the ERC Starting Grants: Jan Eeckhout (GSE and UPF) and Marta Reynal-Querol (GSE and UPF). It should also be added that at the time of his untimely passing, in November of 2007, Antoni Calvó, Affiliated Professor of the Barcelona GSE from the UAB, had been positively evaluated at all the steps leading to a Starting Grant.

The total number of Advanced Grant and Starting Grant recipients in Economics highlights the outstanding research taking place in the Barcelona GSE community; no other institutions counted 4 grant recipients among their (affiliated) professors. The institutions to receive the second-most number of grants are LSE (3) and UCL (3).


European Research Council (ERC)