Inaugural Lecture of IAS Professor

Unemployment and the European Crisis


After five years of recession European labor markets are finally showing some signs of recovery but unemployment in the countries of the South is still at record levels. Why is unemployment so high and what are the prospects in the near future? Can governments do anything about it?

About the speaker

Sir Christopher Pissarides is the first Nobel laureate appointed to HKUST faculty. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics, jointly with Prof Dale Mortensen of Northwestern University and Prof Peter Diamond of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, for his work in the economics of labor markets, especially his work on markets with frictions and unemployment. Prior to that, in 2005, he became the first European economist to win the IZA Prize in Labor Economics, sharing it again with his collaborator Prof Dale Mortensen.

Sir Christopher received his PhD in Economics in 1973 from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and has been on its faculty since 1976. He is the Regius Professor of Economics at the LSE, the Professor of European Studies at the University of Cyprus, and the Chairman of the Council of National Economy of the Republic of Cyprus.

In 2011, Sir Christopher served as the President of the European Economic Association. Between 2000 and 2007 he was the external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Cyprus, which brought the euro to Cyprus. He has also been consultant on matters concerning the euro to the British Treasury and the Swedish Commission on the euro. He has also been consultant at the European Commission, World Bank and OECD on matters related to employment and macroeconomic policy.

Sir Christopher is an elected Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Athens, the Academia Europaea and several other learned societies, and he is a Lifetime Honorary Member of the American Economic Association. He has been honored by several universities worldwide with doctorates or professorships. In 2011 he received the Grand Cross of the Republic of Cyprus, the highest honor of the Republic. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013.

Sir Christopher has written extensively in professional journals, magazines and the press. His book Equilibrium Unemployment Theory is an influential reference in the economics of unemployment that has been translated into many languages. He is frequently quoted in the press on issues concerning the Eurozone and the future of European integration.

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