The Willem F. Duisenberg Fellowship Prize 2016 has been awarded to the University of Groningen economist Dr Robert Inklaar for his outstanding and original research into applied macroeconomics. Inklaar studies the development of economic growth and the role that the financial sector plays in this process. He was presented with his prize, comprising a medal and € 15,000, by head of the jury Klaas Knot, Director of De Nederlandsche Bank, and Victor Halberstadt, Chair of the Willem F. Duisenberg Foundation.
The jury praised the creativity and extraordinary quality of Inklaar’s work. ‘Robert Inklaar is one of the leading and most influential young researchers in his field. He publishes articles in journals that many of us could only dream of,’ said Knot during the presentation ceremony. But Inklaar’s work is also highly relevant to policy. He is an advisor to the World Bank, the European Parliament and the Dutch House of Representatives. ‘Inklaar possesses a unique drive to link academic research with the practical field. The jury has high expectations of the research he will conduct in the future.’
‘At present, the part that banks play in our economy is overestimated,’ claims Robert Inklaar. His recent research shows that the official calculations made to determine the value of our banks give a distorted picture. ‘According to the official figures, the added value of the financial sector is currently around 6% of the gross domestic product. This percentage showed an incredibly steep rise directly after the start of the financial crisis. The new calculations that I carried out, which specify the value of the services provided by the banks more precisely, reveal that 3.5% would be a more accurate proportion, a figure that does not show a sharp rise at all.’
In Inklaar’s opinion, minor adjustments to the current statistical models would give us a more realistic, better idea of the value of the banking system. ‘We must take this seriously. The size of the financial sector often says a lot about how efficiently savers’ money is being channelled to investors. This information is particularly important during an economic crisis or when new technology and regulations are affecting the financial sector.’
(1980) is Associate Professor of Global Economics and Management at the University of Groningen, where he was awarded a PhD in 2006. His research field focuses on economic growth and development, and the development and application of new economic measuring methods. Working from this perspective, he helped to develop the
Penn World Table
, a widely used database providing information about incomes and productivity in 167 countries.
The Willem F. Duisenberg Fellowship Prize is awarded every two years by the Willem F. Duisenberg Foundation and the
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study
(NIAS-KNAW). The prize aims to foster excellent research in applied economics. The jury consists of Klaas Knot (De Nederlandsche Bank), Hans Vijlbrief (Ministry of Finance), Nout Wellink (former Director of De Nederlandsche Bank), Dirk Schoenmaker (Duisenberg School of Finance) and Victor Halberstadt (Chair of the Duisenberg Foundation).
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