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Inaugural lecture Prof Smets, Duisenberg chair, with an introduction by Nout Wellink

09 March 2009

Honorary professor in the new Duisenberg chair, Frank Smets, will deliver his inaugural lecture 'Tien jaar EMU en economisch onderzoek: Uitkomst en uitdaging' (‘Ten years EMU and economic research: Outcome and Challenge’). The inaugural lecture will be introduced by Dr Nout Wellink, president of The Bank of the Netherlands. Members of the Duisenberg family will also be present at the inaugural lecture and the establishment of the chair, with which the Faculty of Economics and Business wishes to honour and commemorate Wim Duisenberg.

Wim Duisenberg, former minister of Finance and former president of both the European Central Bank and The Bank of the Netherlands, graduated cum laude at the Groningen faculty in 1961.


“It is a great honour for me to be asked for this chair that bears the name of Wim Duisenberg", says Smets. "As the first chairman of the European Central Bank (ECB), Duisenberg obviously played a crucial role in establishing the ECB and the introduction of our European standard currency, the euro. When I joined the ECB, Wim Duisenberg would still be chairman for five more years. He really put his mark on the economic research at ECB; he was one of the people who insisted on having a separate research department at ECB, which I am now director of.”

Uncertain times

Smets is a specialist in monetary economics and policy. “One of the sections of my research department deals with econometric models and predictions, quite a challenge in these days of insecurity. Another department specializes in monetary policy and investigates monetary policy strategies and the effect of interest changes on the economy in the euro zone. The third department concentrates on how the financial markets and the bank sector work, on problems concerning financial stability and on payment systems.”
“We work together with a network of research economists from the several Central Banks. At the moment, I have quite a large research network focusing on the wage base determination in the various EMU countries (the Wage Dynamics Network). The network has written 17000 companies, which has led to a unique new set of data. I look forward to share this research project with students, in my role as holder of the Duisenberg chair.”

Duisenberg chair

One of Smets’ tasks at ECB is to improve the communication and interaction with the academic world of research. “Therefore I think it is good and important for me to remain active in the academic world. The Duisenberg chair is an ideal platform in this respect. As from 16 March, I will visit Groningen a number of times each semester. One of my plans is to teach a course in building and estimating dynamic general equilibrium models for the analysis of monetary policy. I will also supervise students and deliver a number of seminars.”


Inaugural lecture
Speakers: Prof Frank Smets and Dr Nout Wellink
Date and time: Monday 16 March 2009, 16h15
Place: Auditorium Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen 

More information

- See also: press release (16 February 2009) - Director General Research ECB, Prof Smets, in new Duisenberg chair

- See also: Complete text and video report

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.27 p.m.

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