Cambridge University Reporter

Report of the General Board on the establishment of a Professorship of Macroeconomics

The GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. Macroeconomics is the study of the behaviour of the economy as a whole. Economy-wide phenomena considered by macroeconomics include Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and its rate of growth, unemployment, the overall price level, and how these phenomena are affected by the functioning of the labour market, the financial system, and the international economic environment. Macroeconomics is one of the two core areas of economics which all students must study as part of the training of professional economists; it has an important role in providing applied professional analysis and information for policy makers in government, international institutions, and banks and this aspect makes the subject popular among students.

2. The Faculty of Economics has been prominent in the development of economic thought since its establishment. Through the work of Keynes and his collaborators Cambridge occupied a central position in macroeconomics for a long period of time. Though the position of macroeconomics in Cambridge then diminished, in recent years the Faculty Board of Economics have taken steps to improve the research and teaching of macroeconomics. In research, the Faculty has launched a Centre for International Macroeconomics and Finance (CIMF) and is developing further research projects in the general area of macroeconomics in order to enhance its international reputation. Having an adequate number of senior scholars in macroeconomics, and sufficient research leadership, is a crucial part of these developments.

3. The Faculty Board of Economics have now recommended the establishment, for a single tenure, of a Professorship of Macroeconomics. The person appointed would be expected to be an international leader within the field of Macroeconomics and to participate in the teaching and research in Macroeconomics undertaken in the Faculty of Economics. The Professor would be required to provide strong leadership and be actively pursuing research opportunities to strengthen and reinforce the Faculty's research profile. This would be of considerable benefit to the Faculty's research strategy beyond the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

4. In order to meet the costs of the Professorship, the Faculty Board of Economics have proposed that the University Lectureship vacated on 30 September 2007 by the resignation of Dr J. Xue be suppressed. This has been endorsed by the Council of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences who have confirmed that any additional costs can be met from funds at the disposal of the Faculty and from within the existing level of recurrent allocation to the School. The General Board have accepted the Faculty Board's proposal for the establishment of the Professorship on this basis. They have accordingly agreed that, if the recommendations of this Report are approved, they will suppress the aforementioned University Lectureship.

5. The Board are satisfied that an appointment at this level will be likely to attract a strong field of applicants. They are assured that suitable accommodation is available in the Faculty of Economics for the Professor and the Faculty Board have undertaken to provide the necessary support and facilities. The Board have agreed to concur in the view of the Faculty Board of Economics that election to the Professorship should be made by an ad hoc Board of Electors and that candidature should be open to all persons whose work falls within the title of the Professorship.

6. The General Board recommend:

That a Professorship of Macroeconomics be established from 1 September 2008 for a single tenure, placed in Schedule B of the Statutes, and assigned to the Faculty of Economics.