Robert C. M. Beyer, World Bank Group

“It was a great preparation for the job”

Robert C.M. Beyer joined the Chair of Monetary Economics at the IMFS from October 2014 until September 2016 when he took up a position as economist in the South Asia Office of the Chief Economist of the World Bank. He completed his Ph.D. at Goethe University in December 2016. His interests are in the area of applied macroeconometrics and macroeconomics. During his time at the IMFS he conducted temporary research stays at the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Two of his papers have already been published in international academic journals and others are available as Working Papers.

What are your main tasks at the World Bank and how would you describe your job?

I am an Economist in the South Asia Office of the Chief Economist and I cover anything in the region related to fiscal policy, growth and macroeconomics. I am the lead author of the biannual South Asia Economic Focus, which provides an overview of recent economic developments in the region, new forecasts for growth and inflation, as well as an analytical chapter looking deeper into a specific topic. In addition, I am leading a project aiming at creating a network of think tanks, academics and policy advisors in South Asia. Last but not least, I assumed a couple of “corporate responsibilities”, like commenting concept notes or briefing the World Bank Risk Group on developments in South Asia. My job is a mixture of a lot of analytical and a bit of operational work with some management duties.

What was the main focus of your research?

My research interests are in the areas of applied macroeconometrics and macroeconomics. The papers in my dissertation focused broadly on recent macroeconomic challenges in Europe ranging from challenges related to migration to monetary policy. One paper looks into labor mobility as an adjustment mechanism after changes to the labor demand. Another one analyzes the labor market performance of immigrants in Germany and provides the background for a paper in which I simulate the recent refugee inflow to Germany. I find that the impact on the domestic population is diverse and that even for those who benefit, these benefits take very long to materialize. Regarding monetary policy, I wrote a paper together with Prof. Wieland, in which we estimate the natural rate of interest and argue that these estimates are not very useful for actual policy making. We wrote another paper with two more authors which proposes a stronger consideration of monetary indicators as a cross-check at the ECB’s monetary policy decisions. With my new job the focus of my research will shift to South Asia.

How is your job related to your work at the IMFS?

The combination of pursuing a Ph.D. at Goethe University and working at the IMFS was a great preparation for the job. While I obtained the necessary tools during the first years in the Ph.D. program, I benefitted a lot from the great infrastructure at the IMFS for my research in the later years. The IMFS really provides a great research environment! Moreover, I really enjoyed the exposure to more policy oriented work, from which I benefit here at the World Bank enormously.