David Blanchflower

David Blanchflower
David Blanchflower
Member of the Monetary Policy Committee
In office
June 2006 – May 2009[1]
Governor Mervyn King
Personal details
Born March 2, 1952 (1952-03-02) (age 59)
Alma mater University of Leicester, University of Birmingham, University of Wales, Queen Mary, University of London
Profession Economist

David Graham Blanchflower (informally sometimes called Danny Blanchflower after the footballer[2])[3][4] CBE (born March 2, 1952) is a leading labour economist, currently a tenured economics professor at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, part-time professor at the University of Stirling, and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Studies at the University of Munich and (since 1999) the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) at the University of Bonn. He was an external member of the Bank of England's interest rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) from June 2006 to June 2009.

British-born, Blanchflower is now both a British and a U.S. citizen, having moved to the United States in 1989. Blanchflower was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours.[5]



Blanchflower attended Varndean Grammar School for Boys in Brighton and Cantonian High School in Cardiff. He went on to earn a B.A. in Social Sciences (Economics) at the University of Leicester in 1973 and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the University of Birmingham in 1975. He received an M.Sc. (Economics) at the University of Wales in 1981 and his Ph.D. in 1985 at Queen Mary, University of London. He was also awarded an honorary A.M. in 1996 at Dartmouth College and an honorary Doctor of Letters at the University of Leicester in 2007 and an honorary Doctor of Science from Queen Mary College, University of London in July 2009 and an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Sussex in July 2011.

Work in economics

Blanchflower served as a Research Officer at the Institute for Employment Research at University of Warwick from 1984 to 1986, when he became a Lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Surrey, a post he held until 1989 when he moved to the United States.

He has been a member of the Editorial Board of Small Business Economics, Scottish Journal of Political Economy, and Industrial and Labor Relations Review.

He has also been a Research Associate at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and at the Canadian International Labour Network.[6]

The Wage Curve

Blanchflower's The Wage Curve (with Andrew Oswald), with eight years of data from 4 million people in 16 countries, argued that the wage curve, which plots wages against unemployment, is negatively sloping, reversing generations of macroeconomic theory. "The Phillips Curve is wrong, it's as fundamental as that," said Blanchflower.[7] The Guardian praised the findings as "one of the most devastating findings of contemporary economics".[8] The implications, that wages are highest when unemployment is lowest and that increased unemployment drives down wages, have been suggested periodically in economics since the publication of Karl Marx's Wage-Labour and Capital.


Much of Blanchflower's work has focused on the economics of happiness. He has posited a correlation between age and happiness, declining through the 20s, 30s, and 40s before increasing in retirement.[9] He has been labelled a "happiness guru" for his ability to quantify the increase in happiness for individuals who are married or have sex frequently, work which has applications in divorce law and pharmaceutical advertising.[10]

He has been interviewed several times on NPR[11][12] and New Hampshire Public Radio[13] about his work in this area.

Monetary Policy Committee

Blanchflower joined the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee in June 2006, replacing Stephen Nickell.[14] Before his appointment, Michael Fallon questioned his non-residency at the parliamentary Select Committee on Treasury.[15] Blanchflower attended a number of meetings by conference call. During his tenure, he voted in the minority in five of eleven meetings. He voted to maintain the interest rate in his first nine meetings, but to reduce interest rates in March 2007[16]

Six other members of the MPC have served during Blanchflower's time on the MPC. Blanchflower continually voted for rate cuts.[16] At the September MPC meeting, Blanchflower distanced himself further from consensus by voting for a 0.5% 'cut' against the other eight members' 'hold'.[17]

In the Autumn of 2008, the worldwide economic situation began to deteriorate dramatically, most clearly evidenced by dramatic falls in the values of shares worldwide. On the 8th of October 2008, the BOE took part in a set of simultaneously announced cuts in the policy rate of a number of major Central Banks. The MPC has since lowered rates to levels never before seen in the Bank of England's existence.

In March 2009 ,it was announced that Blanchflower would be replaced by David Miles at the end of his term, 31 May 2009.[1] He was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in June 2009.

Current work

From September 2009, David Blanchflower has written an Economics Column for the New Statesman.[18] where he is now the Economics editor.

Selected works

  • Part-time employment in Great Britain 1980, Department of Employment Research Paper No. 57, 1987.
  • Occupational earnings and work histories: who gets the good jobs?, Department of Employment Research Paper No. 68, 1989.
  • Swedish labor market policy: an evaluation. Report of a Non-Nordic Institution, published by the Swedish Ministry of Labour, Stockholm, Sweden, 1995.
  • The Wage Curve, published in 1994 by MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • The area labour cost adjustment: analysis and a new approach, National Economic Research Associates, London, May 1996.
  • The area labour cost adjustment: empirical analysis and evidence on a new approach, National Economic Research Associates, London, May 1996.
  • The area labour cost adjustment: disaggregated estimates, London Economics, June 1996.
  • Review of the area labour cost adjustment: project A – final report, London Economics, June 1996.
  • The role and influence of trade unions in the OECD, report to the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, August, 1996.
  • Wage levels in the regions of Britain; a report for Tesco, London Economics, September 1996.
  • The area cost adjustment: specific cost approach, A report for the Associations of Local Government in London and the South East, National Economic Research Associates, London, July 1998.
  • Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, University of Chicago Press and NBER, 2000.

IZA discussion papers


  1. ^ a b The Guardian, 19 March 2009, Miles to replace Blanchflower on Bank of England monetary policy committee
  2. ^ Oration for Professor David Blanchflower by Dr Stephen Gurman
  3. ^ Professor David Blanchflower – Monetary Policy Committee Member, Bank of England, Accessed 12 December 2008
  4. ^ Danny Blanchflower: The MPC is broken and blinkered
  5. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59090. p. 7. 13 June 2009.
  6. ^ David Blanchflower, Research Fellow. Institute for the Study of Labor. March 17, 2006.
  7. ^ Blanchflower Wages Theory. David Hemmer. The Dartmouth. October 13, 1994.
  8. ^ An End to the Rule of Fish Market Economics. Will Hutton. The Guardian. July 25, 1994. p. 12.
  9. ^ A happier retirement. Jonathan Clements. The Wall Street Journal. November 6, 2005.
  10. ^ Happiness guru to join Bank. Reuters. March 22, 2006.
  11. ^ Economist Calculates the Six-Figure Value of Love. Interview with Renée Montagne and Steve Inskeep. February 14, 2005.
  12. ^ The Economics of Happiness. Interview with Tom Ashbrook. July 15, 2004.
  13. ^ Can't Buy Me Love. Interview with John Walters. November 29, 2004.
  14. ^ Blanchflower to replace Bank's Nickell. Reuters. March 22, 2006.
  15. ^ Select Committee on Treasury minutes 2006-05-24
  16. ^ a b Historical interest rate voting spreadsheet
  17. ^ BBC Bank voted 8–1 to hold UK rates
  18. ^ David Blanchflower's Economics Columns for the New Statesman

External links

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