Stefano Siviero: Italy in the Eurozone: A Tale of Two Countries?

Cornell in Rome Spring 2020 Lecture Series

Stefano Siviero joined the Bank of Italy in 1989 as an economist in the Econometric Research Unit, contributing to the development of the quarterly econometric model and the production of macroeconomic forecasts. In 2007 Siviero was appointed Head of the Modelling and Forecasting Division. In 2013 he became Head of the Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy Directorate; in this capacity, he is the Bank of Italy's representative on the ECB's Monetary Policy Committee. Before joining the bank, he graduated with honors in Economics and Business from the University of Pavia in 1985 and worked briefly as a researcher at the Polytechnic of Milan and the Banca Commerciale Italiana. In 1986 he enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, where he obtained an M.A. in 1989 and a Ph.D. in 1995. He has published numerous articles in Italian and international scientific journals, on topics mostly relating to macroeconomic modeling and monetary economics. He has taught statistics, econometrics, and international and monetary economics at universities in Italy and abroad.

Abstract:

In the first ten years after the start of the euro, Italy was hit by two very severe crises — the great financial crisis and the sovereign debt crisis — during which GDP fell by over 10%, one million jobs were lost, and poverty increased steeply. Those crises exacerbated some of the long-standing weaknesses of the economy: Italy had long suffered from ailing productivity, competitiveness losses, and dismal economic growth.

In the last decade, the Italian economy has overcome some of its previous weaknesses. Exports are no longer losing market shares, and the conditions of the banking sector have improved. However, other issues remain open and growth continues to be very modest. 

The presentation reviews those developments, discusses the role played by the monetary policy measures put in place by the ECB to revive growth and inflation in the euro area, and examines the options available to have fiscal policy play a more active role in the future.

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