The ECB would benefit from less gender discrimination
EZ leadership is on course to installing an all-male ECB Executive Board that will be in place till 2018. The wider Governing Council would consist of 23 men and zero women. This open letter, signed by distinguished macroeconomists from across the spectrum, urges the Eurogroup to reconsider their position and nominate one of the many qualified female candidates. Economists are encouraged to add their signatures to this letter.
In July 2012, the Eurogroup nominated Mr Yves Mersch, Governor of the Central Bank of Luxembourg, to replace Mr José Manuel González Páramo, whose term at the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB) expired in late May. Following a wave of four appointments over little more than one year, the Executive Board will not have another position open for renewal until June 2018. If this appointment is confirmed and assuming no resignation in the meantime, all six of its members will be male, as has been the case since last year. This stands in contrast with the ECB’s first 12 years, when Ms Sirkka Hämäläinen (1999-2003) and Ms Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell (2003-2011) successively sat on the Executive Board. The wider Governing Council, which brings together the Executive Board and the governors of national central banks, includes 23 men and not a single woman.
As economists who follow the ECB’s work closely, we cannot understand that it will have proven impossible over the last four appointments to find at least one suitable female candidate in the Eurozone. As citizens, we fear that such a situation would be widely and rightly seen as proof of a systemic bias in against women when it comes to the highest places in office.
Under the procedure for such appointments, the European Parliament makes a recommendation to the European Council, which makes the final decision. To express its disapproval, the Parliament has delayed its hearing. The council may decide to formally confirm the appointment without the European Parliament having expressed its opinion. Press reports suggest that this could happen at the October meeting of the council.
We urge the Eurogroup to reconsider their position and nominate a qualified female candidate, maybe in addition to the current nominee. We urge the heads of state and government to consider the damage an all-male Governing Council would make to the cause of gender equality.
Economists who wish to add their names to this open letter should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
First list of signatories (alphabetical order):
Alberto Alesina (Harvard University)
Carlo Altomonte (Bocconi University)
Edmond Alphandéry (Euro 50)
Kate Barker (Former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England)
Agnès Bénassy-Quéré (Paris School of Economics)
Laurence Boone (Bank of America)
Willem Buiter (Former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England)
Stefan Collignon (Sant’Anna School of International Studies, Pisa)
Guillermo de la Dehesa (Centre for Economic Policy Research)
Jacques Delpla (Conseil de l’Activité Economique)
Juan Dolado (Universidad Carlos III)
Sebastian Dullien (HTW, Berlin)
Henrik Enderlein (Hertie School of Governance)
Clemens Fuest (Oxford University)
Paul de Grauwe (London School of Economics)
Francesco Giavazzi (Bocconi University)
Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas (UC Berkeley and SciencesPo)
Philippe Gudin de Vallerin (Barclays)
Gikas A Hardouvelis (University of Piraeus)
Wilhelm Kohler (University of Tübingen)
Anne Lavigne (University of Orléans)
Olivier Lecomte (Ecole Centrale, Paris)
Philippe Martin (Institut des Sciences Politiques, Paris)
Jean Pisani-Ferry (University Paris Dauphine)
Richard Portes (CEPR and London Business School)
Lucrezia Reichlin (London Business School)
Hélène Rey (London Business School)
Rafael Repullo (CEMFI, Madrid)
Jean François Robin (Natixis)
Vivien Schmidt (Boston University)
Daniela Schwarzer (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik)
Anne Sibert (Birkbeck College)
Nicolas Véron (Bruegel and Peterson Institute for International Economics)
Charles Wyplosz (The Graduate Institute, Geneva)
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