Peter Bofinger is one of Germany’s most distinguished economists. He is also one of the five ‘wise men’ – the name used to describe the members of the German Council of Economic Experts nominated by the federal government to evaluate economic developments – and a professor at the University of Würzburg.
In 1978, Bofinger started working as a researcher on the staff of the German Council of Economic Experts. He habilitated in 1990, at the age of 36, at the Faculty of Law and Economics at the University of Saarbrücken. Two years later, he was appointed professor at the University of Würzburg, where he held the post of first vice-president from October 2003 to September 2004. In March 2004, the German President appointed him one of the five ‘wise men’ on recommendation of the trade unions.
Bofinger is considered the leading proponent of demand-driven economic policy in Germany. He is one of few German economists who oppose the key requirements of the Agenda 2010 and Hartz labour market reforms, which he sees as further weakening domestic demand. His view is that Germany’s social security system is funded too heavily through non-wage labour costs and insufficiently through indirect and direct taxation, thus disproportionately raising the costs of labour as a production factor. Bofinger therefore proposes structural reforms such as the introduction of negative income tax and the reduction of non-wage labour costs. He is also an advocate of capitation in healthcare.
Bofinger’s research focuses on international financial system reform and the euro crisis, new economic thinking and managed floating. He is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research, the Society of Economic and Social Sciences and chairs the Irving Fisher Society for Financial and Monetary Statistics.
• Deflation – a risk to our prosperity?
• No end to low interest rates – are we saving ourselves to death?
• Is Germany facing a property bubble?
• Debt without end – a danger for our money?
• Will a protracted stagnation of the world economy follow the debt explosion?
• Euro crisis – light at the end of the tunnel?
• How safe are the post-crisis financial markets?