November 6, 2015, Professor Dennis J. Snower (born 14 October 1950) is an American economist and President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and Professor of Economics at the Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel.
Are economists superfluous? Since the last financial crisis a debate has raged as to whether economists still have much relevant insight to offer citizens and politicians alike. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently called upon economists at the meeting of Nobel laureates in Lindau to deliver more practical recommendations to policymakers and to revise their conceptual structure of what is described as economic success. Economics is now in the defensive, in a predicament of its own doing.
The criticism is paradoxical. Economics still is hugely influential: most public policy—ranging from employment to social policy, from environmental to resource policy, from monetary to fiscal policy or health policy—is firmly based on mainstream economic assumptions. The way in which most economic phenomena—inflation, unemployment, growth, inequality, etc.—are treated in the media and public discussion also relies implicitly on the paradigms to be found in economics textbooks.
In response to this paradox—widespread dissatisfaction with economics and widespread dependence on mainstream economic thinking—I claim that economics needs to change in one profound way: the domain of “economics” must change, that is, the content of what is considered to be economics must be redefined...
As part of his research career, he originated the insider-outsider theory of employment and unemployment with Assar Lindbeck, the theory of high-low search with Steve Alpern, and the chain reaction theory of unemployment and the theory of frictional growth with Marika Karanassou and Hector Sala. He was a seminal contributor to the macroeconomics of imperfect competition, and has published extensively on labor economics, macroeconomic theory and policy, and the design of welfare systems. He has recently proposed a new explanation of the inflation-unemployment tradeoff.
The Kiel Institute for the World Economy (Institut für Weltwirtschaft, IfW) is an economics research center and a think tank that is located in Kiel, Germany. In 2013, it was ranked as one of the top 20 research centers in the world for International Trade and one of the top four think tank in the world for economic policy. With more than four million publications in printed or electronic format and subscriptions to 31,970 periodicals and journals, the Institute has the world's largest specialist library for economics.