David Blanchflower

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David Blanchflower

Member of the
Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England
In office
June 2006 – May 2009[1]
GovernorMervyn King
Personal details
Born (1952-03-02) 2 March 1952 (age 67)
Alma materUniversity of Leicester
University of Birmingham
University of Wales
Queen Mary, University of London

David Graham Blanchflower, CBE (born 2 March 1952), sometimes called Danny Blanchflower,[2][3][4][5] is a British-American labour economist and academic. He is 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, 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, and a Bloomberg TV contributing editor. 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 an American citizen, having moved to the United States in 1989. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours.[6]


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 PhD 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, 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. He was awarded an honorary fellowship by Cardiff University in 2014.

Work in economics[edit]

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.[7]

The Wage Curve[edit]

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.[8] The Guardian praised the findings as "one of the most devastating findings of contemporary economics".[9] 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.[10] He has posited a correlation between age and happiness, declining through the 20s, 30s, and 40s before increasing in retirement.[11] 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.[12]

He has been interviewed several times on NPR[13][14] and New Hampshire Public Radio[15] about his work in this area.

Monetary Policy Committee[edit]

Blanchflower joined the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee in June 2006, replacing Stephen Nickell.[16] Before his appointment, Michael Fallon questioned his non-residency at the parliamentary Select Committee on Treasury.[17] Blanchflower attended a number of meetings by conference call.[18] During his tenure, he voted in the minority in eighteen of thirty six meetings. He voted to maintain the interest rate in his first nine meetings, but to reduce interest rates in March 2007 and in every meeting from October 2007 through March 2009.[19]

Six other members of the MPC have served during Blanchflower's time on the MPC. Blanchflower continually voted for rate cuts.[19] At the September 2008 MPC meeting, Blanchflower distanced himself further from consensus by voting for a 0.5% 'cut' against the other eight members' 'hold'.[20]

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 8 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 eventually came around to Blanchflower's view and subsequently lowered rates to levels never before seen in the Bank of England's existence and moved to do unprecedented levels of quantitative easing.

In March 2009, it was announced that Blanchflower would be replaced by David Miles at the end of his term, 31 May 2009.[1]

Current work[edit]

David Blanchflower is the Bruce V Rauner professor of economics at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, part-time professor at the University of Stirling, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a contributing editor for Bloomberg TV.[21] On 27 September 2015, it was announced that he had been appointed to the British Labour Party's Economic Advisory Committee, convened by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and reporting to Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn,[22] for whom he is undertaking an independent review of the Bank of England, although he has stated that he is not a Corbyn supporter and has never spoken to him.[23] Blanchflower quit the panel and said he would also wind up his review of the role of the Bank of England on 28 June 2016 following the mass resignations of the Shadow Cabinet, joining them in calling for Corbyn to step down.

Personal life[edit]

Blanchflower and his then wife were parties in the notable case of Blanchflower v. Blanchflower. The case resulted in a landmark decision by the New Hampshire Supreme Court which ruled that sexual relations between two females, one of whom is married, does not constitute adultery because it is not technically sexual intercourse.[24]


With Richard Freeman (editors), Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, University of Chicago Press and NBER, 2000.

With Andrew Oswald, The Wage Curve, published in 1994 by MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

With David Bell, "Young people and the Great Recession", Oxford Review of Economic Policy 2011 27: pp. 241–267

With David Bell, "Youth unemployment in Europe and the United States", Nordic Economic Policy Review, number 1, 2011, pp. 11–38

With Andrew Oswald, "International happiness: a new view on the measure of performance", Academy of Management Perspectives, February 2011, Vol. 25 Issue 1, pp. 6–22

With David Bell, "Youth underemployment in the UK in the Great Recession", National Institute Economic Review, January 2011, pp. R1–R11

With David Bell, "UK unemployment in the Great Recession", National Institute Economic Review, 214, October 2010, pp. R3-R25.

With Andrew Oswald "Is Well-Being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?", Social Science & Medicine, 2008, 66(6), 1733–1749

With Andrew Oswald, "Money, Sex and Happiness: An Empirical Study," NBER Working Paper W10499, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 106(3), 2004, pp. 393–415.

With Andrew Oswald, "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics Volume 88, Issues 7–8, July 2004, Pages 1359–1386.

With Philip Levine and David Zimmerman, "Discrimination In The Small Business Credit Market," Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 85, Issue 4 – November 2003, Pages 930–943.

With Andrew Oswald, "What Makes an Entrepreneur?" Journal of Labor Economics, January, 16(1) pp. 26–60, 1998.

With Andrew Oswald and Peter Sanfey, "Wages, profits and rent sharing," Quarterly Journal of Economics, February, 1996.

"Fear, unemployment and pay flexibility." Economic Journal, March 1991, pp. 483–496

"Self-employment in OECD countries," Labour Economics, September, 7(5), pp. 471–505, 2000.


  1. ^ a b The Guardian, 19 March 2009, Miles to replace Blanchflower on Bank of England monetary policy committee
  2. ^ after the footballer, Danny Blanchflower
  3. ^ "Oration for Professor David Blanchflower by Dr Stephen Gurman". Archived from the original on 23 December 2012.
  4. ^ Professor David Blanchflower – Monetary Policy Committee Member, Bank of England, Accessed 12 December 2008
  5. ^ "Danny Blanchflower: The MPC is broken and blinkered". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  6. ^ "No. 59090". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 2009. p. 7.
  7. ^ David Blanchflower, Research Fellow. Institute for the Study of Labor. 17 March 2006.
  8. ^ Blanchflower Wages Theory David Hemmer. The Dartmouth. 13 October 1994.
  9. ^ An End to the Rule of Fish Market Economics. Will Hutton. The Guardian. 25 July 1994. p. 12.
  10. ^ David G. Blanchflower, 2008. "Happiness Economics," NBER Reporter Online, (2), pp. 7–10. Abstract-linked-footnotes version.
  11. ^ A happier retirement. Jonathan Clements. The Wall Street Journal. 6 November 2005.
  12. ^ Happiness guru to join Bank Archived 2005-06-17 at the Wayback Machine. Reuters. 22 March 2006.
  13. ^ Economist Calculates the Six-Figure Value of Love. Interview with Renée Montagne and Steve Inskeep. 14 February 2005.
  14. ^ The Economics of Happiness. Interview with Tom Ashbrook. 15 July 2004.
  15. ^ Can't Buy Me Love. Interview with John Walters. 29 November 2004.
  16. ^ Blanchflower to replace Bank's Nickell Archived 2005-06-17 at the Wayback Machine. Reuters. 22 March 2006.
  17. ^ The Committee Office, House of Commons. "Select Committee on Treasury minutes 24 May 2006". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  18. ^ Bank of England (3 January 2013). "Diary List for David Blanchflower - 2008" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  19. ^ a b "Historical interest rate voting spreadsheet". Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  20. ^ BBC Bank voted 8–1 to hold UK rates
  21. ^ "David G. Blanchflower Home Page". www.dartmouth.edu.
  22. ^ "Labour announces new Economic Advisory Committee". Labour Press. 27 September 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  23. ^ Blanchflower, David (27 January 2016). "Opposing austerity is not enough – Labour's leaders need lessons in economics, fast". New Statesman. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  24. ^ "New Hampshire high court says lesbian sex not adultery". The Advocate. 12 November 2003. Retrieved 9 August 2013.

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