Making Sense of the World's Most Important Issues


Jane Delbene is Director of External Relations for the London campus of The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is responsible for leading the school’s strategy on engagement in the region.  Jane has some 30 years’ marketing experience and has worked extensively in global markets for both private and public sector organisations.

It’s enormously difficult to understand, let alone make sense of, what’s going on in the world these days. From Brexit to Trump to Russia or the EU, life as we knew it has changed. One thing we do know for certain, it will not be business as usual and understanding how we will be affected has become more important than ever.

Chicago Booth has been making sense of the world for decades. Since 1898, we have produced ideas and leaders that have shaped the world of business. Not only have students competed for a place to learn from our world-renowned faculty, but governments and businesses the world over have sought their expertise.

In an effort to share its thought-leadership, Chicago Booth has established The Initiative on Global Markets (IGM) to help understand how markets work, their effects and how they interact with policies and institutions. Through its IGM Economic Experts Panel, Chicago Booth brings together prominent economists to inform the public about the extent to which they agree on important public policy issues. They explore topics such as Breaking up Banks, Inequality and Monetary Policy, Universal Basic Income, and President Trump’s 100 Day Plan. On the latter, experts were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement that if all “seven actions to protect American workers of Trump’s plan are enacted, it will more likely than not improve the economic prospects of low-skilled Americans over the next decade" - 48% "strongly disagreed" and 38% "disagreed." These are indeed interesting times.

As a truly global institution, Chicago Booth’s Initiative on Global Markets launched a new European IGM Economic Experts Panel on December 7, 2016 to assess how Europeans should respond to the powerful economic forces and daunting policy challenges they face. Composed of 50 economists from 27 leading universities and business schools, the panel will explore the experts’ views on some of the most important policy questions facing the region – issues such as trade, migration, taxes, banks, markets and competition. 

The IGM asked the panel about six initial topics ranging from Brexit to the effects of tax competition in Eastern and Central Europe. On Brexit, 44% of the experts "strongly agreed" and 42% "agreed" with the following statement: “Because of the Brexit vote’s outcome, the UK’s real per-capita income level is likely to be lower a decade from now than it would have been otherwise.” Professor Christian Leuz of Chicago Booth wrote, “Trade barriers and uncertainty are negative. But much will depend on terms of the exit and when it will be triggered.” Kevin O’Rourke from Oxford added, “We don’t yet know what form Brexit will take. If the UK chooses to stay in the EEA & customs union, the consequences will be minimal.”

For more on "Brexit: What it means for Europe and the World" watch the latest video of Chicago Booth Professors Marianne Bertrand, Randy Kroszner, Lubos Pastor and Christian Luez who discuss in detail possible implications.

As the world continues to confound and perplex, be sure to visit the IGM Panels website as we “bring Booth’s spirit of excellence in research and inquiry to markets, institutions and policies.” I hope you will find it to be a place to help make sense of the most important issues facing the world today.   

Jane Delbene

Director of External Relations, London