David Blanchflower

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Political People

David Graham Blanchflower (born March 2, 1952) is a leading labour economist, currently a tenured economics professor at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, and an external member of the Bank of England's interest rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). He is also a current Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a 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.

British-born, Blanchflower is now a U.S. citizen, having moved to the United States in 1989. On June 1, 2006, he replaced Stephen Nickell on the MPC.


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 Ph.D. in 1985 at the University of London. He was also awarded an honorary A.M. in 1996 at Dartmouth College.

Work in Economics

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 & 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.

The Wage Curve

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. The Guardian praised the findings as "one of the most devastating findings of contemporary economics". 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, but were not accepted by the mainstream.


Much of Blanchflower's work has focused on the economics of happiness. He has posited a correlation between age and happiness, declining through the 20s, 30s, and 40s before increasing in retirement. 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.

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

Blanchflower v. Blanchflower

In 2003 Blanchflower filed for an "at fault" divorce from his wife Sian Blanchflower on the grounds that she was having an adulterous affair with another woman. Mrs. Blanchflower admitted to the affair, but argued that the affair did not constitute adultery under New Hampshire law. After a lower court initially sided with Mr. Blanchflower, the New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed the lower court's decision and ruled 3-2 in favour of Mrs. Blanchflower, concluding that adultery must involve sexual intercourse and that same-sex relations could not constitute sexual intercourse, based on the 1961 edition of Webster's Third New International Dictionary. Some gay-rights groups, who had filed amicus curiae briefs in favour of Mr. Blanchflower, condemned the ruling, which is seen as a setback to the same-sex marriage movement.

Selected works

  • Part-time employment in Great Britain 1980, Department of Employment Research Paper No. 57, 1987.
  • Occupational earnings and work histories: who gets the good jobs?, Department of Employment Research Paper No. 68, 1989.
  • Swedish labor market policy: an evaluation. Report of a Non-Nordic Institution, published by the Swedish Ministry of Labour, Stockholm, Sweden, 1995.
  • The Wage Curve, published in 1994 by MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • The area labour cost adjustment: analysis and a new approach, National Economic Research Associates, London, May 1996.
  • The area labour cost adjustment: empirical analysis and evidence on a new approach, National Economic Research Associates, London, May 1996.
  • The area labour cost adjustment: disaggregated estimates, London Economics, June 1996.
  • Review of the area labour cost adjustment: project A - final report, London Economics, June 1996.
  • The role and influence of trade unions in the OECD, report to the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, August, 1996.
  • Wage levels in the regions of Britain; a report for Tesco, London Economics, September 1996.
  • The area cost adjustment: specific cost approach, A report for the Associations of Local Government in London and the South East, National Economic Research Associates, London, July 1998.
  • Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, University of Chicago Press and NBER, 2000.

IZA discussion papers

  • A Cross-Country Study of Union Membership. 2006.
  • The Scots May Be Brave But They Are Neither Healthy Or Happy. 2005.
  • An Analysis of the Impact of Affirmative Action Programs on Self-Employment in the Construction Industry. 2005.
  • The Wage Curve Reloaded. 2005.
  • Happiness and the Human Development Index: The Paradox of Australia. 2005.
Retrieved from " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Blanchflower"