Heleen Mees

Economist Heleen Mees is columnist and contributing editor to Foreign Policy and Project Syndicate.

She travels from New York

She is Assistant Professor in Economics at Tilburg University and taught at NYU Wagner the second half of 2012 . Before joining Tilburg University, Mees was a researcher at the Erasmus School of Economics. Her research focuses on monetary policy and the macroeconomic consequences of the rise of China and other emerging economies. The central thesis of her PhD thesis is that China’s boom caused the financial crisis and ensuing economic recession. She  received her PdD on August 28, 2012.

Mees is currently working on a field experiment in China, as part of the behavioral economics program. In 2011 she did research on the prevalence of money illusion in China, holding a survey among more than 300 individuals in Beijing.

Mees is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy and she has a weekly column in the dutch daily Financieele Dagblad. Her work has also been published in The Financial TimesThe New York Times and Le Monde. From 2006 – 2010 she was columnist for NRC Handelsblad. Mees is the author of three books; her latest Between Greed and Desire – The World between Wall Street and Main Street was published in 2009. While greed has had a destructive impact on the economy, the desire to build a better life is still the main source of social progress.

In 2006 Mees co-founded Women on Top, an organization that advocates more women in top jobs. As an opponent of glass ceilings and the old boys’ network, Mees campaigned for 30% representation of women on all company boards. The Dutch parliament subsequently passed legislation requiring company boards to strive for gender balance, i.e. minimum 30% representation of each sex on both the supervisory board as well as the executive board. The European Union is following suit and is planning EU-wide legislation for gender balance on company boards.

Before, Mees worked at Ernst & Young’s headquarters in New York, the European Commission in Brussels and the Dutch Treasury in The Hague. She was an intern in Dutch parliament. Mees graduated both in economics and law. She is fluent in English and Dutch and speaks Chinese (Mandarin), French and Italian. She lives and works in New York City.


Are Chinese individuals prone to money illusion?, Vox, November 20, 2011
How China’s Boom Caused the Financial Crisis, Foreign Policy, January 17, 2012

Heleen Mees’ PdH “Changing Fortunes – How China’s Boom Caused the Financial Crisis” is available here.

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