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The meaning of our enormous structural balance of payments deficit
a neglected opportunity
In his valedictory lecture, Professor Johan Witteveen focuses on the large Netherlands structural balance of payments surplus and its counterpart, the saving surplus. In connection with this, he discusses anti-cyclical and structural policies. What would Keynes advise if he were here? Professor Johan Witteveen In 1939, Witteveen (1921) became a student at the Netherlands School of Economics (NEH), predecessor of Erasmus University Rotterdam. He obtained his doctorate degree cum laude in 1947, under the supervision of econometrician Professor Jan Tinbergen. The following year, at the age of 27, Witteveen was appointed professor. Originally, Witteveen planned to give his valedictory lecture fifty years ago. However, due to his appointment as Minister of Finance, he never got the chance to end his academic career officially. During his long career, he was a.o. Rector Magnificus of NEH, Minister of Finance twice and subsequently Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. To this day, Witteveen continues to be a keen participant in the public debate on economic issues. This valedictory lecture by Professor Johan Witteveen was organised on the occasion of the centennial celebration of Erasmus School of Economics.