Professor Michael McMahon

Professor of Economics

Subjects: Economics and management, PPE

Department: Academic - Fellows & Lecturers


I am a macroeconomist. My interests lie in study of fiscal policy, business cycles, monetary economics, inventories and applied econometrics. Most recently, together with Stephen Hansen, I have a series of papers examining the way monetary policy is made and how institutional design features of central banks and their monetary policy committees influence the decisions. Much of the recent research uses the tools of computational linguistics to understand communication and deliberation in central banks. My research has been published research in many top journals including the Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of Monetary Economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics and the Journal of Applied Econometrics.



I graduated from Trinity College Dublin and then obtained an MSc from the London School of Economics. I worked at the Bank of England for three years before returning to LSE for my MRes and PhD. Prior to joining Oxford in September 2017, I was an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick (from 2008). From August 2015 to 2016, I was on leave from Warwick and was an International Consultant Economist at the IMF– Singapore Regional Training Institute (STI). I am a research associate at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) at the University of Warwick, the Centre for Macroeconomics at the LSE and the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (CAMA) at Australia National University. Additionally, I have been a visiting researcher in many central banks.


Selected Publications

  1. Hansen, Stephen, Michael McMahon and Andrea Prat (2017), “Transparency and Deliberation within the FOMC: A computational linguistics approach”. Forthcoming, Quarterly Journal of Economics.
  2. McMahon, Michael (2017) “‘Sound Finances’: Strategy or Soundbite”. National Institute Economic Review, 241(1):R13–R32, 2017.
  3. Hansen, Stephen and Michael McMahon (2016), “First Impressions Matter: Signalling as a Source of Policy Dynamics”. Review of Economic Studies.
  4. Hansen, Stephen and Michael McMahon (2016), “Shocking Language: Understanding the macroeconomic effects of central bank communication”. Journal of International Economics.
  5. Hansen, Stephen, Michael McMahon and Sorawoot Srisuma (2016), “Estimating Bayesian Decision Problems with Heterogeneous Expertise”. Journal of Applied Econometrics.
  6. Hansen, Stephen, Michael McMahon and Carlos Velasco Rivera (2014), “Preferences or Private Assessments on a Monetary Policy Committee? ” Journal of Monetary Economics, October 2014.
  7. Giavazzi, Francesco and Michael McMahon (2013) “The Household Effects of Government Spending”, chapter in Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, edited by Alberto Alesina and Francesco Giavazzi, University of Chicago Press.
  8. Giavazzi, Francesco and Michael McMahon (2012) “Policy Uncertainty and Household Savings”, The Review of Economics and Statistics, May 2012, Vol. 94, No. 2, Pages 517-531.
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