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“There’s an emerging consensus that having all these countries do it at once made it too much and too fast,” he said. “I don’t think this will come out of the G-20 meeting, but I hope it’s at least discussed.”

Mr. Posen said that while the eurozone’s currency problems show no immediate signs of getting better, things may have to get a lot worse before there is a real political or social incentive to change course.

“Things can stay awful there for a lot longer than you think, even if it’s already pretty bad,” he said.

Mr. Posen, who has advised Japanese and U.S. monetary officials and from 2009 to 2012 served on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, called himself the “continuity candidate” in taking over from C. Fred Bergsten, who founded the Peterson Institute for International Economics in 1981.

He said the think tank will continue to pursue its basic mission but will move beyond a singular focus on advising U.S. policymakers and will face a need to recruit senior fellows in the coming years. He also said the focus on publishing books as the basic task of scholars has to change in the digital world.

“I think the classical book model is obviously not the way most scholars operate now,” he said. “The book model has a diminishing effectiveness in how people collect information, even among academics.”