Rethinking capitalism: can better economics generate more successful economic policy?
Mariana Mazzucato, Professor of the Economics of Innovation, SPRU, University of Sussex
Michael Jacobs, Visiting Professor, School of Public Policy, UCL
Wendy Carlin, Professor of Economics, UCL
Richard Davies, Chief of Staff, LSE Growth Commission and former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers at HM Treasury
As Brexit threatens another economic downturn, the spotlight has been turned again on the state of western economies. Over recent decades their performance has been poor. Investment has been falling, average living standards have stagnated or declined, and inequality has risen dramatically. Since the financial crash of 2008, economic policy has neither reformed the financial system nor restored stable growth; on the contrary, fiscal austerity has weakened it. Climate change meanwhile poses increasing risks to future prosperity.
In their new book Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, Michael Jacobs and Mariana Mazzucato propose new ways of thinking about capitalism. They argue that orthodox economic analysis, with its emphasis on markets and market failures, fails to understand properly how capitalism works, and why it often doesn't. Bringing together a group of world-leading economists to look at a range of topics from fiscal and monetary policy and short-termism in financial markets to the theory of the firm, innovation, inequality, privatisation and environmental policy, the book proposes new approaches to both economic theory and policymaking.
In this joint lecture Mazzucato and Jacobs will explain their arguments. They will examine the inadequacy of current economic orthodoxies, reflect on the intellectual resources provided by the economic traditions of Schumpeter, Polanyi and Keynes, and show how different economic policies could generate a capitalism which is more innovative, inclusive and sustainable.
Wendy Carlin and Richard Davies will respond to the lecture, drawing on the perspectives of both economic theory and real-world policymaking. There will then be a panel discussion and Q&A. A drinks reception hosted by the School of Public Policy and Dept of Economics will follow the event.
Michael Jacobs' and Mariana Mazzucato's Introduction to Rethinking Capitalism is available free to download here, where the book is also available for sale at a discounted price.
Mariana Mazzucato holds the RM Phillips chair in the Economics of Innovation at SPRU in the University of Sussex. Her book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths was on the 2013 Books of the Year list of the Financial Times. Professor Mazzucato won the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy, the 2015 Hans-Matthöfer-Preis and in 2013 the New Republic called her one of the 'three most important thinkers about innovation'. She advises policy makers around the world on innovation-led growth. She is currently writing a new book, The Value of Everything, which will be published by Penguin’s Allen Lane in Spring 2017.
Michael Jacobs is Visiting Professor in the School of Public Policy and Department of Political Science at University College London. An environmental economist and political theorist, his work has focused on the political economy of environmental change. His books include The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable Development and the Politics of the Future (Pluto Press, 1991) and Paying for Progress: A New Politics of Tax for Public Spending (Fabian Society 2000). From 2004-10 he was a Special Adviser to the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, responsible for domestic and international policy on environment, energy and climate change, and before that (2004-2007) a member of the Council of Economic Advisers at the UK Treasury. He was formerly General Secretary of the Fabian Society, Co-Editor of The Political Quarterly and a research fellow at Lancaster University and the London School of Economics.
Wendy Carlin is Professor of Economics at University College London and Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research. Her research focuses on macroeconomics, institutions and economic performance, and the economics of transition. She is a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of the UK's Office for Budget Responsibility.
Richard Davies is Chief of Staff at the London School of Economics Growth Commission. He was previously Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers at HM Treasury. Before this he worked at The Economist, as Economics Editor, at the Bank of England and at the Competition Commission.