Rethinking Capitalism: can better economics generate more successful economic policy?
Michael Jacobs, Visiting Professor, School of Public Policy, UCL
Western capitalism is in trouble. For decades investment has been falling, living standards have stagnated or declined, and inequality has risen dramatically. 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 this talk, Michael Jacobs will propose new ways of thinking about capitalism. Drawing on his new book Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, edited with Mariana Mazzucato, he will argue that today’s deep economic problems reflect the inadequacies of orthodox economic theory and the failure of economic policies informed by it.
He will show how alternative economic approaches, informed by the intellectual traditions of Schumpeter, Polanyi and Keynes, can better explain how capitalism works, why it often doesn’t, and how it can be made more innovative, inclusive and sustainable.
Michael Jacobs is Visiting Professor in the School of Public Policy at University College London and Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research. An environmental economist and political theorist, his work has focused on the political economy of environmental change.
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 has also been previously General Secretary of the Fabian Society, Co-Editor of the The Political Quarterly, and Senior Adviser to the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, which he helped to found. His other books include The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable Development and the Politics of the Future (Pluto Press, 1991).
Michael Jacobs' and Mariana Mazzucato's Introduction to Rethinking Capitalism is available free to download here.