Today I discovered a seemingly relatively new, interesting initiative: Economists for Inclusive Prosperity (Econfip), “a network of academic economists committed to an inclusive economy and society. Our members develop and discuss policy ideas based on sound scholarship.”

From the vision statement of the network:

“We think economists, among other social scientists, have a responsibility to be part of the solution, and that mainstream economics – the kind of economics that is practiced in the leading academic centers of the country – is indispensable for generating useful policy ideas. […] At the same time, the sociology of the profession – career incentives, norms, socialization patterns – often mitigates against adequate engagement with the world of policy, especially on the part of younger academic economists.”

Ebook introducing the economists for inclusive prosperityWhat is interesting is the approach taken by the network to encourage economists to take responsibility: “The ‘price of membership for EfIP is a 10-12 page policy brief“, and these “briefs must be original texts (not published elsewhere).” In a free, downloadable ebook the three directors of the network introduce the ideas that members of the network subscribe to and the policy briefs submitted so far. This introduction also has some things to say about markets:

Our claim is that there are overarching themes and commonalities that taken together provide a coherent overall vision for economic policy that stands as a genuine alternative to the market fundamentalism that is too often (and in our view, wrongly) associated with mainstream economics.”


Students who do not pursue further training leave undergraduate courses thinking that economics means that ‘markets always work’.”

Okay, one more quote:

Neoliberalism – or market fundamentalism, market fetishism, etc. — is a perversion of mainstream economics, rather than an application thereof. And contemporary economics research is rife with new ideas for creating a more inclusive society. But it is up to us economists to convince their audience about the merits of these claims. That is why we have embarked on this project.

The network is directed by Suresh Naidu (Associate Professor in Economics and International and Public Affairs at Columbia University), Dani Rodrik (Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at the Harvard Kennedy School), and Gabriel Zucman (Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley).

These three economists recently also posted a joint piece in the Boston Review, titled ‘Economics after Neoliberalism‘, in which they argue that “contemporary economics is finally breaking free from its market fetishism, offering plenty of tools we can use to make society more inclusive.”