Articles & Blogs on the Ethics of Markets / Economics / Business

Market-Led Infrastructure May Sound Good But Not If It Short-Changes the Public

Market-Led Infrastructure May Sound Good But Not If It Short-Changes the Public

“Market-led proposals present a risk for how our cities function. If infrastructure is built in the interests of private actors, the outcomes will favour them, not citizens. Privatising key public assets that are natural monopolies, such as railways, opens the door to rent-seeking. While allowing governments to conveniently avoid the capital costs appearing on public balance sheets, market-led proposals seem engineered to deliver monopoly rents from users to private interests.”

Bipolar Economics

Bipolar Economics

“No amount of research talent can design an RCT [Randomized Controlled Trial] to test whether more globalization is desirable, how big government ought to be, or what triggers economic growth. As a result, randomistas can say little about the big issues that inflame passions and around which grand narratives are built. And it is such narratives, […] that organize our thinking about the economy. If not woven into a broad narrative of change, empirical evidence can have limited political impact at best.”

Do Companies with Workers on Boards Make Longer-Term Decisions?

Do Companies with Workers on Boards Make Longer-Term Decisions?

“Research into German companies has shown that employees participating in corporate governance support longer-term decision making when it comes to improved productivity and financial results. Other academic research has found that when stakeholders have an input into company decisions, it can not only improve productivity but also increase innovation, improve job satisfaction and reduce staff turnover.”

Do Traditional Compliance Efforts Weaken Workers’ Moral Motivation?

Do Traditional Compliance Efforts Weaken Workers’ Moral Motivation?

“How can organizations actualize their employees’ ethical potential? It’s a question Carsten Tams has been tossing around recently. In his time helping companies with organizational design and cultural change, among other things, he’s come to believe that, in the right environment, people are quite capable, even eager, to conform with and uphold ethical norms. Behavioral science, specifically motivational science, offers valuable insights for how to harness employees’ best intentions.”

How Investors Have Reacted to the Business Roundtable Statement

How Investors Have Reacted to the Business Roundtable Statement

“When the U.S. Business Roundtable announced that it was redefining the purpose of a corporation to accommodate a broader group of stakeholders – extending beyond shareholders to include employees, customers, suppliers and communities – the stock market didn’t seem to react. […] It made me wonder: What are shareholders thinking about this new direction? What about the professional investors who manage their assets?”

How Neoliberal Thinkers Spawned Monsters They Never Imagined

How Neoliberal Thinkers Spawned Monsters They Never Imagined

“Political theorist Wendy Brown’s latest book, In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West, traces the intellectual roots of neoliberalism and reveals how an anti-democratic project unleashed monsters – from plutocrats to neo-fascists – that its mid-20thcentury visionaries failed to anticipate. She joins the Institute for New Economic Thinking to discuss how the flawed blueprint for markets and the less-discussed focus on morality gave rise to threats to democracy and society that are distinct from what has come before.”

We Modelled 4 Scenarios for Australia’s Future. Economic Growth Alone Can’t Deliver the Goods

We Modelled 4 Scenarios for Australia’s Future. Economic Growth Alone Can’t Deliver the Goods

We modelled four development scenarios for Australia through to 2030:

  • “Growth at all Costs”, emphasising economic growth
  • “Green Economy”, emphasising environmental outcomes
  • “Inclusive Growth”, emphasising social equality
  • “Sustainability Transition”, balancing economic, social and environmental outcomes.
Shareholder Activism Might Sound Good, But It’s Delusional to Think It Will Change Anything Much

Shareholder Activism Might Sound Good, But It’s Delusional to Think It Will Change Anything Much

“While company annual general meetings (AGMs) have long been the forum for individual vocal and activist shareholders to embarrass boards, large shareholders are increasingly being criticised for not pressuring company boards enough to be more socially environmentally responsible. But relying on shareholders to make corporations more accountable and socially responsible is misguided. There are far more direct and systemically effective measures available to do that.”

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