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

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Renewing the Welfare State; The Right Mix of Ensuring Jobs, Income and Services

Renewing the Welfare State; The Right Mix of Ensuring Jobs, Income and Services

Over the last year the welfare state has been at the core of public debates. One idea in particular, namely unconditional universal basic income, has gotten a lot of attention. In my report, written as part of the Future Markets Consultation, I argue that a combination of extended basic services, a job guarantee and benefits as rights is a better solution. This option does not stimulate market individualism, but strengthens social cohesion, as these solutions are based on the reciprocal principle of enabling everyone to contribute to and benefit from the common good.

Renewing the Welfare State; Panel Discussion & Presentation of Report on 29 April

Various innovative ideas, such as an unconditional universal basic income, job guarantee and universal basic services, today seem less radical and utopian than they used to be. But should we put our faith fully in one of these options, seeing it as a silver bullet solution to all of our problems? Or should we, instead, advocate for an innovative combination that brings together the strengths of different ideas? During an online event on 29 April Sam de Muijnck (chairman of the Think Tank of Young Economists of the Future Markets Consultation) will present his report, followed by a panel discussion.

Winners Essay Contest Future Markets Consultation: Camila Posada (Master Students) & Fausto Corvino (Young Scholars)

Winners Essay Contest Future Markets Consultation: Camila Posada (Master Students) & Fausto Corvino (Young Scholars)

The jury read all the submissions for the essay contest of the Future Markets Consultation with great interest. We would like to cordially thank all participants for sharing their ideas and views on the future of the market economy in Europe. The essays provide great input for our final consultation report, which we will publish later this year. The winner in the category master students is Camila Posada, with her essay ‘A New RuleBook for a New Transition‘. In the category young scholars Fausto Corvino is the winner, with his essay ‘A Fair Allocation of the Costs of Precarious Employment‘.

A Fair Allocation of the Costs of Precarious Employment: A Proposal for Europe

A Fair Allocation of the Costs of Precarious Employment: A Proposal for Europe

Never in human history has wage income been so fragile and transitory. Even if precariousness were to be considered as, all things considered, desirable (or at least inevitable), it would have to be regarded as a negative externality of economic and technological development, and as such it should raise a problem of justice concerning the distribution of costs vis-a-vis benefits of cooperation. I will therefore argue that the main problem of those people who lack a fixed-term job, at least in Europe, is that they live as precarious workers in a world which is still designed for permanent workers.

Winning essay in the category young scholars of the Future Markets Consultation essay contest

Is It Time to Rethink Quotas?

Is It Time to Rethink Quotas?

This paper examines the labor market, and argues that quotas should increasingly be used in the hiring process. At a time when more women than ever before are leaving the labor market due to imposed shutdowns stated to combat COVID-19, as well as persistent economic inequality between white people and ethnic minorities, together with the fact that an entire generation of young people have had their grades and education disrupted or stopped because of the pandemic, the allocation of jobs in many sectors can no longer be left to the market mechanism. The use of quotas to ensure that every segment of the community is in gainful employment is therefore recommended and is aligned with the concept of “inclusive development”.

Nominated essay in the category young scholars of the Future Markets Consultation essay contest

Rethinking Our Rights to Resources

Rethinking Our Rights to Resources

If you find a seashell on the beach, it means that you may keep it. This is a thought that many may find natural. For the same reason we may not object to a company that uses machines to collect a lot of seashells at once, especially because the company invested in buying the machines and the labor required to operate the machines. But what if the company prevents others from collecting seashells? Should not everyone have the same right to collect seashells? Assuming such equal rights to resources has significant implications for how the current economy is organized and I argue that rethinking this organization may help to address both the challenge of wealth inequality and several ecological challenges.

Nominated essay in the category young scholars of the Future Markets Consultation essay contest

Laissez-Concurrencer!

Laissez-Concurrencer!

The 21st century presents challenges that the European market economy seems unable to resolve, sowing dissatisfaction and opening the door for populists and authoritarian forces. To address these challenges, we must change our conception of the market economy and its relation to the state. Free markets will not miraculously solve or even address pressing issues. Instead of free markets, we must ensure competitive markets; instead of a value-free economy, we must embrace a normative economy that explicitly directs competitive markets towards the issues most pressing to European citizens.

Nominated essay in the category young scholars of the Future Markets Consultation essay contest

A New Rule Book for a New Transition

A New Rule Book for a New Transition

It appears that humanity’s industrial period, with all the benefits it has brought, is tilting out of stability (if there ever was one), and that a new transition, a new order, must take its place. We must, then, wonder: what will this new rule book entail? If all economics are economics of transition, then what does this transition need? What can it keep from its predecessors and what must it shed? This essay will analyze these questions as relating to three different components of the economy: the existence of a common goal, the role of labor, and the value of freedom.

Winner in the category master students of the Future Markets Consultation essay contest.

Moving Forward and Finding Balance in a Dynamic System

Moving Forward and Finding Balance in a Dynamic System

We must place current developments in perspective. Rightly pointed out by some, climate change is the much bigger wave that lies behind Covid and that approaches faster than many care to admit. The parallels between dangerous climate change and the above-described flaws in our financial and economic system are plain. In fact, climate change and a flawed economic system might not even be two separate problems.

Nominated essay in the category master students of the Future Markets Consultation essay contest

Circular Economy in Degrowth for Environmental Sustainability

Circular Economy in Degrowth for Environmental Sustainability

During the span of my life, the world has seen growth in wealth, health, and innovation like never before. At the same time, the world has become aware that human actions are affecting climate change, environmental pollution, biodiversity loss and more, with potential catastrophic consequences. In quest for solutions, Future Markets Consultation initiated the essay question: How can the freedom and innovation that free markets provide be squared with environmental sustainability and social justice?

Nominated essay in the category master students of the Future Markets Consultation essay contest

The Democratising Potential of a Digital Euro

The Democratising Potential of a Digital Euro

A digital euro is on the horizon. This essay aims to look behind this rather technocratic discourse and seeks to identify what would make a digital euro truly unique and promising. I will argue that, if one accepts that there is no justification for excluding citizens from the benefits of digital central bank money, such allows us to democratise central banking, and to democratise finance. To arrive at that conclusion, I will firstly picture how a widely accessible digital euro could look like and how it relates to current configurations around central bank money. Secondly, I will discuss what problems a digital euro might help tackling. Thirdly, I will sketch how an enlarged access to central bank money can be followed up with changes that foresee a re-organisation of finance more broadly.

Nominated essay in the category master students of the Future Markets Consultation essay contest

The Challenge for a Future Economy that Promotes Human Flourishing Is Broadening What Economists Value

The Challenge for a Future Economy that Promotes Human Flourishing Is Broadening What Economists Value

The neglect of economics’ inseparable philosophical and political foundation is problematic in itself already for a plentitude of reasons. To make matters worse, the evaluative framework that underpins mainstream economic thinking only allows for a particularly narrow class of considerations to enter the discussion of what constitutes the conditions for human flourishing. In this essay, I will address the limitations of this welfarist evaluative framework by building on the pioneering work of Amartya Sen.

Nominated essay in the category master students of the Future Markets Consultation essay contest

Towards the Wellbeing Economy: Implications for Public, Environmental and Financial Policy

Towards the Wellbeing Economy: Implications for Public, Environmental and Financial Policy

There is a growing recognition that our economy has to be fundamentally. In the new paradigm that is starting to emerge, the well-being of people and the planet is put at the center of the economy and society is organized more democratically. In this way, it concerns both a shift ideas and in power. Besides exploring what this paradigm shift entails for the economy in general, our report takes a closer look at the following three fields: (1) the public sector, (2) environmental policy and (3) the financial sector.

Towards the Well-Being Economy; Presentation of Report on 12 April

We are living through a twice-in-a-century change in economic thinking and policy making, also known as a paradigm shift: away from neoliberal market ideas and a focus on narrow economic growth, towards an economy centred on enhancing human well-being in a sustainable, equitable and resilient way – also known as the Well-Being Economy. The Think Tank of Young Economists of the Future Markets Consultation has investigated how we can move towards the Wellbeing Economy. At an online event on 12 April 2020 the young economists will present the report to former Dutch prime minister Jan-Peter Balkenende, who will write the main consultation report. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the report.

9 Nominees in Essay Contest Future Markets Consultation

9 Nominees in Essay Contest Future Markets Consultation

At the end of 2020 the Future Markets Consultation invited students and young scholars to submit their ideas on a sustainable and just market economy for Europe in the shape of an essay. The jury has meanwhile read all the submissions to this essay contest with great interest. Five master students and four young scholars have been nominated for the prize. The winner in each of these two categories will be announced in a short award ceremony on 12 April 2020.

Also available in: Dutch

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