In this short video (2,5 minutes) economist François Bourguignon discusses whether and how economists understand inequality. He is one of our guests in tonight’s dialogue of the Future Markets Consultation, titled ‘Free Markets & Huge Inequality; An Inescapable Marriage?‘ Our other guest is philosopher Elisabeth Anderson.
In a recent dialogue sociologist Isabelle Ferreras and economist Josh Ryan-Collins discussed housing and work as two key areas in which people experience the effects of contemporary capitalism on their everyday life. Ilse Oosterlaken reports on the key points.
The recording of our live cast on the effects of contemporary capitalism on everyday life (12 October) with sociologist Isabella Ferrera & economist Josh Ryan-Collins is now available. The interview with Ferreras and the interview with Ryan-Collins, part of the episode, are also available as separate videos.
Every episode of the online dialogues between visionary economists, organized as part of the Consultation, starts off with a personal reflection by one of the members of the Consultation’s Think Tank of Young Economists. This is the reflection of Kees Buitendijk at the start of the dialogue ‘The Effects of Contemporary Capitalism on Everyday Life’ (12 October).
“The initial hope for the digital platform-based “sharing economy” was that it would both empower workers and reduce the broader economy’s carbon footprint. Neither has happened under corporate ownership; but ample research shows that alternative cooperative models could reclaim the sector’s original promise”, writes Juliette B. Schor
“From the energy industry to industrial agriculture, the private sector has long reaped large financial rewards from environmental destruction. But the costs of that destruction are growing, and businesses’ responsibility – and motivation – to reverse it becoming more apparent”, write Erin Billman & Eva Zabey.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on social, economic, and environmental risks that have been building for the past half-century of neoliberalism. Even amid the deep uncertainties of today’s global situation, one thing is clear: it is time to start questioning old assumptions and developing a new paradigm”, argues Klaus Schwab.
In a recent dialogue economists Raghuram Rajan and Paul Collier both defended their view that local communities should be re-empowered again. Yet Collier called it ‘dumb’ to reverse globalization. But can we have our cake and eat it, Ilse Oosterlaken wonders. Would it not be necessary to make economies more local before local communities can thrive again?
“Critiques of capitalism come in two varieties. First, there is the moral or spiritual critique. […] Then there is the material critique of capitalism. […] But then there is Amartya Sen. […] In Sen’s work, the two critiques of capitalism cooperate. We move from moral concerns to material outcomes and back again with no sense of a threshold separating the two.”
“Finance can be a force for good in society but, over the past few decades, structural and behavioral changes have pushed the industry away from its mission of serving clients and supporting the economy in favor of enriching itself. At worst, financial services firms are mired in conflicts of interests, cloaked in opacity and complexity, and skewed by information asymmetry. Many of my students are keen to work in finance but concerned about being corrupted as soon as they walk into their first jobs. What can be done to restore confidence in the industry?”
“By promoting behavioral norms that balance market and society, ‘stakeholder capitalism’ is supposed to enable private firms to fill the vacuum created by the decline of traditional forms of regulation by national governments. Ultimately, though, the only viable solution is to make business itself more democratic”, argues Dani Rodrik.
“In Work Want Work: Labour and Desire at the End of Capitalism, Mareile Pfannebecker and J.A. Smith address the problems in the prevailing discourse on work and outline how exactly we can put a post-work future into practice. As 2020 has witnessed the reshaping of work and workplaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this thought-provoking book offers a valuable starting point for envisaging a future post-work world, writes Anupama Kumar.”
“The world has a golden opportunity to build back boldly after the pandemic and put gender equality, social responsibility, and environmental protection at the heart of the recovery. With a deliberate and strategic focus on these issues, the future we sow could be more bountiful than the past.”
“For all the excitement about corporate ‘stakeholders’ and ‘purpose-driven’ firms, the new mode of capitalism is simply a repackaging of the old. Successful companies will continue to focus on the value of their shares over the long term, while avoiding the risks of wading into areas where they don’t belong”, argues Raghuram Rajan.