Paper 0 - Lent 2016
The Globalisation of Production - Orthodox and Heterodox Interpretations Isabel Estevez
For the first Paper 0 talk of this term, we have Isabel Estevez, a Ph.D. Candidate in Development Studies.
The globalization of production has become a hot topic among economists in recent years. Although they largely agree that the past half century has been witness to a new kind of ‘geographical disintegration of production’, their understandings of the phenomenon differ. This lecture will provide an overview of these divergent perspectives on the globalization of production, its key features and its social and economic implications, from global inequality to industrial development.
This lecture was recorded on 19th January 2016 at the Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge.
Is Economics Political? Jack Wright
In this talk, Jack Wright, Ph.D. Candidate in History and Philosophy of Science, examines some of the ways that economics and politics interact. He talks about some of the ways that economics can be interpreted as trivially political, but focus more on some of the ways that the actual output of economics can be seen to be political. This leads into a discussion of the role politics — both in a big (state, large non-state actors, think tanks, etc.) and a small (internal politics) sense — has had in forming economics as we currently see it.
While there is no argument for one singular idea of the political, the discussion will highlight some of the complexities in the title question and undermine any automatic assumption that the answer should be no.
This lecture was recorded on 26th January at the Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge.
Capitalism as Creative Destruction - An Introduction to Schumpeter´s Perspectives José Miguel Ahumada
Schumpeter has been traditionally understood as the ‘economist of the entrepreneurship’. Mainstream economics, for example, emphasizes Schumpeter´s optimist perspective on capitalism as an innovation machine and the entrepreneur as the agent of change, progress and development under the compulsion of competition.
This presentation, by José Miguel Ahumada, PhD candidate in Development Studies, will take a distance from that perspective and will present an introduction to Schumpeter´s approach on the dynamic of capitalism, not only as an economic system, but as a complete social order. In trying to understand capitalism as an evolving social system, Schumpeter went beyond traditional neoclassical economics, opening the door for a multidisciplinary approach to the economy.
However, in including other disciplines and social spheres in his understanding of capitalism, Schumpeter begun to see capitalism not only as an economic evolving machine, but as a socially contradictory, politically unstable and culturally self-destructive social order.
How could Schumpeter have arrived to such pessimistic conclusions? By understanding how Schumpeter reached those conclusions, we will be able to understand the a great part of Schumpeter´s system.
This lecture was recorded on 2nd February at the Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge.
Let's just print more money? Modern Monetary Theory and its Critics Anne, PhD student
Mainstream economics has been challenged by the scholarship of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). According to neoclassical theory money is created based on demand and the issue of creating employment is usually left to the private sector. MMT suggests an alternative: Governments should print enough money to ensure finance fiscal policies can achieve economies with full employment. Based on simple stock flow consistent modelling, MMTers have developed a framework to understand the accounting of public money.
This lecture by Anne, a PhD candidate in Economics, looks at key arguments of MMT and shows why critics disagree. It addresses differences between MMT, neoclassical and (Post-) Keynesian economics providing critical views on the nature of money in the modern economy.
This lecture was recorded on 9th February at the Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge.
Rethinking the Role of the Financial Sector in Economic Growth Natalya Naqvi
This Paper 0 lecture will focus on the role of the financial sector in the economy, and the mechanisms through which it promotes, or prevents, economic growth.
Over the past decades, major debates have revolved around whether economic growth is best promoted by a liberalised financial system, so that free market signals may allocate financial resources most efficiently, or by a financial system controlled by the state in order to direct investment. The neoclassical growth and finance literature has long neglected the second as a serious option, and even in the post‐crisis environment it has failed to fundamentally question basic assumptions such as the efficient markets hypothesis on which this literature is still implicitly based.
Through a discussion of both alternative economic theories explaining the link between finance and growth, as well as empirical cases of how successful developers have historically utilized their financial systems to promote growth, this lecture will address questions such as: what should be the role of the financial sector in the economy? How are industrial policy and the financial sector linked? What role have methods of ‘financial repression’ including credit planning, controlled interest rates, and government owned banks, played historically in promoting or retarding economic growth?
This lecture was recorded on 16th February at Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge.
The Economics of Climate Change Ida Sognnæs
Climate change has been termed “the greatest market failure the world has ever seen” (Stern, 2007). At the same time, economists disagree on how much we should do about climate change and when. Some reason that future generations will be richer than current generations. The calculations of the “social cost of carbon” by the UK and US governments have given rise to a range of different estimates, and a furious debate about what the discount rate should be has taken place. Some argue that this is a normative question, others that it is purely descriptive.
In this talk, Ida Sognnæs, a Ph.D. Candidate in Land Economy, will give an introduction to the economics of climate change. I will present the leading economic models of climate change and the criticisms they have received by both well-renowned economists and academics in other disciplines.
This lecture was recorded on 23rd February at Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge.
What We Count Counts: Understanding the Role of Data in Economic Knowledge Matthew Fright
As Nicolas Sarkozy, former French President put in 2010 “Our statistics and accounts reflect our aspirations, the values that we assign things. They are inseparable from our vision of the world and the economy, of society, and our conception of human beings and our inter-relations.” This lecture will consider some of the real world obstacles to effective economic observation and the impact this has upon economic analysis and public debate.
This lecture was recorded on 1st March at Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge.