Economics for Inclusive Prosperity (EfIP)

From Dani Rodrik’s weblog:

“We launched today a new initiative for academic economists that we hope will make the discipline of Economics more relevant to today’s pressing policy problems. The initiative consists of a network called Economics for Inclusive Prosperity (EfIP) with an initial set of 10 policy briefs. The briefs open with an introductory statement of our philosophy and go on to specific policy recommendations for finance, trade, labor markets, social policy, technology policy, and political institutions. The network is co-directed by Suresh Naidu, Gabriel Zucman, and me, and has 11 additional founding members. We hope to expand the group and we will add more policy briefs in the months ahead.

As we state in our introduction, we believe

mainstream economics – the kind of economics that is practiced in the leading academic centers of the country – is indispensable for generating useful policy ideas. Much of this work is already being done. In our daily grind as professional economists, we see a lot of policy ideas being discussed in seminar rooms, policy forums, and social media. There is considerable ferment in economics that is often not visible to outsiders. 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.

The problem is compounded by the lousy reputation Economics has acquired among proponents of an inclusive economy. Too often the discipline is viewed as the source of the policies that have produced the excesses and fragilities of our time. Mainstream economics and neoliberalism are viewed as one and the same.

We beg to differ:

Many of the dominant policy ideas of the last few decades are supported neither by sound economics nor by good evidence. 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.”

Posted by at 3:40 PM

Labels: Inclusive Growth


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