Reorienting the British Growth Model
The crisis that the British political economy faces is not at heart a crisis of debt; it is instead a crisis of and indeed for growth. It is, moreover, a crisis of and for an excessively liberalised Anglo-American form of capitalism and the Anglo-liberal growth model to which it gave rise. This is a form of capitalism and a growth model that was, as we have widely seen, inherently unstable. It threatened in the end not just the British economy but the entire world economy. It needs to be replaced in Britain and elsewhere by a new model of capitalism which SPERI is beginning to define as ‘Civic Capitalism’.
What is now required is a reorientation of Britain’s former, now discredited, growth model in the direction of both greater sustainability and greater equity. This can only be a gradual process, but it is important that this initial reorientation is achieved in the relatively near future. The proposed research has two dimensions, as follows:
National and Regional Investment
A key challenge in reorienting the British growth model is to ensure an efficient supply of credit to productive investment in the motors of new growth in the economy. This must be capable of nurturing the transition to a more clearly export-led growth strategy in both goods and services and of starting to reverse historically low levels of productive investment in the economy and thereby addressing the long-standing balance of trade problem. The appointed SPERI research associate would review, summarise and contribute further to literatures on national and regional investment banking, considering the relative merits of different national models and the role they have played in promoting export-led growth. He/she would also look at the literatures on the relative merits of public and private investment strategies, the economic benefits of infrastructural investment and its most efficient mechanism for funding, as well as the literatures on trends on interest rate spreads on commercial and consumer borrowing before and after the crisis. He/she would consider the extent to which the targeting of credit to support investment-led export growth might serve to suppress demand in the consumer economy by refocusing credit from consumer to commercial lines, as well as how best to identify and target sectors of the economy most conducive to the generation of export-led growth. Finally, the fellow would explore in depth the range of industrial policies being pursued today in the world’s leading economies, particularly those that have proved themselves able to weather the storm of the crisis whilst improving their balance of trade positions.
Income inequality, living standards and growth
UK and US patterns of growth over the past twenty years have been characterised by growing inequality. It is important to understand whether this is an inevitable condition of growth in the current global and technological context or whether it is possible to ensure that the dividends of future growth are appropriately and fairly shared. The appointed SPERI research associate would also focus on reviewing, summarising and contributing to the literatures which show and map the distributional asymmetries in the growth dividend during the periods of the ‘great moderation’, the immediate financial crisis and subsequently. It is especially important that these are mapped regionally. Attention would also be devoted to the comparative position of other leading economies that have been better able to respond to the crisis without widening social inequalities and explanations sought for their capacity to do so. The work of the fellow would also have a dual focus throughout: both on strategies to promote growth that is likely of itself to be more evenly shared and strategies, such as those associated with the promotion of a living wage, for redistributing the proceeds of whatever growth is achieved. It is important to try to think of such strategies working in harmony, since both types are likely to be needed.
The appointed research associate would be expected to publish the fruits of his/her research online as SPERI Papers and, as appropriate, in conventional academic outlets. He/she would also be responsible for providing informal briefings on the progress of the research to relevant policy-makers and other bodies at intervals during the course of the research programme. A one-day workshop would be organised by SPERI at the end of the research to promote its dissemination in the appropriate policy and public environments. The appointed research associate would be expected to take the lead in shaping the format of this workshop.
The post is fixed-term and will run from 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2015.
You can apply for this job by searching the reference UOS006671 on the University jobs page.