In a public lecture co-hosted by SPERI and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, leading economist Michael Jacobs called for a rethink of economic orthodoxy and the embracing of innovation to address increasing inequality.
Professor Michael Jacobs, Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy (UCL), detailed the flaws in mainstream economic thinking that have led to a prolonged period of low growth and stagnating living standards. It touched on many of the arguments included in his recently launched book Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, co-edited with Professor Mariana Mazzucato, winner of the 2014 NewStatesman-SPERI Prize for Political Economy.
The book brings together leading economists, including Joseph Stiglitz, Carlota Perez and Andrew Haldane, to challenge orthodox ideas about economic theory and the policies that result from it, as well as providing alternatives that could build more sustainable and inclusive economies.
During the hour long talk, Professor Jacobs criticised the failure of current economic policies to encourage innovation and investment, as well as the inability of contemporary capitalism to achieve fair distributions of income and wealth and tackle global issues such as climate change.
A lively Q&A with the 250-strong audience followed with questions on the Paris climate agreement, government debt and spending, and the acceptance of economic orthodoxy by the political left.
The lecture is available to watch online on the SPERI Youtube channel.