Economics

Political economy and the crisis

I had the great pleasure last night of speaking to the Economic Research Council on the subject of Political Economy and the Crisis.  I argued that:

  • Economics should become political economy, embracing the problem of knowledge in the social sciences, morality (think Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments) and public choice theory, in particular.
  • Classical liberalism is the most robust political economy.
  • The Austrian School offers important insights, particularly into business cycles and capital theory.
  • The Austrian School predicted and intellectually survived the crisis.
  • That reality is, or should be, a challenge to the contemporary paradigm.
  • The implications for financial reform are profound.

We had a lively Q&A covering subjects from the Chinese socio-economic model to the residual role of the state.  We agreed that we must not seek a rational reconstruction of society and we left outstanding the key challenge: to determine how to reform the financial system to deliver a free-market monetary regime.

My slides are available as a PDF here. For related reading, please see our primer and this article on the need for a paradigm shift in economics.

1 comment to Political economy and the crisis

  • Toby Baxendale

    Very good work Steve.

    We have only a handful , if that of people in Parliament who have a clue as to economics, you are one of them.

    The Keynes quotes never fail to disturb me.

    I hope this set of slides and quotes gets sent to every MP and I hope anyone reading this blog sends to 10 people each!