Purpose of conference







For registration information please contact Sanna Markkanen


Economic Policies Since The Global Financial Crisis

Purpose of conference

How have economic policies changed under the impact of the 2007/09 Global Financial Crisis (GFC)? Before the GFC, there had been belief in the ‘great moderation’, the belief that ‘new consensus macroeconomics’ and ‘inflation targeting’ ‘worked’; de-regulation and the financial sector were highly beneficial, inequality deemed needed for growth. The global economy appeared to be set on a path of continuous growth. The GFC exploded many of these ideas – yet have economic policies changed in response? How has the ‘conventional neo-liberal wisdom’ on economic policies changed? In the immediate aftermath of the GFC, attention focused on fiscal policy responses, on the development of ‘unorthodox’ monetary policies, and the regulation of the financial sector (e.g. Dodd-Frank Act). The fate of these three policy developments is examined. The fluctuating attitudes towards fiscal policy and austerity programmes are examined at the national and supra-national level including international organisations (IMF, OECD etc.). Monetary policy appears to have often shifted its policy objectives away from inflation targeting to financial stability and the use of quantitative/qualitative easing: does this represent a new era of monetary policy? And have attitudes to the financial sector and its regulation fundamentally changed – or is it ‘business as usual’? Output in 2016 is in general only a little higher than in 2007, and hence growth of output much lower than in the preceding decade. Does this represent a failure of demand recovery, and/or a shift to a much lower growth rate, and will the future be one of secular stagnation? Industrial policy had generally fallen out of favour in the decades of the ‘great moderation’. Have there been any significant changes? It is now widely recognized that inequality has tended to widen in many industrialised countries, and concern over inequality (for example, Occupy Wall Street etc.) become significant. But has there been any shift in the record on inequality and on the effective policy agenda with regard to inequality? How have labour market policies fared? Has the experience of unemployment promoted policies of more ‘flexible’ labour markets and depression of wages succeeded? How have environmental policies fared after the GFC? Has the opportunity of undertaking ‘green investment’ been taken, or has the austerity programme and the prospects for slow growth had adverse effects?

The conference will be held under the aegis of the The Cambridge Trust for New Thinking in Economics and is intended to explore further the contributions to New Thinking in Economics - 'New Economics' - as the new mainstream. New Economics is concerned with institutional behaviour, expectations and uncertainty as opposed to traditional economics with its emphasis on equilibrium, mathematical formalism and deterministic solutions. With the financial crisis brought on by the unrestrained pursuit of personal and corporate profit, sanctioned by traditional economics, this is an opportune time to establish a new way of approaching economic understanding, based on new economic theory. It is also a good time to bring forward new ideas on the approach to economic policy across a wide range of areas (for example, macroeconomic and global governance, employment and unemployment, social security and pensions, as well as environmental issues).

New thinking in economics is an interdisciplinary approach to economic problems that acknowledges and respects the insights and analysis of other disciplines, e.g. those of political science, ethics, history and engineering. It also recognises complexity and evolutionary theory as relevant to understanding economic systems and economic behaviour.

We wish to emphasise the new thinking in economics that goes beyond the traditional approach, which arguably is no longer mainstream economics.



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