Philip Hammond has recently made a rather startling confession for a Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer: that 'the market' is currently failing fairness tests in the distributional outcomes it is producing in the UK. However, his solution saw him quickly restored to partisan type, idealising 'textbook' market institutions and setting as the future goal returning to the way market outcomes are 'supposed to' operate. This SPERI Comment blog post highlights the continued reification of ideal-typical market constructions within Conservative Party political rhetoric. 'The market' is still capable of producing the best possible outcomes, Hammond seemed to be saying, even if the Government of which he was a key member had found it impossible to secure the conditions under which this might be so.
The question of why uncertainty does not feature more prominently as an economic ontology requires answers that are rooted in intellectual history. This post, the sixth in the SPERI series on uncertainty, searches for them by looking at how economic history has become increasingly colonised by economic theory, and economic theory by mathematics.
Recent criticisms of the mathiness of many economists has raised the question within the blogosphere of whether a fundamental fault-line has now punctured economics orthodoxy.
On July 4th 2016 I acted alongside Colin Hay as one of the two discussants on the panel at the SPERI Conference in Sheffield entitled, 'Exploring Alternative Growth Models'. The two papers being discussed were written by David Coates, Wake Forest University ('Riding the Tiger: Towards a New Growth Strategy for the Political Left') and Terence Casey, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology ('Rupture or Reform? In Defense of Neoliberalism').
Even though 'Victorian values' have become bywords for reactionary social policy, the 1866 budget shows that today's Conservative Party fares badly by comparison. Watch out for what lies underneath Osborne and Cameron's claims that eliminating the deficit is a matter of inter-generational justice.
Business executives will continue to tell us how to cast our votes in May’s UK General Election. But, before being persuaded, check the evidence on both sides of the argument.
Re-posted on March 27th 2015 on the Tax Justice Network's Fools' Gold blog: http://foolsgold.international/stefano-pessina-and-the-two-sides-of-speaking-up-for-business/.
Recent research from the UK suggests that such policies constitute hand-outs, rather than effective means to shape firms’ investment decisions.
Re-posted on March 12th 2015 on the Tax Justice Network's Fools' Gold blog: http://foolsgold.international/the-false-promise-of-corporation-tax-cuts/.
In Fear of Flash Crashes: Stock Market Wobbles Past and Present
The new era of high-frequency trading threatens future prosperity.
Posted on 19.06.14 at http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2014/06/19/fear-flash-crashes-stock-market-wobbles-present/.
The Nobel Prize and the Reproduction of Economics Orthodoxy
This year's economics laureates reflect the narrow purview of the prize and the entrenchment of familiar but limited ways of thinking about economic life.
Posted on 30.10.13 at http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2013/10/30/nobel-prize-reproduction-economics-orthodoxy/.