Thursday, March 15, 2012

Top academic economists for a stronger social democracy (by Francesc Trillas)

In a document I am contributing to write for the Catalan Socialist Party and its Foundation (Fundació Rafael Campalans), on “The Economic Project of Social Democracy” I came across a substantial number of articles and books by top academic economists from the best universities working on the same topic. All of them have three things in common:
  1. They believe that the values of social democracy are the best hope for the social and economic organization of our societies.
  2. They think that it is necessary to update the application of these values to the needs of today’s globalized economies and, especially in Europe, to the current economic crisis.
  3. They think that economic research can make an important contribution to this debate.
Of all the references (which will be included in the first draft of the document when we are ready to circulate it), I would like to select three of them. One of them is the report “The Nordic Model” by a group of Scandinavian economists, among them Bengt Holmstrom, the specialist in the theory of the firm, who is the author of the chapter on the boundaries between the public and the private sector. The other is the book in French “Repenser l’État. Pour une social-démocratie de l’innovation” by Phillipe Aghion and Alexandra Roulet from Harvard University. They argue that there is an urgent need to go well beyond the Blairist third way in promoting much better market regulation and a deep fiscal reform to drastically reduce income inequality. And the third is also a book by top French economists, Camille Landais, Thomas Picketty and Emmanuel Saez, “Pour une Révolution Fiscale”. This book is associated to an excellent web page. Food for thought (and for action).

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