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The Lessons of 1981 for Contemporary Japan

Sir Alan Walters will be giving the Hayek Centenary lecture on The Lessons of 1981 for Contemporary Japan at LSE on Tuesday 26 October.

Sir Alan, a key adviser to Lady Thatcher during much of her time in office, will discuss the events leading up to the sharp reduction in the public deficit enacted in Sir Geoffrey Howe's 1981 budget.

That budget decision was widely derided at the time by the economics profession, but Sir Alan will argue that it laid the foundations for the subsequent economic recovery and provided the essential background for the whole raft of structural reforms subsequently undertaken by the Conservative government.

Sir Alan will point to many similarities between Britain twenty years ago and Japan today. Japanese policy makers have relied on a succession of fiscal packages to get the economy going, particularly concentrated on infrastructure projects. The success of this strategy has been limited, and at best transitory.

Sir Alan will argue that a severe fiscal tightening, particularly through squeezing government spending rather than raising taxes, would have a beneficial effect on credibility and far from depressing the economy would more likely be expansionary, especially if it is accompanied by enlightened monetary policy.

The lecture is part of LSE's free public lecture series. It will take place in the Old Theatre, LSE, Houghton Street, London at 5.30pm.

It is a ticket only event, for a free ticket call Sadler's Wells box office, 0171 863 8222, quoting 'Hayek Lecture'. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday 12pm-6pm.

Other enquiries, call 0171 955 6043. If this event is not sold out, there will be admission on the night.


22 October 1999