Windows of Opportunity: how nations create wealth

Hosted by the School of Public Policy

Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House


Lord Sainsbury

Lord Sainsbury


Minouche Shafik

Minouche Shafik

Is neoclassical growth theory dead? Why have the biggest industrial economies stagnated since the financial crisis? Is the idea of a competitive threat from China due to a lack of understanding of economic theory or is it a genuine danger to our standard of living? 

At this event David Sainsbury will set out a new theory of economic growth which explains why the G7 countries have experienced slowing rates of labour productivity over the last twenty five years, the so-called ‘productivity puzzle’, and put forward policies which governments can adapt to innovate and restore their rates of economic growth.

In his new book which he will be talking about at this event David puts forward a new theory of economic growth, placing individual firms' investment decisions in the central role. He argues that economic growth comes not as a steady process, but as a series of jumps, based on investment in high value-added firms. He suggests a new theory of growth and development, with a role for government in 'picking winners' at the level of technologies and industries rather than individual firms. With the role of industrial policy at the centre of the Brexit debate, but a significant intellectual gap in setting out what that policy should be, this talk could not be more timely.

David Sainsbury was Finance Director of J. Sainsbury plc from 1973 – 1990 and Chairman from 1992 – 1998. He became Lord Sainsbury of Turville in October, 1997 and was appointed Minister of Science and Innovation from July 1998 until November 2006. He is the founder of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and founded and chairs the Institute for Government. He was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in October 2011.

This event marks the publication of David's new book, Windows of Opportunity: How Nations Create Wealth.

To pre-order a copy of Windows of Opportunity: how nations create wealth, which can be collected from independent bookshop Pages of Hackney at the event, please go to Windows of Opportunity: how nations create wealth.

Minouche Shafik is Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to this she was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.

The LSE School of Public Policy (@LSEPublicPolicy) is an international community where ideas and practice meet. Our approach creates professionals with the ability to analyse, understand and resolve the challenges of contemporary governance.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEWealth

This event forms part of the “Shape the World” series, held in the run up to the LSE Festival, a week-long series of events taking place from Monday 2 to Saturday 7 March 2020, free to attend and open to all, exploring how social sciences can make the world a better place. The full programme is available online and tickets can now be requested. 


A podcast of this event is available to download from Windows of Opportunity: how nations create wealth.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

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This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email
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