Do economists’ ideas change the ways the economic world works?
While the conventional view is that ideas create policy change and economic change follows on - it is just not that simple. We can see what is involved by looking at major changes - such as the reconstruction of post-war economies, post-colonial economic development planning, or switching from capitalist to socialist systems. Designing such new kinds of worlds required new ways of thinking about how the economic world could work involving imagination and cognitive work, and new kinds of economic measurements and accounting systems to deliver that change. Economic ideas are ‘performative’ - meaning that they do change the ways economies work - but not on their own.
Meet our speaker and chair
Mary Morgan is the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of History and Philosophy of Economics in the Department of Economic History at LSE. Her research interests include history, philosophy and sociology of science, focussed on economics and statistics, models, measurements, experiments, observations and 'travelling facts'. She is the current President of the Royal Economic Society.
Patrick Wallis (@phwallis) is Professor of Economic History in the Department of Economic History at LSE. His research explores the economic, social and medical history of Britain and Europe from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.
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