As the coronavirus crisis shows, the western social contract is threadbare. In his new book The Economics of Belonging, which he will talk about in this online event, Martin Sandbu traces the economic roots of polarisation, showing that globalisation has been wrongly blamed. He proposes a programme of “centrists radicalism” that can restore an economy that works for everyone while maintaining international openness.
Martin Sandbu (@MESandbu) is the Financial Times’s European Economics Commentator. He also writes Free Lunch, the FT’s weekly newsletter on the global economic policy debate. He has been writing for the FT since 2009, when he joined the paper as Economics Leader Writer.
Before joining the FT, he worked in academia and policy consulting. He has taught and carried out research at Harvard, Columbia and the Wharton School, and has advised governments and NGOs on natural resources and economic development. He is the author of three books, on business ethics, the euro, and on “the economics of belonging”. He was educated at the universities of Oxford and Harvard.
Alan Manning (@alanmanning4) is professor of economics at the London School of Economics. He was chair of the UK Migration Advisory Committee until earlier this year. His expertise is on labour markets including, but not confined to, the impact of migration.
Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSESandbu
About the Book
Fueled by populism and the frustrations of the disenfranchised, the past few years have witnessed the widespread rejection of the economic and political order that Western countries built up after 1945. Political debates have turned into violent clashes between those who want to “take their country back” and those viewed as defending an elitist, broken, and unpatriotic social contract. There seems to be an increasing polarization of values. The Economics of Belonging argues that we should step back and take a fresh look at the root causes of our current challenges. In this original, engaging book, Martin Sandbu argues that economics remains at the heart of our widening inequality and it is only by focusing on the right policies that we can address it. He proposes a detailed, radical plan for creating a just economy where everyone can belong.
Sandbu demonstrates that the rising numbers of the left behind are not due to globalization gone too far. Rather, technological change and flawed but avoidable domestic policies have eroded the foundations of an economy in which everyone can participate—and would have done so even with a much less globalized economy. Sandbu contends that we have to double down on economic openness while pursuing dramatic reforms involving productivity, regional development, support for small- and medium-sized businesses, and increased worker representation. He discusses how a more active macroeconomic policy, education for all, universal basic income, and better taxation of capital could work together for society’s benefit.
Offering real answers, not invective, for facing our most serious political issues, The Economics of Belonging shows how a better economic system can work for all.
Martin Sandbu has been writing about economics for the Financial Times since 2009. Having started out as the newspaper’s economics leader writer, he is currently FT’s European economics commentator and writes its Free Lunch premium economics newsletter. Previously, he was a senior research fellow at the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His books include Just Business and Europe’s Orphan (Princeton). Twitter @MESandbu