I am delighted to have won the inaugural New Statesman / SPERI prize for political economy—announced today!
The prize is “awarded biennially to the scholar who has succeeded most effectively over in disseminating original and critical ideas in political economy to a wider public audience in the preceding two or three years” and the shortlist featured some very high-calibre economists whose work I greatly admire – Thomas Piketty, Ha-Joon Chang, Simon Wren-Lewis, Wolfgang Streeck and Anne Wren.
I’m hoping to have the same luck later this week with the German prize Wirtschaftsbuchpreis, being announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 9th—again up against Piketty!
While it is great to win prizes, my key concern remains to contribute to a fundamental rethink of how policy makers approach economic growth, at both the micro and macro level. In particular, how to drive ‘smart’ innovation led growth which also tackles the most dysfunctional aspect of today’s capitalism: rising inequality. To do so, it is not enough to make tax systems work in a more re-distributive way– we need to fundamentally rethink how we talk about wealth creation in the first place. Ignoring the key role of the state – and hence the taxpayer – in wealth creation has, in my view, been a lead cause of inequality, allowing some (hyped up) actors to reap a rate of return way beyond their actual contribution. In other words, it is not only the financial sector that has socialised risks and privatised rewards, this is just as true of the ‘innovation economy’. And both must be reformed.
As part of the prize I will be giving a lecture in London next month and I intend to focus on this dysfunctional dynamic – and what to do about it.
The Prize Jury was Helen Lewis, Deputy Editor of the New Statesman; George Eaton, Political Editor of the New Statesman; Professor Tony Payne, Director of SPERI; Professor Andrew Gamble, Professor of Politics at the University of Cambridge and Chair of the International Advisory Board of SPERI; Sarah O’Connor, Economics Correspondent at The Financial Times; and Gavin Kelly, Chief Executive of The Resolution Foundation.
New Statesman SPERI Prize Lecture
I will be giving the New Statesman SPERI Prize Lecture at the Emmanuel Centre in London at 6.30pm on Thursday 13 November. Its title will be: “Smart growth: an innovative way to tackle inequality”. The lecture is free, but places are limited.
Read the full announcement.
Find out more about my book, The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private myths.
Watch my TED Global talk on the Entrepreneurial State.