Current Issue

Volume 16, Issue 1

June 2022

Table of Contents

Newspeak and Economic Theory: How We Are Being Talked To
By Jean-Paul Fitoussi
This article seeks to show how the impoverishment of language has changed the course of
economic theory, much as Newspeak changed the order of things and the political regime in
George Orwell’s 1984. At the origin of such an evolution was a stratagem: to act as if
neoclassical theory was subsequent to Keynesian theory. The inversion of time’s arrow had
far-reaching consequences for the development of economics. In great part, the development
of a science depends on the scholars who practice it and on its teaching to the new researchers
who will develop it further. Both depend on the history of language. The consequences for
economic policies have been major, especially in Europe. With the cancelation of most
Keynesian concepts from the Newspeak dictionary, the relative weights of market and state
were changed, which could only lead to a preference for liberal market-oriented policies. Click here to read the paper.

Creative Destruction and US Economic Growth
By Philippe Aghion and Peter Howitt
This paper argues that the growth of large, efficient but anticompetitive superstar firms is responsible for the recent slowdown in US economic growth. The argument is based on the growth theory that we have previously developed and tested, which is based on the concept of creative destruction. Click here to read the paper.

China's Journey to Social Equity
By Lu Mai
The This article summarizes the core concept and development of common prosperity in China.
Over the years, China laid out different polices to tackle the issue of social equity, yielding many positive results. But challenges still exist. The article examines the need to realize common prosperity in the future and explores effective ways to achieve the goal. The author also proposes the idea of investing in child development as an important path toward common prosperity and gives some examples of pertinent interventions.​​ Click here to read the paper.

How to Improve Ranked-Choice Voting and Democracy
By Eric Maskin
The essay explains how ranked-choice voting leads to election outcomes that better represent
what voters want compared with first-past-the-post, the traditional American voting system.
It also shows that there is an even better system: majority-rule. Click here to read the paper.

Tensions and Demands in Society, Economic Justice and Progressivism, and Yet Another Way Forward
By Edmund Phelps
This paper, adapted from a presentation at the Center on Capitalism and Society in November 2021, is in three parts. The first notes the demands being made by various groups of actors in the economy. The second, recalling the principles of Frank Ramsey on the optimum national saving and John Rawls on optimum wage distribution in a neoclassical economy, ponders how far society will want to go beyond these beginnings. The third brings in my thesis on what is, for most people, the huge importance of work—particularly work’s role in the good life—and on the role of capitalism in enriching work and enabling grassroots innovation. Click here to read the paper.

Crisis of Democratic Capitalism
By Martin Wolf
Capitalism and democracy should be viewed as complementary opposites. Unfortunately, the tension has recently become dominant. Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow the results of the US presidential election in 2020 is a paramount example of the consequent rise of antidemocratic populism. An important part of the explanation has been a failure to spread prosperity more widely. The needed response is to reestablish the idea of citizenship as one of mutual responsibility. Click here to read the paper.