treating a crisis like a crisis
Since our launch in November 2019, we have been asking ourselves a series of questions such as: Why are economists not more concerned about the environmental emergency? Despite the concept of scarcity lying at the heart of the subject, why are economists failing to see just how scarce this window of time is and just how scarce our remaining carbon budget is? Perhaps they get the scale of this crisis, but if so, why are their concerns not translating into actions, in the form of curriculum changes, articles in top journals and successful climate policies?
Our puzzlement at the insufficiency of the answers that economists often give motivated this report.
If, as a community, we are going to try to push the profession to do more, we better first understand why it has not yet done enough. A better diagnosis of the reasons will, we think, help the community get closer to the real leverage points for change.
To help us make sense of why the profession has not done enough and how this might change, we conducted interviews with nine leading economists on this issue: Yanis Varoufakis, Jane Mariara, Dimitri Zenghelis, David Colander, Penny Mealy, Jayati Ghosh, Claudia Kemfert, Grieve Chelwa and Michael Jacobs. There are many valuable insights entailed in the report – have a read!