INET President: Rebuilding A Moral Economics

Introduction at Reawakening

Rob Johnson kicks off INET’s “Reawakening” conference with his take on how economists can win back the trust of a world that has rejected experts

Introducing #INET2017, our “Reawakening” conference in Edinburgh, INET President Rob Johnson explores the role of morality, history, and teaching in shaping what a “good economics” looks like, and how these themes infused the mission and content of the conference

“I believe we’re living in a void, a void that has to be filled,” explains Johnson, referring to the task the economics profession is facing amid widespread rejection of experts. Just as Adam Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment broke with medieval hierarchies, so too must economists today break with the profession’s old orthodoxies and rigid academic structures. They both prevent economists from seeing what is “hiding in plain sight”— as in the run-up to the global financial crisis— and stifle the imaginations and creativity of young people interested in the field.