INET/YSI Pre-conference @ STOREP 2019

Jun 25–27, 2019 | 17:00 – 13:00 Download .ics

Università di Siena, Dipartimento di Economia Politica e Statistica |


Deadline: 15 June 2019

The Institute for New Economic Thinking and the Italian Association for the History of Political Economy (STOREP) announce a day and a half of lectures, workshops, and debates held on the 26th and 27th of June, just before the annual STOREP conference, in Siena, Italy.

The joint event aims at bridging the divide between economics and history, by revamping a methodological tradition of teaching and research, which desperately needs further development. Such tradition sees history as a fundamental instrument of economic analysis and the history of thought as a resource to draw upon in the discussion of both theoretical and policy oriented issues. The historical perspective in economics allows connecting the past and present plurality of approaches and is foundational to the advancement of new ideas and methods, tailored to the questions we want them to address.

Program here!

YSI Working Groups

Young scholars will present work in the following subject areas:

INET Mini Courses

Two parallel lectures, presenting an account of the different ways in which specific economic issues have been addressed, and to explain the theoretical, empirical and philosophical underpinnings, as well as the implications of each. This year the two lectures will be “Labour market reforms and economic theory” with Prof. Antonella Stirati and “Understanding Industrial Structures and Political Outcomes” with Prof. Thomas Ferguson. (a short description follows)

  1. Understanding Industrial Structures and Political Outcomes (Thomas Ferguson)
    Economics and economic history are now awash in works purporting to relate politics to economics and vice versa. Many are implausible on their face and some are downright embarrassing. This course considers how to do the job better. The approach is not highly theoretical, but mostly practical. At times it will almost resemble a cookbook and, perforce, it will have to move fast over a lot of ground. Questions we will consider include: Firstly, how do think about the problem in general, with a stylized glance at some of the literature. Then brief discussion of models that hardly ever work, like median voter and public choice approaches. Then we take up how to analyze industrial structures and relate them to political parties and state decisions. Here the approach is very down to earth: Where do you get data and how to test it, including how to get out of econometric holes you have dug yourself into. We will briefly look at some cases, including the American New Deal, the Nazi seizure of power, and some recent American presidential elections.

  2. Labour market reforms and economic theory (Antonella Stirati)
    The focus of the lectures will be on the following questions: what is the evidence about the effects of labour market flexibility? Is flawed theory at the roots of ineffective policies? What is the ‘political economy’ of such policies? Indeed increasing evidence has accumulated over time about the lack of correlation between labour market institutions and labour market performance, and about the ineffectiveness of labour market ‘reforms’ (i.e. deregulation) in promoting unemployment reduction. Why have such policies failed? A possible answer is that the economic theory that has provided support for the ‘reforms’ aimed at liberalizing the labour market is fundamentally flawed. An alternative view of the working of the labour market, which has deep roots in the history of economic thought, based on the principle of effective demand and a ‘conflict’ theory of income distribution appears to be internally consistent and in accord with empirical evidence. However, labour market deregulation may not have failed vis à vis other targets, for example income redistribution in favour of non labour incomes.

Rethinking Economics

Rethinking Economics Torino will also be represented at this pre-conference, and is organizing two sessions for participants to enjoy on Thursday June 27th:

  1. EMPIRICAL LAB: Network analysis and the history of economic thought (Alberto Baccini)
    An empirical lab to explore methods and programs for applying network analysis to science, with Professor Alberto Baccini (a short description follows).

    Network analysis is the study of graphs as a representation of relations between discrete objects. Despite the use of network analysis in the social studies of science dates long back, the applications to economic thought and its history are still rare. The aim of this short workshop is to present a couple of applications of network analysis to HET. The first one is about interlocking editorship, that is the crossed presence of scholars in the editorial boards of scientific journals; the second is about the network of co-citations between economic journals. The main software for visualizing and analysing network data will be summarily presented.

  2. LECTURE: Title TBD (Alan Kirman)
    More information coming soon

About the Young Scholars Initiative (YSI)

YSI is a community of 8049 students, young professionals, and researchers from across the globe pursuing new and critical ways of thinking about the economy.

The working groups are the backbone of the YSI community. Each group pursues questions of mutual interest by organizing webinars, workshops, conferences, and other projects.

This event contains the participation of the Keynesian Economics Working Group, the Economics of Innovation Working Group, the Gender and Economics Working Group, the Philosophy of Economics Working Group, the History of Economic Thought Working Group, the Political Economy of Europe Working Group, and the States and Markets Working Group.

About STOREP 2019

STOREP 2019 - The Social Rules! Norms, Interaction, Rationality
The 16th Annual STOREP Conference will be held at the Università di Siena, on June 27-29, 2019.

Dissatisfaction with homo oeconomicus and a utilitarian view of rationality is pervasive in current economic theory, even that part of it that is more akin to mathematical modelling. As the assumption that aggregate behaviour can mirror that of the representative agent has proved to be flawed, economists are increasingly scrutinizing the identity of economic agents, with an emphasis on both the importance of social interaction in shaping it and the influence exerted by the groups individuals belong to. Social dynamics looms large over individual rationality: interpersonal interaction, cooperation and social norms have become central topics of multidisciplinary oriented research.

In truth, historians of economics and economic thought can legitimately consider this a required turn in economic theory. At least after Donald Winch’s work, they have forcefully argued that even the supposed intellectual godfather of economic liberalism, Adam Smith, did not endorse an unrestrained version of individualism, but rather explored the nature of individuals as part of a wider inquiry into the institutional and social contexts wherein they operate – institutionalists will later speak of an “institutionalized man”. Similarly, the recent crisis encouraged extraordinary attention to suggestions coming from Keynes scholars who had been denied attention before it. Theoretical frameworks for analysing the financial meltdown and policy proposals to counteract it now show some distinctly Keynesian trait, with the economics profession searching for clues that orthodox models, also owing to their neglect of the heterogeneity among individuals who act under uncertainty, could not effectively deliver.

The 2019 STOREP Annual Conference in Siena invites contributions exploring the difficulties economics has in dealing with the social dimension of the interactions among individuals and seeking routes to constructively address it. The conference is intended to discuss the complex pattern of interdependence between individuals and society, relying on contributions from a variety of perspectives: history of economics, economic history, a plurality of theoretical approaches and cooperation with other disciplines. How social norms emerge and become stable? Why an established norm may suddenly be abandoned? How is it possible that inefficient norms survive, and which are the incentives motivating people to obey norms? Studies placing emphasis on the theoretical insights and policy implications of assuming individual behaviour as the outcome of social interaction, but also contextual analyses of how social attributes develop, are welcome.

Further Info on STOREP 2019 and invited speakers here.

General Registration

The pre-conference is now open for general registration. Admission to the pre-conference is free but capacity is limited. Interested young scholars can register here until June 15, 2019.

Event location

Università di Siena,
Dipartimento di Economia Politica e Statistica,
P.zza S. Francesco 7-8,
53100 Siena

Partners and sponsors

Event Partners


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