Economies Live in Societies. Why Do So Few Economists Acknowledge That?

Rather than continue to narrow the field, economists need to ask what they’re missing


University of Chicago professor and former governor of the Reserve Bank of India Raghuram Rajan—who famously warned against financial market risks before the global financial crisis—discusses financial market volatility and how to restrain it, as well as debt and when it makes sense to write it off. He also touches on the impact of political dysfunction on economies, and why central bankers today shoulder so much of the burden of reviving economic growth. He sees the need for economists to be mindful of narrowing their focus too much, and to instead ask, “What are we missing? What aspect of society are we missing?” To get a better grasp of how economies actually work, economists need to account for financial, social, and political factors, says Rajan.

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