Monday, September 27, 2010

ECONOMICS FOR REAL PEOPLE - “The Politics of Economics: Property Rights & the Rule of Law”

UoA Econ Group 28 Sept-1

Tomorrow evening at our regular Auckland Uni economics meet-up, we discuss an important but frequently overlooked topic in economics. 

Most economists and economic historians disregard the very political and legal foundations of their subject.
    Economic reasoning can be likened to a suspension bridge—you can have all the fancy engineering and analysis you like, but at some point all that fancy talk has to reach down into the solid rock of law and secure political institutions.
    Yet most economists take these foundations for granted. They think of economics only as a discussion of economic data, or mathematic formulae. But those data and those equations—and, more especially, all the assumptions behind them—growth is a function of “capital formation,” for example—are all highly derivative abstractions, mere cables on the suspension bridge.
    The solid rock that underpins all the major economic assumptions are the foundations of property rights, enforceable contracts and an independent judicial system—underpinnings that you disregard at your peril.
    So why does virtually every economist ignore them?
    This week, we’ll take a flying visit through some of the major assumptions underpinning all economic reasoning that economists hardly ever discuss.

        Date: Tuesday 28th September
        Time: 6pm
        Room: University of Auckland Business School, Owen G Glenn Building, Room 317 (Level 3)

All welcome, from students, to non-students. 
Look forward to seeing you then!
Fraser, Julian & Peter

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