Conniffe and Norvartis Prizes

The annual conference of the Irish Economic Association was held on the 10th and 11th of May at the Central Bank. More than 160 people attended the conference.

Alejandra Ramos (TCD) was awarded the Conniffe Prize for best paper by a young economist at the conference. Alejandra received the prize for her paper titled “Household Decision Making with Violence: Implications for Transfer Programs”.

Benjamin Elsner (UCD) and Florin Wozny (IZA) won the Novartis prize for the best paper in Health Economics at the conference. The winning paper was titled ” The human capital cost of radiation: Long run evidence from exposure outside the womb”

Prof Wendy Carlin (UCL) and CORE gave the ESR lecture “The Econ 101 paradigm is broken – what is the alternative?” Her slides from the talk

IEA Dublin ESR Guest Lecture 2018

Prof Olivier Blanchard (Peterson Institute) gave the Edgeworth lecture “Should we reject the natural rate hypothesis” His slides from the talk

Edgeworth Lecture IEA 2018

On the IEA website there are plenty of pictures from the conference

Gerard O’Reilly

7 replies on “Conniffe and Norvartis Prizes”

Congratulations to the winners.

This link
might be useful.

This CORE project is a fabulous development and deserves every success. It brings capitalism and capitalists, productive and non-productive rent-seeking and the exercise and abuse of market power back in to the frame. But I’m not sure how revolutionary it is (in terms of advancing a paradigm change). The existing corpus of economic theory and practice is enormously diverse and provides hugely valuable insights on all sorts of economic activities – and activities that mightn’t appear to have economic aspects at first sight. There are certainly some presentational issues, but probably not a lot more than that. Most economists doing teaching and research do an excellent job.

However, it is when it comes to the interaction between the relatively small portion of economic theory and practice that bears on public policy that most of the prominent economists who operate in this area and the economcs they practice have been captured by corporate capitalists, oligarchs and high net worth individuals (HWNIs). And the latter, in turn, have also suborned the governing politicians. This is what gave us the “efficient markets hypothesis”, the de-regulation of finance and of the trading of derivatives, the privatisation mania, the demonisation of anti-trust policies, the protection and cossetting of monopolies, the emasculation of economic regulation, the rigging and subversion of market mechanisms, the never-ending pursuit of unproductive economic rents, the concerted shrinking of the state in terms of provision of services to those most in need of them, the battering of trades unions and the exploitation of individualised, atomised workers and consumers.

The existing corpus of economic theory is well able to describe, explain and quantify these outcomes. But it would be career-threatening, if not career-ending, if those with knowledge and competence in addressing these public policy outcomes were to do so and to propose remedies. Indeed those who facilitated and justified these outcomes (or turned a blind eye) were well rewarded.

If it helps to recast the presentation and teaching of long-established and new economic insights then well and good. But what we need are public policy remedies and the means of securing the democratic plurality to implement them.

“Prof Wendy Carlin (UCL) and CORE gave the ESR lecture “The Econ 101 paradigm is broken – what is the alternative?” Her slides from the talk ….”

Slides? Useful if they were available.

Gerard, thanks again for putting up Prof Carlin’s presentation. Its detailed, lengthy and not that easy to follow so I have had to resort to reading the Core e-book as well.

My first impression of the CORE text (based on a limited and selective reading) is that CORE is not a paradigm shift – in economic terms. It appears to resemble the Neoclassical status quo. But I’ll keep reading.

Several items did catch my attention: A mention of Malthus. Now this chap cannot be proven wrong – precisely because his basic insight is based on fundamental concepts of the Physical Law (about which he knew nothing). So far, he’s been correct and will continue in this vein. Perhaps he was somewhat unobservant and bit previous, as they say. And no. great technologies will not lead us toward Green Pastures. Arid deserts – perhaps.

Famous Economists? Mostly of the male and WEIRD type. Most classical and pre-1970 economists are now basically redundant since there was a paradigm shift in the real economy during the 1970s and 1980s – but the economic theorists remained behind. Unfortunately the economists who do really matter are actually not economists at all, but are scientists and engineers who drifted in from the outside. If their economic insights were incorporated into CORE it might indeed represent a paradigm shift of sorts.

The most glaring gap, to me, is that there is no comprehensive treatment of the physics of economic processes – since energy consumption is the foundation of all contemporary economies. And I refer to the consumption of fossil fuel energy, rather than electricity, which is after all, merely a generated form of energy. If we should, foolishly, attempt to reduce our essential dependence on fossil fuel consumption our economies will, axiomatically, stagnate and decline.

Lastly. So far in my reading I have failed to uncover any mention of the not insignificant economic problem of exponential nature of rates-of-growth (of economies). Economies are physical, energy consuming processes and their physical expansion cannot continue on an exponential trend line. All such rates-of-growth must eventually inflect over to zero: then they will decline.

Mention was made of Paul Samuelson and I presume the person had Samuelson’s 1948 undergraduate text in mind. Its a 608 page monster – but Part I (chapters 1 thru 11) are streets ahead of the CORE text as an introduction to Economics. If any of you can get a copy of this text – then do so. Mind you, you do have to read it to understand it. The Figs. are simple and b/w. And its devoid of econometric mumbo-jumbo. How did Samuelson, later on, go so badly astray?

Comments are closed.