Fourth Roundtable of the Next Left Economic Circle – The fiscal compact: an heterodox analysis

11/04/2012

The fiscal compact: an heterodox analysis” is the title of this new roundtable with guest speaker Malcolm Sawyer, Professor of Economics at Leeds University Business School.

One of the cornerstones of the new fiscal compact put forward by European leaders is the concept of “structural deficit” which should not exceed 0.5% of member states’ nominal GDP and is to be passed into law at constitutional level or an equivalent. The failure to respect such a limit would be automatically sanctioned, reinforcing the pro-cyclical character of European economic policy.

These views seem to us very grounded in orthodox theory and may result in negative outcomes, reinforcing the current macroeconomic, financial and sovereign crisis. However, some views and policies, based on alternative heterodox economic thinking, allowing to expect a higher and more balanced and sustainable economic growth, can be envisaged. These are the points developed during this roundtable

See the slides of the Malcolm Sawyer’s presentation

Meeting documents:

The contradictions of balanced structural government budgets – University of Lead – Malcolm Sawyer

Background

The roundtables of the next Left Economic Circle bring together progressive economists from different European institutions, from civil society organisations and the business sector, who wish to evaluate the economic theoretical corpus behind economic policy proposals. The roundtables consist of regular public meetings, co-organised by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the Global Progressive Forum (GPF) and are co-chaired by Liem Hoang-Ngoc (MEP, S&D Group at the European Parliament) and Stephany Griffith-Jones (Professor of Economics, Columbia University). They take place in the European Parliament in Brussels (translation in French and English) at lunch time. For each roundtable, a renowned economist is invited as a guest speaker.

See the former roundtables of the next Left Economic Circle

Speaker  

After studying Mathematics at the Oxford University, Professor Malcolm C. Sawyer studied economics in London. He taught economics in London, York and Leeds, and became head of Economics Division, at the University of Leeds in 1998. Since 2003, he has been Member of Steering Committee, Conference of Heads of University Departments of Economics. He was also Guest Research Fellow, International Institute of Management, Berlin (1985), and visiting scholar, at the New School (1997), at La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia, March/April 2002), at Korea University, (Seoul, Korea, May/June 2002), and at the University of Missouri Kansas City, USA, (September/November 2002).  Malcolm C Sawyer served as consultant and advisor to the OECD on public expenditure on income maintenance and health provision (substantial contributions to O.E.C.D. Public Expenditure on Income Maintenance, 1976 and Public Expenditure on Health, 1977) and on income and wealth distribution as part of their Social Indicators Programme (1975-1981), to EEC on industrial matters, to Royal Commission on the Distribution of Income and Wealth (1977-8) to National Institute for Economic and Social Research on Unemployment (1984-85).  He published many books, mainly with P. Arestis including, among others: Re-examining Monetary and Fiscal Policies in the Twenty First Century (2004),  The Euro: Evolution and Prospects (2001), A Handbook Of Alternative Monetary Economics, Financial Liberalization : Beyond Orthodox Concerns (2006), The Rise of the Market : Critical Essays on the Political Economy of Neo Liberalism (2004), ‘Inflation targeting and central bank independence: we are all Keynesians now! or are we?’ (Journal of Post Keynesian Economics / Summer 2006), ‘The nature and role of monetary policy when money is endogenous’, and ‘Can monetary policy affect the real economy?’(European Review of Economics and Finance).

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