On 9th June, INET Oxford staff, students, and visitors gathered, along with colleagues from our partner Departments, to review the year of academic work as well as discuss the centre’s views on current issues facing the world today.
It was the first such in-person gathering since the pandemic, and Executive Director, Eric Beinhocker noted that the centre had continued to grow during that period reaching its current 131 affiliated members, including 12 senior faculty, 16 research fellows, 24 postdocs, 30 DPhil students, and a global network of 33 external Associate members. Prof. Beinhocker noted that INET Oxford can proudly claim to be the largest hub of new economic thinking in the world, as well as the largest training centre, with over 45 alumni from its DPhil and postdoc programmes.
The group reviewed research from each of the centre’s major programmes, including Employment, Equity & Growth, Economic Modelling, Climate Econometrics, Complexity Economics, Macroeconomics, Economics of Sustainability, and a new cluster of work around “Value and Values”.
The meeting also included two panel discussions. In the first, the group attempted to synthesise across the centre’s work on climate and economy issues to address the question, “Can we thrive in the anthropocene?” The consensus was that from a technological and economic view the answer is “yes”, but issues of political economy and mental models, both amongst decision makers and the public, remain major impediments to progress. The second panel asked “Is there a new economics perspective on inflation?” The view was that standard models and measures had serious flaws, and that new models and metrics are needed that capture the multiple structural, causal drivers of price level changes, as well as the heterogeneity of price movements across the product space. The group also discussed the serious impacts the cost of living crisis was having on many households, and policy approaches to help mitigate it.
The group closed the meeting looking ahead to the next academic year which will be the 10th anniversary of the INET Oxford centre and several events are being planned to mark the occasion. It is clear that after 10 years, while much progress has been made, the need for new economic thinking to address our challenges remains as vital and urgent as ever.