Article

Inequality and the Future of Capitalism


The Research Network Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies (FMM) organises its 18th annual conference on Inequality and the Future of Capitalism with introductory lectures on heterodox economics for graduate students.

As the outbreak of the financial crisis approaches its seventh anniversary, large parts of the world economy are still in stagnation. The financial system remains highly fragile, and high levels of unemployment and income inequality are posing a serious threat to social peace and political stability in many countries. Some commentators even see the world economy doomed to secular stagnation with high levels of unemployment being the new normal. Others point to the “return of capital”, with wealth and inheritances becoming once again the dominant source of economic inequality in a context of low income growth. Is rising inequality an outcome, or rather one of the root causes of economic fragility and stagnation? Can capitalist production be sustained in the presence of increasing inequality, particularly in the top income and wealth percentiles? What can macroeconomic policy, macroprudential regulation and labour market institutions do to counter these trends? How could international cooperation and organisations promote equality and stability? And what are the implications for the teaching of economics? How can the economics curriculum be changed to account for the developments we see?

The submission of papers in the following areas is encouraged:

  • Causes and consequences of inequality and stagnation
  • Theory and empirics of the interlinkages between distribution and growth
  • Possibilities and limitations of regulatory and fiscal policy
  • Long-run perspectives of capitalist production and distribution
  • Working time and employment in a stagnating economy
  • Reform of the economics curriculum

For the open part of the conference the submission of papers on the general subject of the Research Network – Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies – is encouraged as well. We also ask for the submission of papers for graduate student sessions on both the specific topic of this conference and the general subject of FMM. There will also be a day of introductory lectures for graduate students on 30 October prior to the opening panel. Hotel costs will be covered for participants presenting in the graduate student sessions (for a maximum of four nights from 30 October to 2 November).

The deadline for paper proposals is 30 June 2014. Please send an abstract (max. one page) to fmm@boeckler.de. Decisions will be made in early August. In case of acceptance, full papers are due by 15 October, to be posted on the conference web page. Selected papers will be published after the conference in a special papers & proceedings issue of the European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention (EJEEP). The conference language is English.

Registration forms for the conference and the introductory lectures will be made available online via this conference webpage by mid-August.

Share your perspective