How the transformation of two thirds of the world’s population from starvation to moderate prosperity will affect us all.
Free public lectures given by Douglas McWilliams in his role as Gresham Professor of Commerce.
The Greatest Ever Economic Change
Are we sleepwalking into the most serious economic challenge that we have ever faced without any serious thinking about its scale and implications? We will examine the industrialisation of two thirds of the world in its historical context, make comparisons with previous major economic challenges and cover some of the implications of the huge speed with which transformation is taking place.
Is the growth in the emerging economies additional or are we growing more slowly?
Speakers look at the limits to world economic growth from an environmental and economic perspective. Will inflation caused by rising primary product prices be likely to be the key constraint on economic growth? Douglas McWilliams, Thras Moraitis and Mike McWilliams consider whether this constraint will bite at a sufficiently slow rate for the impact of the extra growth in emerging economies to mean that the West will have to grow more slowly.
A New Theory of Economic Growth
Traditional economic growth theory is based on a view that economic capacity is fully utilised. But with huge changes in relative advantage, it is possible for a part of the world to be faced with such a huge loss of economic competitiveness that it is unlikely that it can price itself back to full employment without creating unacceptable inflation.
How to make Western Economies more Competitive
We will examine the practical implications of the new economic growth theory. With competitiveness and inflation as the main constraints on economic growth in the West, economic policy needs to be targeted at bringing down inflationary pressures and improving cost competitiveness.
Will there be a shortage of spending power?
This lecture will look at the world surplus of savings as incomes gradually shift proportionally towards those who traditionally save a high proportion of their earnings and away from those who traditionally spend most of what they earn. In theory, the excess savings should be matched by higher investment. In practice this is not happening.
The Winning and Losing Nations
A look at the world in 2020 and, more speculatively, 2050. Which countries are the likely beneficiaries of the changes? We will examine key major economies: China, India, Russia and Brazil, and key regions such as the Middle East and Africa, as well as the prospects for resource based economies, including Canada and Australia. It is a well known economic conclusion that Australia’s success at cricket tends to be negatively correlated with their economic success so we will predict who will be winning the Ashes in future years!
Speaker: Professor Douglas McWilliams