POLITIQUE & INSTITUTIONS — Politique

Christos Koulovatianos (Professeur d’économie à l’Université du Luxembourg)

«Economic crisis: Keynes was right!»



More importantly, a debate forces us to discuss the limits of what we know and what we do not know about these questions. (Photo: Michel Brumat)

More importantly, a debate forces us to discuss the limits of what we know and what we do not know about these questions. (Photo: Michel Brumat)

Le mercredi 2 décembre, le Paperjam Club organise une conférence inspirée des débats tenus par l’union des étudiants de la prestigieuse Université d’Oxford. Christos Koulovatianos aborde, en prélude et en trois questions, sa défense de cette motion.

Mr. Koulovatianos, how have you prepared for this debate? What is, according to you, the most dangerous aspect of this exercise? 

"In a sense I have been preparing for this debate throughout my career. Ever since I studied economics I have been questioning naiveté of Keynesian reasoning regarding modern issues in economics. As always, a danger is to fail retaining a disciplined, fact-based debate.

Do you think that the format brings another dynamic to a message you could spend in a more traditional conference?

"Yes. At conferences scientists have the chance to elaborate on technical issues which keep researchers busy, often for years. Some technical issues are most important for our understanding of economic mechanisms. Yet, talking about how to resolve technical issues does not force economists to reach useful conclusions at a certain time. A debate helps us to discuss what the most important policy relevant questions are. Importantly, a debate forces us to discuss the limits of what we know and what we do not know about these questions.

What do you think this debate on Keynes can give to the public, in the economic and social context of the end of 2015?

"The public should become familiar with one idea: economic issues are too complex to be contained in an ideology or in a catch-all approach; instead, knowledge is power. More importantly, some basic knowledge about economic mechanisms is the least pre-requisite for being a responsible citizen in a democracy. A key takeaway from such a debate is to motivate the public to be alert in order to constantly keep learning more about how economic policy works. Every time an epidemic starts, the public is ready to hear about prevention details by experts, there are no shortcuts to this information procedure. I doubt whether the relationship between economic experts and the public is mature enough in after similar incidents."

Les inscriptions au débat «Economic crisis: Keynes was right!» sont accessibles sur le site du Paperjam Club

Marc Wagener et Carlo Klein (faculty member, Miami University - Luxembourg Campus) défendront le point de vue pour.
Hilmar Schneider (directeur général au Liser) et Christos Koulovatianos (professeur d’économie à l’Université du Luxembourg) défendront le point de vue contre.