The European Union's economic system is under severe strain. The union's two pillars, the Maastricht Treaty (meant to facilitate capital movements), and the Schengen Convention (aimed at fostering the free movement of labor), are falling apart. Yet, in a sense the Euro, the European Union currency, is a success story. Being the biggest success of economic science, the euro is at the same time the biggest failure for the economic profession. Why have professional economists endorsed a European economic system whose inevitable failure had been foreseen not only in research papers, but even in undergraduate textbooks? What are the historical, sociological, anthropological reasons of this unprecedented “trahison des clercs”? Building on his recent research, Professor Alberto Bagnai presents his insights on this issue, looking at the Eurozone crisis from the perspective of both the “core” and the “peripheral” countries.
Alberto Bagnai, Associate Professor of Economic Policy at the Gabriele d’Annunzio University in Pescara (Italy), holds a PhD in Economic Sciences from La Sapienza University in Rome (Italy). Professor Bagnai is a research associate at the Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée à la Mondialisation (University of Rouen, France), where he studies the relations between trade and growth in emerging countries (with a special focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia). Since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, he put forward what is now called the “new consensus view” on the crisis, that traces back the crisis to private financial imbalances.
His recent publications include “Italy’s decline and the Balance-of-Payments constraint: a multicountry analysis” (International Review of Applied Economics, 2015), “Sub-Saharan Africa's growth, South-South trade, and the generalised balance-of-payments constraint” (Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2015) with Arsène Rieber et al., “Long- and short-run asymmetries and hysteresis in the Italian gasoline market” (Energy Policy, 2015) with C. A. Mongeau Ospina, and "Unhappy families are all alike: Minskyan cycles, Kaldorian growth, and the Eurozone peripheral crises, in Post-Keynesian views of the Great Recession and its remedies” (Palgrave McMillan, 2013). His two books on the crisis, Il tramonto dell’euro (The fall of the Euro, Imprimatur, 2012) and L’Italia può farcela (An Italy That Can, Il Saggiatore, 2014), became bestsellers and promoted a renewed debate on the single currency in Italy.
Associate Professor of Economics Rodrigo Zeidan will be introducing Professor Bagnai.
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