We know that although economic theory may be speculative, its impact is powerful and real. Since the 1970s, it has been closely associated with a sweeping change around the world—the “market turn.” This is what Avner Offer has called the rise of market liberalism, a movement that, seeking to replace social democracy, holds up buying and selling as the norm for human relations and society.
Our confidence in markets comes from economics, and our confidence in economics is underpinned by the Nobel Prize in Economics. Was it a coincidence that the market turn and the prize began at the same time? This and similar questions will be at the centre of a discussion which will also mark the beginning of an exciting new project of Promoting Economic Pluralism.
Avner Offer describes the origins and power of the most important prize in economics, explore this and related questions by examining the history of the prize, the history of economics since the prize began, and the simultaneous struggle between market liberals and social democrats in Sweden, Europe, and the United States.
His work draws on previously untapped Swedish national bank archives and providing a unique analysis of the sway of prizewinners, He will offer an unprecedented account of the real-world consequences of economics—and its greatest prize.
Avner Offer is Chichele Professor Emeritus of Economic History at the University of Oxford and a fellow of All Souls College and the British Academy.