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The Darwin Economy: liberty, competition, and the common good

Department of Management and
BBC Radio 4 public conversation


Who was the greater economist--Adam Smith or Charles Darwin? The question seems absurd. Darwin, after all, was a naturalist, not an economist. But Robert Frank, New York Times economics columnist and best-selling author of The Economic Naturalist, predicts that within the next century Darwin will unseat Smith as the intellectual founder of economics. Frank's bew book is entitled The Darwin Economy|. In this conversation with Paul Mason, economics editor of BBC 2's Newsnight, Frank will argue that the reason for this is that Darwin's understanding of competition describes economic reality far more accurately than Smith's. The consequences of this fact are profound and our failure to recognize that we live in Darwin's world rather than Smith's is putting us all at risk by preventing us from seeing that competition alone will not solve our problems. The good news is that we have the ability to tame the Darwin economy. The best solution is not to prohibit harmful behaviours but to tax them. By doing so, we could make the economic pie larger, eliminate government debt, and provide better public services, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. That's a bold claim, Frank concedes, but it follows directly from logic and evidence that most people already accept.

Robert H. Frank is an economics professor at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management and a regular "Economic View" columnist for the New York Times, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos. His books, which have been translated into 22 languages, include The Winner-Take-All Society (with Philip Cook), The Economic Naturalist, Luxury Fever, What Price the Moral High Ground?, and Principles of Economics (with Ben Bernanke).

The event will be broadcast on Monday 14 November at 8.30pm on Analysis on Radio 4 with a repeat at 9.30pm on Sunday 20th November. Analysis examines the ideas and forces which shape public policy in Britain and abroad.


Speaker(s):

Professor Robert H. Frank | talks
BBC Storyville Editor Paul Mason | talks | www

 

Date and Time:

10 November 2011 at 6:30 pm

Duration:

1 hour 30 minutes

 

Venue:

London School of Economics & Political Science
Houghton Street
London
WC2A 2AE

http://www.lse.ac.uk/events

More at London School of Economics & Political Science...

 

Tickets:

Free

Available from:

This event is free and open to all however a ticket is required. One ticket per person can be requested on Tuesday 1 November.

LSE students and staff are able to collect one ticket from the New Academic Building SU shop, located on the Kingsway side of the building from 10am on Tuesday 1 November.

Members of the public, LSE staff and alumni can request one ticket via the online ticket request form which will be live on this weblisting after 10am on Tuesday 1 November.

The ticket request form will be online for around an hour from going live. If after an hour we have received more requests than there are tickets available, the line will be closed, and tickets will be allocated on a random basis to those requests received. If after an hour we have received fewer requests than tickets available, the ticket line will stay open until all tickets have been allocated.

Due to changes on the LSE website we can no longer control exactly when a page will update, so it may take a few minutes to appear.

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press seat or have a media query about this event, email pressoffice@lse.ac.uk|.

Additional Information:

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check the listing for this event on the LSE events website on the day of the event.

For any queries email events@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6043.

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