Piketty, Stiglitz to advise Britain’s Corbyn on economy


Brighton (United Kingdom) (AFP) – French economist Thomas Piketty and US Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz are to be on a new panel advising British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the main opposition party announced Sunday.

The Economic Advisory Committee will meet quarterly under Labour finance spokesman John McDonnell to develop ideas for the party’s economic strategy.

Piketty is known for his best-selling work on wealth inequality, while Stiglitz is a long-time critic of the austerity policies pursued by many Western governments in the wake of the financial crisis.

“I am very happy to take part in this Economic Advisory Committee and assist the Labour Party in constructing an economic policy that helps tackle some of the biggest issues facing people in the UK,” Piketty said in a statement.

“There is now a brilliant opportunity for the Labour Party to construct a fresh and new political economy which will expose austerity for the failure it has been in the UK and Europe.”

The announcement comes as Labour begins its annual conference in Brighton on the English south coast, after the 66-year-old socialist veteran Corbyn rode a wave of grassroots support to be elected leader, shocking many party insiders.

“Our economy must deliver security for all, not just riches for a few,” Corbyn said as the panel was announced.

McDonnell, a left-wing ally of Corbyn’s who has advocated renationalising Britain’s railways and printing money for state spending, is due to set out his ideas in his first speech to the Labour conference on Monday.

“Austerity is failing the people of this country. Working alongside world leading economists Labour will present the coherent alternative our country desperately needs,” McDonnell said in a statement.

Also on the panel are University of Sussex professor Mariana Mazzucato, Anastasia Nesvetailova of City University London, former Bank of England economist Danny Blanchflower, Ann Pettifor of Policy Research in Macroeconomics and the University of Oxford’s Simon Wren-Lewis.


2 responses to “Piketty, Stiglitz to advise Britain’s Corbyn on economy

  1. I find the concept of security for all not riches for a few to be a very interesting goal. Mostly based on the almost complete opposite strategy being preached and coveted by many main stream politicians during the recent debates. The dynamic of part politics that has developed between the US and the UK are very similar but have produced such different results, especially when it comes to taxes. Despite socialized health care systems being employed successfully and to great benefit in many other western countries, the concept nearly broke many of the American people. The priorities of these two nations are a very interesting development regarding the use of taxes on the wealthy and powerful in order to protect the lowest members of society. I honestly wish that more Americans felt that they should have a moral obligation to be a decent human being and provide the small assistance that is derived from taxes as it doesn’t do a lot of harm to the individual but has the potential to do a greater good for society. Which sounds like a very logical process with a utilitarian bottom line of maximizing utility for all.


  2. I’m interested to see how these two shape the policies as the process continues. Stiglitz made it clear in his article “Do What We Did, Not What We Say,” that he notices hypocrisy in what we tell LDCs to do vs what we actually did (and do) as MDCs, but it was interesting to see that translate into austerity clauses. Austerity clauses make sense in some respects– cutting the costs in the government budget constraint– however, it is my guess that Stiglitz and Pikkety would be more concerned with “g” or the growth rate of the economy. Pikkety ended his book with a conclusion that g must exceed r, so I think we will definitely see that manifest itself in the policies as they gear towards increasing the steady-state growth rate.


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