In “This is a True Age of Uncertainty” published in The Guardian, Barry Eichengreen commemorates the fortieth anniversary of John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Age of Uncertainty by comparing the issues that concerned Galbraith with those we confront today. Eichengreen writes: “Viewed from the perspective of 2017, however, the uncertainty of 1977 seems enviable. Although The Age of Uncertainty was about much more than the year 1977, it captured the tenor of the times. But if Galbraith was writing the same book in 2017, he probably would call the 1970s The Age of Assurance.”
Thus, Hyman Minsky’s 1996 exhortation is even more urgent today: “The tolerance for uncertainty is limited. When uncertainty leads to an unsatisfactory result, then it becomes the duty of society in general to protect its citizens against the consequences: a sacrifice of narrow technical efficiency may be called for.” What can institutional economists contribute to help fulfill this social obligation? The objective of the 2019 AFEE Conference is to continue the organization’s long tradition of generating and disseminating ideas and policy recommendations to help ensure widely-shared social progress.
Although we encourage submissions on all topics related to evolutionary economics, preference will be given to those closely aligned with the conference theme. The following are examples of issues that may be addressed:
1. The fraying of political institutions as a consequence of hyper-globalization.
2. Financialization and the persistence of economic imbalances.
3. Polanyi’s double movement: A resurgence of economic liberalism, or a protective response?
4. Politics, science, and climate change.
5. Refugees, migrants, and human rights.
6. The future of macroeconomic stabilization policy in an age of austerity.
7. Technological change (especially robotics and artificial intelligence) and job or basic income guarantees.
8. Income and wealth inequality.
9. Race, gender, and class: widening or narrowing differences?
10. Theoretical or historical studies of uncertainty.