Jan 26, 2021
This episode, we have a guest on the show that I'm very excited about. Professor Steve Keen is an economist and author who has been a longstanding critic of neoclassical economics, which has included writing the bestselling Debunking Economics book and hosting the podcast of the same name, as well as developing several alternative models of the macroeconomy. In recent years, he has turned his attention to how neoclassical economics has tried to deal with the issue of climate change... and, well, the fact that his paper is called "The appallingly bad neoclassical economics of climate change" probably tells you something of how he has responded to it.
I was lucky enough to detain him for quite a while, so I've split the interview into two parts. They complement each other, but they can be listened to independently, depending on what you're interested in.
The first part deals with Professor Keen's background, his critique of neoclassical economics, the parallels - and differences - between economics and physics, and a little about financial crises and possible steps we could take to deal with the economic fallout of COVID-19.
The second part dives deep into the critique of the neoclassical economics of climate change: specifically, how economists have consistently been overconfident in their projections of climate damages and arguably helped lead us towards weak climate policies, and how we might hope to change this in the future. I think this is an incredibly important message and subject to discuss and debate, because unfortunately this stuff has been extremely influential - to the point where one of the main culprits has the so-called Nobel Prize in Economics - so I really urge everyone to listen to that.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Physical Attraction, and thank you to Steve Keen for being so generous with his time and agreeing to be interviewed. You can find Steve on Patreon at www.patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen where you will have access to a good number of podcasts and posts on economics for free, and where you can subscribe for further access to more shows. He's also on Twitter @ProfSteveKeen where you can keep up with the latest news on this work.
You can find us online at physicspodcast.com. There, you'll find the episode guide on the About page, where you can find all of the episodes we've done on subjects ranging from the birth of stars to the end of the world, and the episodes in the ongoing Climate 201 series which talk about the science, economics, and policy of climate change in much, much greater depth. There you can also get in touch with me with any comments, questions or concerns you might have through the contact form, and you'll also find links to support the show on Paypal for a one-time donation or Patreon for longer-term subscriptions. Thanks very much to everyone who has done that already. Until next time then, please do - take care.