1st INFER-Workshop on Economic Policy: Contemporary Aspects of the Third Way in the New Economy
From: 2000-06-03 to: 2000-06-03
Place: Trier, Germany
Two terms, the "Third Way" and the "New Economy", have spread from the USA to Europe especially in the last three years. These buzzwords found much attention in the media, in politics and in academia recently.
The "Third Way" has gained particular prominence in the UK and Germany following the elections of the Blair and Schröder governments. It defines its political space between free-market liberalism and old-fashioned leftism. It criticises the anti-market bias of the "old" state interventionism in goods, capital and labour markets and in the social insurance and welfare systems in a globalising world characterised by a new kind of structural change towards knowledge-based services. These changes are responsible for the relative decline of industrial production and possibly for the end of prosperity for all. The approach stresses that the "New" much more competitive "Internet-Economy" has rendered some traditional approaches such as Keynesian employment policy ("deficit spending") obsolete or even counterproductive. The Third Way, therefore, relies more on a "left wing" supply side policy which seeks to improve employability and inclusion.
The "New Economy" paradigm credits mainly technological advances in computers, telecommunications and media for raising living standards, possibly weakening the business cycles. At least by reputation, the New Economy leads to a long boom (new golden age) on a higher growth path with higher efficiency due to more competition, lower inflation and more employment chances. The USA since 1997 is said to be proof for that.
The aim of the conference was to analyse current aspects of the debates, in particular interrelationships among the two characteristic developments, and to draw economic policy conclusions for Europe.
Recent Developments in the Theory of Economic Policy and the Third Way
Dr. Lothar Funk, Universität Trier und Institute for German Studies, Birmingham
The New Economy: How Real is the Phenomenon?
Dr. Michael H. Stierle, Independent Research, Frankfurt
The Political Economy of Utility Regulation under Labour
Dr. Martin Lodge, University of Ulster
Social Partnership and the Third Way
Dr. Steve French, Universität Warwick und Institute for German Studies, Birmingham
Structural Change and how to Stabilise Employment: An Inconsistency in Economic Policy
Dr. Frieder Schmitz, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, Frankfurt
Publication of papers
The papers presented at the conference have been published as INFER Studies Vol. 1.
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