This event, chaired by Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, is part of the Festival of Economics. The panel will discuss how an individual person’s characteristics (skills, experience, family background) and their social context combine to shape their economic opportunities. Is poverty best addressed by policies for people or policies for places? Why do ‘poverty traps’ have postcodes? And in the context of an economic downturn, is there any hope for progress on reducing poverty? The panellists are: Geoff Andrews, senior lecturer in politics, Open University and author of The Slow Food Story: Politics and Pleasure; Paul Gregg, Professor of Economic and Social Policy, and Director of the Centre for Analysis and Social Policy at the University of Bath; Lynsey Hanley, writer, author of Estates: An Intimate History; Paul Johnson, Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
We remain in a deep financial and economic crisis. The economy and economics will be irrevocably changed by the crisis. The Festival of Economics will confront the economists with their critics, bringing together academic economists, practitioners of economics, and challengers from both inside and outside the subject. It will celebrate economics, an intellectually powerful discipline with a rich history, and also look at its recent failures. Economics has a profound influence on politics and public policy: it is too important to be left to economists. See the full list of Festival events HERE.
Julia Unwin is Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust. She was a member of the Housing Corporation Board for ten years and a Charity Commissioner from 1998-2003. Julia was also Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency and worked as an independent consultant operating within government and the voluntary and corporate sectors. She previously held a position as chair of the Refugee Council from 1995 until 1998, and is currently a member of the University of York’s Council and a member of Ashridge Business School’s Board of Governors. Read her JRF blog HERE.
Geoff Andrews is Senior Lecturer in Politics at The Open University and the author of Not a Normal Country: Italy After Berlusconi (2005) and The Slow Food Story: Politics and Pleasure (2008). He is also an Open University Media Fellow and was closely involved with the OU-BBC co-production The Secret History of Our Streets, shown on BBC2 this year. He is currently researching the role of class in contemporary British history. Read his OpenLearn posts HERE.
Paul Gregg is a Professor of Economic and Social Policy, and Director of the Centre for Analysis and Social Policy at Bath. He was a member of a CBI steering group on Getting the UK Working, and a commission on youth unemployment run by AVECO and headed by David Miliband. He was formally a member of the Council of Economic Advisors at HM Treasury 1997-2006, where he worked on unemployment, welfare reform and child poverty. He recently joined the Governing Board of the New UK Birth Cohort Study and is also a programme director at the Centre for Market and Public Organisation at the University of Bristol covering families, children and welfare.
Lynsey Hanley contributes commentary pieces, arts features and book reviews to the Guardian and New Statesman, and has written for the Observer, Times Literary Supplement, Prospect, RSA Journal, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, and Sunday Times. She has appeared on BBC2′s Newsnight; BBC Radio 4′s Start The Week, Analysis and The World at One; BBC Radio 3′s Night Waves and Sunday Feature; BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Radio London and Resonance FM. Her main areas of interest are social class; economic, social and spatial segregation; the British education system; public policy; built-up areas; mass media and popular culture. Her latest book is Estates: An Intimate History. Read her Guardian articles HERE.
Paul Johnson is Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Formerly, he was a Research Fellow at IFS and an Associate of Frontier Economics. From 2004 to 2007 he was director of the public services and growth directorate and Chief micro-economist at HM Treasury, as well as deputy head of the Government Economic Service. He previously worked in senior posts at the Department for Education and Skills and the Financial Services Authority. Until 1998 he was a full-time researcher at IFS, eventually taking on the roles of deputy director and head of the personal sector research programme.
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