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Foro Odisea Siglo XXI

Si algo caracteriza el transcurso de estos primeros veinte años del siglo XXI es, paradójicamente, la ausencia de una síntesis consolidada que permita categorizar la realidad contemporánea bajo una fórmula suficientemente descriptiva.

Como nos ha enseñado la larga historia del pensamiento, también en este caso las dificultades conceptuales son un elocuente índice de la resistencia del objeto a someterse a la disciplina del lenguaje, porque la nueva realidad no ha encontrado aún su forma de expresión definitiva. Y es, precisamente, esa incertidumbre, en la que lo antiguo todavía no ha desaparecido y lo muevo pugna por emerger lo que define una época de transición.

Con mucha modestia, pero también con mucha ilusión pretendemos iluminar con una pequeña luz, por débil que sea, el mundo en el que vamos a vivir.

¡Os invitamos a todos a esta apasionante tarea!

Mariano Bacigalupo

Consejero de la CNMC. Profesor Titular de Universidad (UNED). Miembro del Consejo Académico de Fide

Álvaro Lobato

Patrono Fundador de Fide.

Jorge Padilla

Senior Managing Director de Compass Lexecon en Europa. Miembro del Consejo Académico Internacional de Fide

Publicaciones Recomendadas

Descubre todas las publicaciones, resúmenes de sesiones y demás documentos relacionados a la actividad de este foro:

Nicolas Baumard


Since the Industrial Revolution, human societies have experienced high and sustained rates of economic growth. Recent explanations of this sudden and massive change in economic history have held that modern growth results from an acceleration of innovation. But it is unclear why the rate of innovation drastically accelerated in England in the eighteenth century. An important factor might be the alteration of individual preferences with regard to innovation resulting from the unprecedented living standards of the English during that period, for two reasons. First, recent developments in economic history challenge the standard Malthusian view according to which living standards were stagnant until the Industrial Revolution. Pre-industrial England enjoyed a level of affluence that was unprecedented in history. Second, behavioral sciences have demonstrated that the human brain is designed to respond adaptively to variations in resources in the local environment. In particular, Life History Theory, a branch of evolutionary biology, suggests that a more favorable environment (high resources, low mortality) should trigger the expression of future-oriented preferences. In this paper, I argue that some of these psychological traits – a lower level of time discounting, a higher level of optimism, decreased materialistic orientation, and a higher level of trust in others – are likely to increase the rate of innovation. I review the evidence regarding the impact of affluence on preferences in contemporary as well as past populations, and conclude that the impact of affluence on neurocognitive systems may partly explain the modern acceleration of technological innovations and the associated economic growth.

Keywords: Life History Theory; cultural evolution; psychology of poverty.


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Benjamin M. Friedman. Knopf


In The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, Benjamin Friedman argues that growth reduces the strength of interpersonal income comparisons, and thereby tends to increases the desire for pro-social legislation, a position he supports by drawing on the historical records of the US and several Western European countries. We test this hypothesis using a variable from the World Values Survey that measures an individual’s taste for government responsibility, which we interpret as a measure of the demand for egalitarian social policy. Our results provide support for a modified version of Friedman’s hypothesis. In particular, we find that the taste for government responsibility is positively related to the recent change in the growth rate and negatively related to the change in income inequality. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for attempts to further the egalitarian social goals.


Keywords: Growth, Morality, Welfare state, Redistribution, Preferences, Values


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  • Fausto Panunzi,  Bocconi University – Department of Economics; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
  • Nicola Pavoni, Bocconi University – Department of Economics
  • Guido Tabellini, Bocconi University – Department of Economics; Bocconi University – IGIER – Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research; Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research (CESifo)


Date Written: August 25, 2020


This paper studies electoral competition over redistributive taxes between a safe incumbent and a risky opponent. As in prospect theory, economically disappointed voters become risk lovers, and hence are intrinsically attracted by the more risky candidate. We show that, after a large adverse economic shock, the equilibrium can display policy divergence: the more risky candidate proposes lower taxes and is supported by a coalition of very rich and very disappointed voters, while the safe candidate proposes higher taxes. This can explain why new populist parties are often supported by economically dissatisfied voters and yet they run on economic policy platforms of low redistribution. We show that survey data on the German SOEP are consistent with our theoretical predictions on voters’ behavior.


Keywords: populism, prospect theory, behavioral political economics


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Coordinación Académica: Victoria Dal Lago Demmi


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