“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms. . . . I found a flaw . . . in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works.”
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The market collapse has brought not only financial crisis but a crisis of faith in what Ronald Reagan famously called “the magic of the market place.” If the current state of the U.S. economy makes clear that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s faith in free markets was misplaced, the question remains: what was it about free markets that proved — and still continues to prove — so alluring to economists, scholars, and policy-makers alike?
THE FREE MARKET MINDSET: History, Psychology, and Consequences, the March 7 conference to take place at Harvard Law School, brings together leading scholars in law, economics, social psychology, and social cognition to present and discuss their research regarding the historical origins, psychological antecedents, and policy consequences of the free market mindset. Their work illustrates that the magic of the marketplace is partially an illusion based on faulty assumptions and outmoded approaches.
- Anne Alstott (Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law at Havard Law School),
- James Cavallero (Executive Director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School),
- Christine Desan (Professor of Law, Harvard Law School),
- Jon Hanson (Alfred Smart Professor of Law, Harvard Law School),
- Bernard E. Harcourt (Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and professor of political science, University of Chicago),
- Sheena Iyengar (Professor, Management Division, Columbia Business School),
- Douglas Kysar (Professor of Law, Yale University),
- Gillian Lester is the Sidley Austin Professor of Law at Havard Law School
- Stephen Marglin (Walter S. Barker Chair in the Department of Economics, Harvard University),
- Jaime Napier (Ph.D student, Social Psychology, New York University),
- Ben Sachs (Assistant Professor of Law, Harvard Law School),
- Juliet Schor (Professor of Sociology, Boston College),
- Barry Schwartz (Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action, Swarthmore College),
THE FREE MARKET MINDSET: History, Psychology, and Consequences promises to be an invigorating and illuminating discussion about the unexamined premises behind the policies that led to our current crises and about how we can avoid making the same kinds of mistakes in the future.
This event is free and open to the public. To register or learn more details, go to the conference website, here.