A new societal contract

Produced by: 
Available from: 
May 2019
Paper author(s): 
Dennis J. Snower
Macroeconomics - Economic growth - Monetary Policy
Poverty - Inequality - Aid Effectiveness

This paper argues that the traditional societal contract that underlies the market economy has run its course and needs to be replaced by a new contract, based on a new conception of the “empowering economy.” Whereas different societal contracts are relevant to different societies, there must be some features that all societal contracts will have in common, in order to address some basic human needs that every thriving society must satisfy and to promote popular approval for multilateral agreements to address multilateral problems. The paper proposes a new societal contract that promotes three building blocks of economic policies: (1) automatic stabilizersthat reduce inequalities of economic power, (2) policies that focus not just on material prosperity, but also on personal and social empowerment and (3) policies that develop the human capabilities of cooperation and innovation.


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