Lessons from Extreme Economies. A discussion with Author Richard Davies

Steve and Richard will discuss two chapters from his recent book Extreme Economies. Zataari is a refugee camp in Northern Jordan that can teach us surprising lessons about free markets, economic systems and human dignity. The Darien Gap, sitting between Colombia and Panama, provides lessons on free market failings, sustainability and common pool resources. Both are especially relevant to the new IBDP Economics syllabus.
RICHARD DAVIES is an economist and author. He is a Professor at Bristol University, a fellow at the London School of Economics and director of the Economics Observatory. He has been Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers at HM Treasury, an economist and speechwriter at the Bank of England, and economics editor of The Economist.

Extreme Economies is based on 100,000 miles of travel, and over 500 interviews with people living in the most difficult, pressurised and volatile circumstances on earth. From war zones, natural disasters and failed states, to the extremes of aging and the challenges of technological advance the people in this book live on the edge. Their lives tell stories of human resilience—economic, social and personal—how it works and how it can fail. These lives at the edge, often so unlike our own, may seem an odd place to look for clues about the modern economy. But the idea that extremes matter has impeccable provenance—it is a foundation stone of both medicine and engineering that economics has somehow overlooked. The lesson from science is clear: we ignore the extremes at our peril. (www.extremeeconomies.com)

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