Deirdre McCloskey's recently completed trilogy on the "Bourgeois Era" argues that ideas and attitudes, not institutions or utility maximizing agents, led to a tremendous increase in human betterment over the last 250 years. Before the innovations and the inventions that would change the world came a paradigm shift in the way people started thinking about entrepreneurs, innovators, craftsman, and lenders. In this interview, we will discuss the history of economic ideas from Shakespeare to modern times, the importance of dignity and liberty, observations from a recent visit to Chile, what the sources of and impediments to prosperity are, and why we should be optimistic about the future of economic growth.
Deirdre McCloskey is a Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. McCloskey has written 17 books and over 400 academic articles on a wide range of subjects, the most recent of which include Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World; Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World; and The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce.
More About the Speakers
Deirdre McCloskey, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication,
University of Illinois at Chicago
Director, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies,
and the Richard F. Aster Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
David R. Burton
Senior Fellow in Economic Policy