Concerns about growing and changing inequalities are gaining momentum in public debate. The COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted inequalities by showing how deep and multifaceted they are in our economic systems, encompassing dimensions such as access to care, digital technologies, and infrastructures. Furthermore, while massive interventions by governments contained somewhat the explosion of inequalities in the first waves of the pandemic, concerns about rising inequalities in the medium term are pressing due to likely long-term damages of COVID-19 and the risk of a too-rapid withdrawal of these policies, for example in response to inflationary pressures or concerns about excessive public debt. The lack of appropriate social safety nets can also exacerbate gender and racial inequalities in the post-COVID era.
Old and new forms of inequality raise enormous challenges and call for robust and cogent explanations and policy-making responses. Alternative theoretical and methodological approaches capable of representing and interpreting these disequilibria are required to prescribe policies for economies to escape the triple crisis of our times (economic, health and climate crisis).
In the 40th anniversary of Nelson and Winter’s “An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change” and Dosi’s first article on technological paradigms and trajectories, the 2022 conference will provide unique opportunities to revisit and reconsider the foundations of inequalities and structural change, to discuss alternative theories at the macro, meso and micro levels, and to enrich the evolutionary background with insights from diverse fields such as complexity science, biology, political and international studies, development, gender and labour studies, physics, philosophy, sociology, and management science among others.
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