Economist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Abhijit Banerjee, says the Covid-19 pandemic arrived with a tough lesson for economists; that they spent years mischaracterizing economic problems and the role of the state in resolving them.
Banerjee was speaking at a webinar to celebrate the centenary of the University of Stellenbosch’s Economics Department on Friday afternoon. He also used the event to point out that public trust in economists was poor, with politicians being the only people trusted less in some countries.
Banerjee, who is also an Economics professor at the Ford International Institute, shared the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Sciences with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer in 2019. He cited his book, Good Economics For Hard Times, written by himself and Ms Duflo in 2019. The book outlines the importance of state intervention and policy in times of socioeconomic crisis.