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Professor Estefania Santacreu-Vasut publishes a book on economics – with a message

17-12-2018
Professor Estefania Santacreu-Vasut publishes a book on economics – with a message

Estefania Santacreu-Vasut, Professor of Economics at ESSEC Business School, in collaboration with Tom Gamble, publishes the book The Nature of Goods and the Goods of Nature: why anti-globalisation is not the answer with the UK publishing house Imprint Academic. This compelling work aimed at the wider public focuses on simple economic concepts with an objective: demonstrate in a tangible way that the standpoint on anti-globalisation is not an answer to the major issues facing the world today.

 “A year ago, we were witness to the rise of populism, Brexit, and migrant crises…We told ourselves that another voice had to be heard.” Estefania Santacreu-Vasut, Professor of Economics at ESSEC Business School, is filled with gravity when she lists the challenges the world faces. She chose to speak about these issues – both societal, economic, and political – but especially demystify them in her latest work The Nature of Goods and the Goods of Nature, co-authored with Tom Gamble, Associate Director at the Council on Business & Society. “We can perfectly see that in the political situation today there are rifts, clashes. The context of what divides society attracts much more than what unites it.”

With the book, they searched to open the reader’s mind to thought in an educational way. The book skillfully picks up on major economic concepts (goods, social capital, transaction costs, etc.) and explains them through concrete examples which everyone can relate to. Like the basketball fought over by a pair of twins to illustrate the notion of rival goods. “There is a lot of jargon in research – this mustn’t be an obstacle for readers. I would hope we’ve succeeded in keeping the meaning while removing this barrier. Research should be brought closer to the wider public.”

But The Nature of Goods and the Goods of Nature  is not an idealistic dictionary on economic theory. Through the story of a reunion between a former student and her old professor, and the quest of a journey to Enfer (literally Hell – a village that really exists in France), the authors invite the reader to see the world in a different light. As such, they provide an optimistic message which encourages evolution and change. “It’s an open book which isn’t a giver of lessons and which draws upon factual elements of history. How can we think in a dynamic way for change to be seen as an opportunity? We want to put back the truth into the heart of the debate. For example, we currently hear a lot about “waves” of migrants – a very aggressive, frightening term. Whereas history shows that countries welcoming migrants are extremely dynamic in terms of innovation and the economy.”

For Estefania Santacreu-Vasut, researchers have a leading role to play in times of crisis. "There is a perception that researchers sometimes live in an ivory tower. However, people do pick up what they say – though often somewhat late. A good balance has to be found. I don’t see myself today locked in my office behind a computer screen. A researcher has to be socially and politically engaged, especially in these disciplines.” An engagement that  is also echoed in the world’s institutions. Recently, Estefania Santacreu-Vasut was invited in an advisory role to the OCDE on the issue of gender during the Global Forum Competition.

 

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