Saura Masconale was among the distinguished faculty members from around the world participating in the MGTA Summer School, Second edition in Villa Mondragone, Rome from June 19-21.

The Summer School, co-hosted by the Tor Vergata University of Rome, Tor Vergata Centre for Economic and International Studies, Tor Vergata University of Rome Department of Economics and Finance, and  ECONtribute: Markets & Public Policy (a joint initiative of the University of Bonn and the University of Cologne), reexamined a very classic theme in economic thought: the tension between markets and
government, from the perspective of contemporary economic theory. 

Masconale’s lecture, The Morality of Market Activism, was part of the summer school’s three-day curriculum, which focused, this year, on inequality, the design of markets and redistribution. Other prominent lecturers included Jan Eeckhout, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (“The Profit Paradox”);  Oded Galor, Brown University (“The Journey of Humanity: The Origins of Wealth and Inequality”); Alan Schwartz, Yale Law School (“The Logic of Legal Formalism”); Rajiv Sethi, Columbia University (“The
Economics of Group Inequality”).

According to the summer school organizers, “market outcomes are shaped by inequalities. Individuals come to the market with differences in skills and productive abilities that reflect differences in socioeconomic backgrounds, the lottery at birth. They also come to the market with differences in preferences, on how much of their time they want to sell for money, what their consumptions style should be and also in their views on the desirability of political interference with market outcomes.

The design of markets determines to what extent differences in preferences, abilities, income and wealth are amplified or moderated. For instance, the market power of firms affects how much consumers have to pay for goods and services and how much money the recipients of capital income can make. Governments frequently interfere to reach more equitable market outcomes.

This year’s summer school will discuss the principles that justify such interventions. It will also look at drivers of inequality in market-based societies, and, moreover, it will consider the question how markets and public policy should be designed in response.”     

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