2021 Prais Lecture: State Capacity and Economic Growth: Cautionary Tales
State capacity – the ability to collect taxes, enforce law and order, and implement government policies – is accorded an important role in explaining economic growth.
This lecture will use historical evidence to raise questions about the usefulness of state capacity, both as an explanation of economic growth and as a concept more generally.
About the Speaker
Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie, Chichele Professor of Economic History, All Souls College at University of Oxford, is a specialist in economic history and Fellow of both the British Academy (FBA) and Academy of Social Sciences (FASS). Her research interests involve exploring the lives of ordinary people in the past to explain how poor economies get richer and improve human well-being. Recent publications have analysed guilds, serfdom, communities, the family, gender, human capital investment, consumption, and state capacity.
About the Lecture
Established in 2019, the Prais Lecture typically examines issues relating to productivity, economic growth and human wellbeing. It was formed to commemorate Professor Sig Prais, a colleague, friend and champion of the National Institute for over 60 years. The core focus of his research was on productivity and industrial structure, where he concluded that the poor quality and education were at the root of the UK’s productivity problem. Past speakers include Lord Sainsbury, and Bart van Ark from The Productivity Institute.