Should copyright assure authors and rights holders lasting claims, much like conventional property rights, or should copyright be primarily concerned with giving consumers cheap and easy access to a shared culture? In this Vox Talk, Peter Baldwin – author of the book ‘The Copyright Wars: Three Centuries of Transatlantic Battle’ – outlines how America went from being a leading copyright opponent and pirate in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to become the world’s intellectual property policeman today. He describes a ‘Californian civil war’ over open access: between the content owners in Hollywood and the high-tech companies in Silicon Valley.
Do governments have the right to influence citizens’ behaviour related to smoking tobacco, eating too much, not saving enough, drinking alcohol or taking marijuana? Or does this create a nanny state, leading to infantilisation, demotivation and breaches in individual autonomy? In this Vox Talk, Julian Le Grand – co-author with Bill New of ‘Government Paternalism’ – discusses the lessons from behavioural economics about human mistakes and the potential for the state to guide citizen decision-making in positive ways.
Was the euro a straitjacket that caused an inevitable crisis? Or would earlier action have staved off a debt catastrophe? In this Vox Talk, Martin Sandbu – author of "Europe’s Orphan: The Future of the Euro and the Politics of Debt" – argues that rather than blaming the euro for the political and economic failures in Europe since the Global Crisis, the responsibility lies firmly on the authorities of the Eurozone and its member countries.
Prior to the Global Crisis, modern macroeconomics largely ignored the details of the financial system, and favoured mathematical precision and elegance at the expense of realism. So argues Adair Turner in this Vox Talk. He also explains the key arguments in his book, ‘Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit and Fixing Global Finance’: that most credit is not needed for economic growth but rather drives real estate booms and busts; and that sometimes it’s better to print your way out of financial crises.
At the heart of policy debates about our collective responses to climate change is the issue of risk and uncertainty - ‘unknown unknowns’ about the impact of global warming. In this Vox Talk, Gernot Wagner - co-author with Harvard’s Martin L. Weitzman of 'Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet’ - argues for Pigovian taxes and carbon pricing, against geoengineering solutions, and why 'we need to stick it to CO2, not to capitalism’.