Towards New Thinking in Economics: Terry Barker on structural macroeconomics, climate change mitigation, the relevance of empirical evidence and the need for a revised economics discipline
Published: March 2011
Terry Barker is a leading British economist in macroeconomics, climate economics and empirical analysis. For over 45 years, he has been involved in research at Cambridge on economic theory and applied economics, in areas such as: trade theory and space and time economics; structural macroeconomics; and the macroeconometric modelling of energy-environment-economy interactions. This has included trade theory, space-time economics, climate mitigation economics, and macro-econometric modelling. Though he can be considered a ‘descendant’ of Keynes, Barker defies any categorisation of belonging to a particular school of economic thought. A notable contribution has been his empirical modelling work showing how tougher climate mitigation policies may actually bring long-term socioeconomic benefits. Whilst at the conference on new economics as ‘mainstream’ economics that he initiated in January 2010 in Cambridge, we discussed at length his extremely interesting viewpoints and research. This interview takes the reader through the intellectual history and work of a determined man, who has never ceased encouraging new ideas and pushing forward fresh economic thinking for the benefit of societal progress.