Kicking off the second edition of the Festival of Economics was an event coordinated by journalist Marco Zatterin at Teatro Carignano at 11 a.m. Life senator Mario Monti talked with Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition. The meeting covered several topics: would it be appropriate to soften European rules on state aid? How can European competitiveness be strengthened? Most importantly, how is Europe responding to the shift of economic activities to the Asian Continent and the plans to support the green transition supported by the U.S. government?
Mario Monti: “The ability to have antitrust rules on mergers or abuses of dominant position is further ahead in Europe than in the rest of the world. There is a vigorous tradition of enforcement in Europe even in the digital field.”
Margrethe Vestager: “We need to think about a code of conduct for artificial intelligence even if there is no legislation yet. We will invite all countries to share a sense of responsibility on the issue. We have decided to put all our efforts into it, and we have a great interest in a global and international perspective. This is a technology with enormous possibilities, but we need to know its potential risks right away.”
Following this, the opening of the Festival took place at Teatro Carignano. The event, coordinated by journalist Alessandra Perera, featured speeches on stage by Professor Giorgio Barba Navaretti, scientific director Tito Boeri, Piedmont Region President Alberto Cirio, AIFI and Confindustria Cultura Italia President Innocenzo Cipolletta, Professor Pietro Garibaldi, publisher Giuseppe Laterza and Turin Mayor Stefano Lo Russo.
Alberto Cirio: “Globalization does not scare us if we are strong in our roots, our history and our identity. Let us take an example from Michele Ferrero: globalization is done by opening up to the world but being aware that we have our feet rooted in our land.”
Stefano Lo Russo: “A festival like this allows us to confront and open our minds, to be able to give the answers to the questions that each of us is facing. There are challenges posed to us by the ecological transition, the environmental crisis and the digital transition. It is necessary to strive for the globalization of rights. The challenge of trans-ecology is on how much climate can affect our lives. Only through healthy globalization can we make our contribution.
Technology radically changes our perception of time and space. Positive globalization is an opportunity to live in a better world than the one we inherited.”
Tito Boeri, after turning his thoughts to the people affected by the flooding in Emilia-Romagna: “In this Festival we have invited the most influential scholars dealing with economics from all over the world, public and scientifically influential personalities. The speakers we will have at the Festival have more than two million citations in scientific journals. Dialoguing with future generations is one of the goals of our Festival. That is why we have involved more than 100 schools in our projects.”
Innocenzo Cipolletta: “The International Festival of Economics is about gaining awareness, the theme of globalization cuts across many disciplines and affects our daily lives, which is why it needs to be understood and deepened, so that we can all move forward together.”
Giuseppe Laterza: “This Festival is an important opportunity to understand the value of issues that affect the community. That is why we also wanted to involve the many young people who filled the hall.”
Giorgio Barba Navaretti: “Globalization is the victim of many prejudices and preconceptions that need to be clarified, which is why the Festival is a valuable and unique opportunity for everyone.”
Peter Garibaldi: “We have these incredibly global issues, but they also affect the lives of all of us in our professions and throughout our lives. And we are here today to reflect on how we can leave a better world for you guys.”
A dialogue was held at Teatro Carignano between Tito Boeri, Scientific Director of the Festival, and Michael Spence, professor emeritus and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001. Green transition, handover to emerging markets, digital transformation, and biomedical science revolution were just some of the topics discussed.
Michael Spence: “The world I see is very difficult to manage and navigate. If we take the example of data, it is being regulated in Europe and China, while the United States is moving somewhat in the dark. So an international company can find itself not only in situations that are in conflict, but in situations where it is impossible to respond to all the local regulations. So the question is, what are they going to do? They will probably be taken to court, but they are good at reorganizing their architecture in such a way that they adapt. What they do is divide up: the American side responds to American legislation, and the others to another legislation-this is not efficient.”
Globalization: an entrepreneur’s vision. Agnelli Foundation Director Andrea Gavosto introduces the dialogue between Agnelli Foundation President John Elkann and Professor Fabiano Schivardi. How are major industrial groups responding to international political tensions, innovations, and the effects of climate change? There were many questions from the young people present at the meeting.
John Elkann: “Globalization has always been part of our experience as human beings. Exchange between countries, cities and regions has been a source of economic and cultural prosperity. It is a fundamental element to be able to coexist in peace. Italy has great potential, there are forces that can become innovative entrepreneurial talents and all the means to support them.”
In the Common Room of the Collegio Carlo Alberto, Professor Jan Eeckhout reasons how regulations passed by the European Parliament can somehow minimize the power of dominant firms with extensive market power and monopoly profits. He was introduced by Professor Elisabetta Ottoz.
Jan Eeckhout: “We should increase competition to prevent the dominance of the so-called ‘giants’.” We talk about antitrust and interoperability regulations. But these giants, such as Facebook, for example, do not like interoperability of platforms. The latter would cost little but would limit the dominant positions of these companies.”
Europe and slowbalization: how can Europe make a common response in governing globalization and protecting its most fragile victims? La Stampa editor Massimo Giannini introduces Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, at Teatro Carignano.
Paolo Gentiloni: “All countries should decide about unanimity. We need to find pragmatic ways to overcome the criterion of unanimity in a circumscribed way. In this the Ukraine affair will help us. At least 20 unanimous votes on several issues will be needed for Ukraine to join the EU. And it is not easy for everything to be approved in this way. You need to find an engine – a crisis, an emergency – to move reforms forward. Unanimity reform by referendum would hardly work.” Regarding the Stability Pact, the Commissioner added, “The risk is not reaching an understanding and going back to the previous rules. A risk for high debt countries for whom the conditions of the previous rules would become strenuous. But I am confident. The Commission’s proposal is balanced. And I read in an article that when a proposal “gets slapped down” by both sides, then it is a good proposal. A possible ratification of the ESM would give Italy some more say, including on the future use of this fund, and I know the government has ideas. A ratification would help make those ideas credible.”
From the Intesa Sanpaolo Skyscraper Auditorium and edited by the Center for Research and Documentation, the second report on the post-global world: from the illusion of abundance to the economy of enough is discussed. On stage were Intesa Sanpaolo President Gian Maria Gros-Pietro, Centro Einaudi Vice President Massimo Guerrini and economist Mario Deaglio, with coordination by journalist Paola Pica. This second report aims to understand and look for ways out of the global rift caused by the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the partial abandonment of free market rules, the difficulty in implementing green projects, and the return of many globalized industries within national borders.
Gian Maria Gros-Pietro: “Globalization has led to an improvement in living standards, expressed by traditional values, such as GDP. But the measurement of well-being is more than the economic value created. One of the effects of globalization is to make those involved in it dissatisfied, especially in the more developed countries, and along with increased production, it has also increased the use of non-reproducible resources. What is the responsibility of businesses? To be protagonists of a production system that produces less inequality.”
Massimo Guerrini: “Globalization has been impetuous, has introjected inequality within states. With abundance we have impoverished the planet and put new generations at risk.”
Mario Deaglio: “Why is it a post-global world? We must look not to the recent past, whose resources have been destroyed, but to a future that we must invent.”
Has the time come to return to manufacturing in Italy? In the Codices Room of the Museo del Risorgimento, Professor Giorgio Barba Navaretti, President of the Turin Chamber of Commerce Dario Gallina and Prometeia Bologna Senior Partner Alessandra Lanza discuss the issue, moderated by journalist Paolo Griseri.
Dario Gallina: “An alternative to relocation is investment in technological innovation, artificial intelligence. Investment attraction policies are also needed to attract new manufacturing with our complete ecosystem.”
At the Vivaldi Auditorium of the National University Library, Professor Nouriel Roubini discusses lecturer Antonella Trigari from his latest book “The Great Catastrophe. Ten Threats to Our Future and Strategies for Surviving” (Feltrinelli, 2023). Coordinated by journalist Henry Curr.
Nouriel Roubini: “Central banks are not stupid or evil, but we live in a world where there is no longer just fiscal debt, but we also have too much private debt in addition to public debt. Eventually, banks will have to accept that there will be higher inflation.”
Lecturer Nadia Campaniello moderates the dialogue between Professor Pietro Garibaldi and Professor Steve Machin in the setting of the Carlo Alberto College Auditorium. How can the social and economic sciences help us avoid the risk of a downward adjustment of labor standards and workers’ rights? And what role can supranational bodies play in this endeavor?
Steve Machin: “In recent decades, real wage growth has been low, not only that, wage inequality has increased. Part of the explanation for these trends lies in globalization.”
From the Common Room of Collegio Carlo Alberto, Professor Alberto Bisin introduces the dialogue between Veronica Guerrieri, professor and editor-in-chief of the Review of Economic Studies, and Professor Loriana Pelizzon. The data speak for themselves: only one in three economists is a woman, and among full professors it drops to one in six. But why are there so few women in macroeconomics?
Loriana Pelizzon: “It is not right to sacrifice one’s life for a career, so I am convinced that if one wants to do it, one can do it. I don’t think it is right that those who have to make an academic career are forced to have children when they are 35, 40 years old. The problem has to be pointed out in the different realities in Italy. If one is an associate professor in the United States he keeps his salary and position unchanged. It must be the same in Italy.”
At the Circolo dei Lettori, “La Repubblica” editor Maurizio Molinari discussed his latest book, “The Return of Empires” (Rizzoli, 2022). How the war in Ukraine disrupted the global order, in dialogue with journalist Eva Giovannini.
Maurizio Molinari: “What do Macron’s France, Meloni’s Italy and Biden’s United States have in common? Executive power tends to be more and more prevalent over other powers, and international relations become relations between individuals.”
Festival Scientific Director Tito Boeri introduces Professor Dani Rodrik at Teatro Carignano. What will replace hyper-globalization? And how can we make up for the mistakes of globalization?
Dani Rodrik: “There are a number of areas, beyond national security, in which states could proceed unilaterally in the future. But it will be necessary to preserve spaces of peace in the economic sphere. Today in terms of globalization we are going back to the Bretton-Woods regime, with the geopolitical agenda of states going to have predominance over everything. And everything today is militarized. The Bretton-Woods regime createdor a new form of #globalization: the world economy was at the service of the national economy. We are not at the end of #globalization. We are not going back to the autarky of the 1930s. We are not experiencing a collapse of trade in absolute terms, and the world today knows what this would cost. Instead, the approach to globalization is changing. Globalization has created social differences that populist right-wingers have exploited politically. The idea that we were losing control of it has passed.”
A discussion on small business in the glocal and the old and new informal networks that exist between businesses took place at the Auditorium of Collegio Carlo Alberto. On stage were economist Leonardo Becchetti, Torino NAC Secretary Filippo Provenzano, Director of the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society at the University of Turin Francesco Ramella and Torino NAC President Nicola Scarlatelli.
Francesco Ramella: “Small and medium-sized companies have strength if they have dense relationships on the ground, but without remaining closed. These are the small world networks, small local worlds that hybridize with knowledge that comes from outside.”
Closing the day was a dialogue between Professor Ilvo Diamanti and Nando Pagnoncelli, professor and president of IPSOS Italy. The meeting was previewed by Professor Pagnoncelli on the program “Quante storie,” broadcast on Rai3. Nando Pagnoncelli: “The reading that is given of globalization tends to accentuate many elements of positivity and many of negativity, starting with inequalities. The theme of globalization lends itself to different readings depending on the perspectives from which one looks at it. Would we have had the vaccine in a year without globalization? From this perspective, the implication is positive. If you look instead at inequalities, globalization has exacerbated some differences. When we were in the midst of the pandemic crisis, no one was talking about cutting taxes anymore because our health facilities were under pressure. If you approach the issue by relating services and taxes it is significantly increasing the demand for social protection. There is a part of the population that comes out of transitions defeated, and it needs to be supported, because every process has winners and losers.”