This event is part of SPERI‘s (Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute) new Political Economy Seminar Series, organised jointly with the Political Economy Research Group in the Department of Politics. The monthly seminars are for researchers at the University of Sheffield who have an interest in political economy. We are highlighting those that are also of interest to researchers in International Development.
Abstract: Economic life is full of blood, sweat and tears. Economic policy, in contrast, is dominated by cold numbers. Quantification to simplify things may be inevitable for the policy apparatus to operate. But the dominant numbers lens creates pernicious blind spots and biases: economic statistics are built around an ideal of white male factory work, sidelining other facets of economic life. And they valorize the money economy, mistaking price tags for intrinsic value. This talk investigates how economic quantification matters to our politics and scholarly work: what are the central pathologies of economic statistics, and how do they bias economic policies? Looking forward, why are these defects so hard to eradicate? And what do they mean for us as researchers, when we use economic figures ourselves in our work?