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.

Prof. Daniel Mügge (Amsterdam) — The pathologies of economic statistics — and how they skew our politics
Wednesday June 5th 2019, 3:30-5pm
ICOSS Conference Room

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?

Daniel Mügge is Professor of Political Arithmetic at the political science department of the University of Amsterdam. His current work explores the political economy of macroeconomic indicators and the political origins of the formulas through which we calculate them. His Fickle Formulas project is currently supported by the ERC and the NWO; and he is the former lead editor of Review of International Political Economy. 
All welcome!