Examine the importance of economic decisions and how they have shaped the world we live in today.

Poor economic decisions have led to dominant nations falling, people and industry suffering from great economic instability and revolutions changing the course of world history.

This series will look at the development over time of the shape and importance of riches and trade and the current forces that guide economic growth.

Thursday 11 May

Ten Big Economic Ideas that have changed the world over the past three centuries

Periodically, from the early 18th century to the millennium, the world has been shaken by a “Big Idea”. Some of these ideas are cumulative, in that we have built upon them in the quest for a civilised, productive economy. Others are more competitive – subject to swings in ideology and political interests, such as Monetarism and Keyenesianism.

Professor Tim Hazledine

Tim Hazledine has been a professor in the Economics Dept of the University of Auckland Business School since 1992. He was brought up in Dunedin, and went to Otago and Canterbury universities before embarking on what became a 20-year OE, beginning at the University of Warwick, where he got his Ph D, and involving teaching at Warwick, Balliol Oxford, Queen’s Ontario, and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He is interested in issues of growth and inequality.

Thursday 18 May

ancient-economyWhat Was Money in Antiquity and How Did it Function?

How do we define money? To many for something to be ‘money’ it must act as a store of wealth, a measure of value and a means of exchange.  Many ancient societies look to us as ‘moneyless’ in the sense that no single entity functioned as money. ‘Barter’ drove most trades. In ancient Egypt the Deben system facilitated exchange.  Deben functioned as a measure of value only, but never as the means to make a trade. This idea took barter to another level.  Metals, livestock, and even grain acted as measures of value, but these too did not always change hands in markets. Coins appeared relatively late in human development, about 600 BC.  But did coins always function as ‘money’ themselves? This lecture explores the idea and meaning of money in the ancient world, its invention and its uses and the myths that modern economists apply to it to explain our use of it today.

 Dr Matthew Trundle 
PhD, MA, BA 

Matthew is Chair and Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Auckland. He holds degrees from Nottingham and McMaster Universities and has published widely on military and social-economic aspects of the ancient world.

Thursday 25 May

International Trade in the Era of Trumpians and Brexiteers

The future of international trade seems uncertain as protectionist sentiments gain traction across the West in the face of rising inequality.  This seminar will trace the evolution of international trade over time and ask why countries trade, if trade is beneficial and if yes, to whom.  It will then explore how nations could fashion policies to ensure that trade works for everyone.

 Dr Asha Sundaram
PhD, MPhil, MA

Asha Sundaram is a senior lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Auckland.  Prior to joining UoA, she held a faculty position at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  She grew up in Mumbai, India and has an M.Phil from the University of Oxford and a PhD from Syracuse University, New York.  She has consulted with international organizations like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.  Her research focuses on international trade, immigration and economic development.