A panel discussion on The Battle for Affluence at the Institute of Ideas' The Battle of Ideas Conference 2006.
We live in an age of deep ambivalence about the benefits of affluence. From an objective perspective it could be argued that economic growth has brought enormous social benefits and could bring many more in the future; that increasing affluence has enabled us to live longer and healthier lives than ever before. And yet 'growth skepticism' is on the rise in policy circles and amongst not just sociologists, but also economists- IoI
Camera by David Dunbar for http://www.18doughtystreet.com
Daniel Ben-Ami has worked as a finance and economics journalist for almost twenty years, during which time he has contributed to numerous publications including the Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, Prospect and The Sunday Times. He has also undertaken country risk analysis on the Middle East for the Economist Intelligence Unit.
His book on global finance, Cowardly Capitalism (Wiley, 2001), was recommended by the Baker Library of Harvard Business School. He also contributed a chapter to Cultural Difference, Media Memories: Anglo-American Images of Japan (Cassell, 1997). Daniel is currently doing research for a publication on changing perceptions of economic growth.
Nick Crafts is a Professor of Economic History at the University of Warwick. He researches into the causes and consequences of long-run economic growth, particularly in relation to the British economy, and is the author of Britain's Relative Economic Performance, 1870-1999.
Jenny Davey is a business journalist working for the The Times newspaper.
Mark Easton is the BBC's Home Editor, a role he describes as "sitting on a cloud and reporting on how Britain is changing." An award winning documentary-maker and news correspondent, he appears regularly on BBC television and radio as well as writing for BBC Online and many newspapers and magazines.
His expertise is broad: from health (he won the TV News Mental Health Media Award in 2004); to legal affairs (he was named Bar Council Journalist of the Year in 2003); from home affairs (his Radio 4 series "Crime of Our Lives" was selected as a highlight of 2007 by The Guardian); to social affairs (a Ten O'clock News piece on migration impact was nominated for the Royal Television Society Home News Award 2008).
Easton heads the BBC's UK Specialists Unit comprising some sixty journalists covering almost all aspects of domestic policy.
Phil Mullan is an economist and business adviser. Author of The Imaginary Time Bomb: Why an Ageing Population is not a Social Problem, he researches, writes and lectures on economic, demographic and business issues.
Formerly chief executive of the internet services company Cybercafe Ltd, which opened the world's first internet cafe, Cyberia, he currently works with a range of businesses. This includes a non-executive directorship with Easynet Group PLC, one of Europe's leading business broadband networking companies.
Avner Offer is Chichele Professor of Economic History at the University of Oxford. He is also an economic and social historian, specializing in international political economy, law, the First World War and land tenure. During the last decade, he has focused on consumption and quality of life in the USA and Britain.
He is the author of The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain since 1950.