Business and Politics: Which Drives Which?
Friday February 24, 2012
8:30 a.m– 4:15 p.m.
Venue: The Italian Academy
1161 Amsterdam Avenue (between 117th and 118th streets)
New York (directions and online map).
Co-hosted by: the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) and the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and EthicsConference Fees: $200 General Admission; $175 Columbia Alumni; $35 Students with valid University ID. (Research faculty members and doctoral students who would like to attend this symposium should contact: leadershipethics (AT) gsb (DOT) columbia (DOT) edu)
Registration is closed.
Politics and Business appear to more intertwined than ever because politics is so salient and ubiquitous in the current American drama in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the policy debates over health, the budget, and regulatory reform policies. The popular charges are contradictory: politics and politicians intervene in business and the economy according to some, while others claim business intervenes, often by non-transparent means, in politics. We are in an age in which corporations and unions are given first amendment rights while political donations are veiled behind nonprofit organizations (the '527'). Lobbying is viewed as 'information' by many, but as 'legal corruption' by others. The financial crisis has surely rendered these issues more salient, where the stakes riding on regulation are reshuffling the flow of money and contributions, while a listless public shows signs of an activism missing from American public discourse for a few decades.
This conference seeks to draw on research and practice in a public forum to discuss the trends in the relations between American business and politics. The keynote speaker is Professor Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago and former chief economist at the IMF, whose recent book Fault Lines places the origins of the financial crisis on a thesis of failed government policies to address poverty by a wayward intervention in mortgage markets coupled with a financial sector that successfully lobbied for deregulation and yet failed to self-govern. The subsequent panels consist of academics who will explain and debate what their research says about this thesis of an intervening government that misused markets for social policies and a business sector that influenced government policies to deregulate, and sometimes subsidize, their activities. The final panel is led by a prominent journalist and consists of those at the front-line of these issues.
|8:30 – 9:00 AM||Breakfast and Registration|
|9:00 – 10:30 AM||
Welcome Remarks, Introduction, and Opening Keynote
|10:30– 10:45 AM
|10:45 – 12:30 PM
Research Presentations and Panel Discussion
|12:30 – 12:45 PM
|12:45 – 2:00 PM||
Lunch and Keynote Speaker
|2:00 – 3:40 PM||
Closing Panel: "Broader Perspectives"
|3:40 – 3:50 PM||Closing Keynote and Remarks: |
R. Glenn Hubbard
Dean, Columbia Business School
|3:50 – 4:00 PM||Remarks: |
Co-Founder and Co-Editor
The American Prospect
Bertrand, Marianne, Bombardini, Matilde and Trebbi, Francesco, Is It Whom You Know or What You Know? An Empirical Assessment of the Lobbying Process, NBER Working Paper, February 2011, No. 16765.
Gordon, Brett and Hartmann, Wesley, Advertising Effects in Presidential Elections, Working Paper, February 2011.
Ragan, Raghuram, A Crisis in Two Narratives, Project Syndicate, January 2012.
Ragan, Raghuram, The Corporation in Finance, December 2011.