Governance and structural reforms, or how to use the crises to make our countries better?

May 23, 2022

From May 9 until May 20, 2022, the JVI in collaboration with the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) organized a 2-week course on Public Governance and Structural Reforms. For the second year in a row (and last, we hope), the course was organised virtually. 

The course was attended by 20 participants, from 12 countries, from various institutions, such as central banks, ministries of finance, other ministries, prime minister’s offices, academies of sciences, universities, parliamentary offices, industrial centres, and the like.

The main goal of the course was to equip participants with a broad knowledge of various aspects related to public governance and structural reforms, which they could use in their daily work, to make their countries better places for living. 

The first main message that the course tried to convey to the participants was that economics and economic policy are not just about GDP, just about money, just about producing more, just about producing cheaper. They are, first and foremost, about ensuring better lives, for all the people, while also caring for the planet we are inhabiting. 

The second main message of the course was that every crisis is an opportunity, to make the world better, and that the two big crises that we have been experiencing during the past two years – the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine – should serve as catalysts for changing our countries for better. 

The course covered numerous topics, such as structural reforms, judicial independence, industrial policy, inequality, social protection, environmental policy, health care, fiscal policy, digitalization, privatization, financial markets… It was delivered by experienced experts, both from academia and policymaking, from wiiw, Austrian public institutions, as well as international universities and organisations. The course was highly interactive, with many engaging questions, comments, and discussions from the participants. In the end, the participants prepared their own presentations on selected topics covered during the course. 

Special part of the course was the open lecture on economic inequality, on which Francisco Ferreira, the Amartya Sen Professor of Inequality Studies, and the Director of the International Inequalities Institute, at the London School of Economics, talked about measurement, causes and effects of economic inequality.

 

Branimir Jovanovic, Economist, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw)

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