Jean Tirole “We must protect the worker, not the job”

One day, Jean Tirole, the French economist, stepped out onto the street and noticed people would stop him at every corner. “Please, we need an Economics book that we can understand!” they implored, as to some kind of Messiah. Tirole had, only recenty, the Nobel Prize in Economics (2014). And so, he decided to write a book meant for the public at large. The result is 577 pages long, and has been a success in France. Its title is “Economics for the Common Good”. It has now been released in Spain, under the Taurus publishing seal. The book was presented at the Rafael del Pino Foundation in Madrid, where the following interview took place.

And just what Is Economics for the Common Good? “The economy is not a servant to private property and individual interests, nor to those who wish to use the State to impose their own values” Tirole says at the start of his book. “The economy serves the Common Good in order to make a better world.” Full stop.

Tirole, born in Troyes in 1953, graduated as an engineer from the Paris Polytechnic School and went on to a Doctorate in Mathematics at the University of Paris-Dauphine. His greatest push, however, came when he left for the USA to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), graduating in 1981 with a PhD. in Economic Sciences. The book sketches out, in layman’s terms, part of the work that would earn him the Nobel. Why is the economy so hard to understand? What are the limitations of the market? Why do


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