The International Economic Association’s triennial World Congress has long been one of the most important global gatherings of economists, owing to its success in bringing together researchers and policymakers from the poorest to the wealthiest corners of the world. The 19th edition of the event earlier this month, albeit held via Zoom instead of in person, was no exception.

One recurring theme of this year’s Congress was that the global economy and capitalism are at a crossroads. While the COVID-19 crisis was the immediate impetus for this view, other major shifts — from climate change and the rise of digital technology to the changing nature of labor markets — have been increasingly salient. The pandemic has merely accelerated these shifts or thrown them into sharper relief.

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