The challenges facing Spanish society in the 21st century global economy
The Rafael del Pino Foundation organised, on Thursday 26 November, a dialogue under the title "In search of prosperity in which the economists César Molinas, José Manuel González-Páramo, Rafael Doménech and Javier Andrés took part. The event analysed the challenges facing Spanish society in the coming decades, taking as a reference the recently published work by Rafael Doménech and Javier Andrés published by Deusto.
Rafael Doménech. Chief Economist for Developed Economies, BBVA Research. Professor of Fundamentals of Economic Analysis at the University of Valencia on leave of absence. MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and PhD in Economics from the University of Valencia. He has been Director General in the Presidency of the Government, where he was Deputy Director of the Economic Office of the President of the Government, Director of the Institute of International Economics, member of the Advisory Board of the University of Valencia, advisor to SEPES and CDTI, external consultant to the OECD, the European Commission, the Foundation for Analytical Economics, and collaborated as a researcher with the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Rafael del Pino Foundation. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Economic Association, of the Advisory Councils of Economic Research and of Currency and Credit, of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Applied Economics and of the Editorial Board of Spanish Public Finance.
Javier Andrés has been Professor of Fundamentals of Economic Analysis at the University of Valencia since 1991 and Visiting Professor at the University of Glasgow. He holds a PhD from the University of Valencia and a Master's degree in Economics from the London School of Economics. He has publications in the main national and international scientific journals (Economic Journal, Journal of Monetary Economics, European Economic Review, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Jornal of Money Credit and Banking, among others). He has directed competitive research projects in his field of specialisation and has collaborated with several public institutions in research and consultancy tasks on macroeconomic modelling. He has been a member of the board of several scientific journals and is currently editor of Moneda y Crédito. He is an Honorary Member of the Spanish Economic Association. He has been Manager of the National Programme of Research in Socioeconomics of the Ministry of Science and Technology and member of the Social Sciences Commission of the Agency for the Quality of the University System of Catalonia.
Cesar Molinas is an economist and consultant. He holds a degree in mathematics from the University of Barcelona. He is a founding partner of the consultancy firm Multa Paucis and spent seven years as Managing Director of Merrill Lynch. He has published several books on economics, such as La inversión en España. Econometría con restricciones de equilibrio (1990) and Qué hacer con España: del capitalismo castizo a la refundación de un país (2013). He collaborates with media outlets such as El País, where he is a regular columnist.
José Manuel González-Páramo is an economist, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank. He holds a degree in Economics from the Complutense University of Madrid (1980), M.A. and M.Phil. in Economics from Columbia University in New York (1984 and 1985) and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Complutense University of Madrid and Columbia University in New York. In 2003 he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Alfonso X the Wise. A former Fulbright scholar, he is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and has received numerous distinctions, including the Charles V Medal of the German-Spanish Chamber of Commerce ("contribution to a more united Europe"), the Institut D'Estudis Financers Award for Financial Excellence ("professional career"), the Círculo de Empresarios Award and Doctor Honoris Causa (University of Málaga), among others.
<strong><u>In Search of Prosperity: The Challenges of Spanish Society in the Economy of the 21st Century</u></strong> The Spanish economy faces two major challenges: the slowdown in economic growth in the coming years, due to adverse demographics, and the impact of digital disruption, especially on employment. Education is a key part of any strategy to address these two challenges. On the occasion of the launch of the book <em>In search of prosperity: The challenges facing Spanish society in the 21st century economy,</em> written by Rafael Doménech and Javier Andrés, a debate was held at the Rafael del Pino Foundation on the important economic challenges facing Spanish society. For José Manuel González-Páramo, Professor of Economics and former member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, the Spanish economy faces two major challenges. Firstly, economic growth in the coming years will be lower than in the past. The main reason for this is adverse demographics, with an ageing population that will continue to shrink. Secondly, the Spanish economy has to face the challenge of the digital disruption that is taking place. A challenge with important socio-economic consequences because the new digital economy affects the creation of stable employment because it makes capital and labour immensely mobile. González-Paramo considers it essential to tackle this challenge through education, in order to prepare people for this new digital world. In addition, the integration of the public and private sectors in everything to do with technology must be promoted. In his opinion, we know what we have to do, but he wondered why we cannot do it. For his part, the economist and consultant César Molinas, regretted that, on the eve of the general elections, there is no talk of unemployment, but only of job insecurity, nor of pensions, when full employment and social protection are the foundations of the social pact of the 20th century. Molinas warned that disruptive technology will cause stable employment to lose its prominence as a form of work, because machines will do everything that machines can do. All work that does not have a creative component will disappear, he said. The way to deal with this situation, in his opinion, lies in taking action from the educational system and in starting to do so as soon as possible, because the minimum timeframe for change is one generation. This new technology, he said, is being introduced so quickly that it is very difficult to adjust at such a speed. This is a problem because, he said, there are four million unemployed people in Spain, many of whom are not employable because they lack adequate training. In turn, Rafael Doménech, chief economist for Developed Economies at BBVA Research, indicated that the problem of employment cannot be tackled without talking about other areas, such as company growth, its internationalisation or the role of the public sector. Doménech estimated that the greatest factor of inequality in Spain is unemployment, which accounts for 80% of the problem in our country, and he recommended learning from abroad, from the experience of other economies, and transferring here those initiatives that have worked in other places. Finally, Javier Andrés, Professor of the Fundamentals of Economic Analysis at the University of Valencia, denounced the fact that the problem began with ourselves, the Spanish, when we considered ourselves satisfied with having achieved convergence in terms of per capita income with the European Union average, when for 30 years we have not come close in this respect to countries such as the Netherlands, Germany or the United States. He explained that the Spanish economy grew when the problem was how to attract physical capital, but then failed to make the leap to the next stage, that of developing technological and human capital, due to the existence of the wrong incentives. As a result, the Spanish economy became disengaged from the globalisation process.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for the comments, opinions or statements made by the people who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their sole responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio González, are the result of the debates held at the meeting held for this purpose at the Foundation and are the responsibility of the authors.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for any comments, opinions or statements made by third parties. In this respect, the FRP is not obliged to monitor the views expressed by such third parties who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their own responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio J. González, are the result of the discussions that took place during the conference organised for this purpose at the Foundation and are the sole responsibility of its authors.