TEDxBarcelonaSalon - The Profit Paradox

About this event :

In an era of technological progress and easy communication, it might seem reasonable to assume that the world’s working people have never had it so good. But wages are stagnant and prices are rising, so that everything from a bottle of beer to a prosthetic hip costs more. Economist Jan Eeckhout shows how this is due to a small number of companies exploiting an unbridled rise in market power—the ability to set prices higher than they could in a properly functioning competitive marketplace. Drawing on his own groundbreaking research and telling the stories of common workers throughout, he demonstrates how market power has suffocated the world of work, and how, without better mechanisms to ensure competition, it could lead to disastrous market corrections and political turmoil.

Jan Eeckhout is the ICREA Research Professor at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona and has taught at Upenn, University College London, Princeton and NYU. His work has been widely featured in the media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and Financial Times A native Belgian, he has lived many years in the United States and Great Britain. He currently lives in Barcelona. Jan Eeckhout

The talk

Jan describes how, over the past forty years, a handful of companies have reaped most of the rewards of technological advancements—acquiring rivals, securing huge profits, and creating brutally unequal outcomes for workers. Instead of passing on the benefits of better technologies to consumers through lower prices, these “superstar” companies leverage new technologies to charge even higher prices. The consequences are already immense, from unnecessarily high prices for virtually everything, to fewer startups that can compete, to rising inequality and stagnating wages for most workers and severely limited social mobility.

A provocative investigation into how market power hurts average working people, Jan also offers concrete solutions about how to fix the problem and restore a healthy economy.

The language of the talk will be in English. The discussion afterwards will be in Spanish and English. Jan understands and speaks Spanish but he prefers to give the talk in English as he is more fluent in it. However, questions can be asked in Spanish.

The event will take place in the auditorium of our sponsor, Casa Seat at Paseo de Gracia 109 (corner of Diagonal). Health regulations will be respected, in order to maintain the necessary distance the capacity will be limited.

Streaming of the full event (incl. discussion)


About TEDxBarcelonaSalon:
At our TEDxBarcelonaSalon events we foster networking, dialog and the discussion among all members of TEDxBarcelona. In order to achieve this we meet once a month and listen to an interesting talk. After watching the talk we discuss about the presented subject. Here the list of past Salon events.

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