Politics and Economics in a Volatile World

February 3, 2011 · 6:00-7:15PM

Columbia University, Presidential Room, Faculty House

  • Grzegorz W. Kolodko, Professor, Kozminski University


  • Patrick Bolton, Barbara and David Zalaznick Professor of Business, Columbia Business School, and Professor of Economics, Columbia University
  • Andrzej Rapaczynski, Daniel G. Ross Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Grzegorz W. Kolodko, one of the world’s leading authorities on economics and development policy, discusses his new book, Truth, Errors, and Lies: Politics and Economics in a Volatile World, published by Columbia University Press.

Professor Kolodko will discuss the politics and economics of development, with a special focus on future challenges. Taking a dynamic approach to the political economy of globalization, he asks what lies ahead for the world in next decades and what we should learn from the past.

About Truth, Errors and Lies: Politics and Economics in a Volatile World

Deploying a novel mix of scientific evaluation and personal observation, Kolodko begins with a brief discussion of misinformation and its perpetuation in economics and politics. He criticizes the simplification of complex economic and social issues and investigates the link between developments in the global economy and cultural change, scientific discoveries, and political fluctuations. Underscoring the necessity of conceptual and theoretical innovation in understanding our global economic situation, Kolodko offers a provocative study of globalization and the possibility of coming out ahead in an era of worldwide interdependence. Deeply critical of neoliberalism, which sought to transfer economic control exclusively to the private sector, Kolodko explores the virtues of social-economic development and the new rules of the economic game. He concludes with a look at our near and distant future, questioning whether we have a say in its making.


Grzegorz W. Kolodko, a key architect of Polish reforms, is a renowned economist and a world expert on transition and development policy. While Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance (1994-97) he led Poland to the OECD. Holding the same positions again in 2002-03 he played an important role in Poland's integration with the European Union. In 1989 he was participating in the historical Polish Round Table, which led to the first post-communist government in East Central Europe. In 1989-91 he was the member of Economic Council of the Government. A graduate and Ph.D. of Warsaw School of Economics (SGH), he is currently Director of TIGER - Transformation, Integration and Globalization Economic Research (www.tiger.edu.pl) and professor at the Kozminski University in Warsaw. The United Nations, IMF and the World Bank have sought Professor Kolodko expertise. He has accepted invitations for visiting professorships at Yale, UCLA and the University of Rochester, New York, as well as research fellowships and lectures at academic institutions and organizations worldwide.He is the author of 40 books and over 300 articles and research papers that are published in 25 languages around the globe, of which a majority is available in English.

Patrick Bolton is the Barbara and David Zalaznick Professor of Business. He joined Columbia Business School in July 2005. He began his career as an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley and then moved to Harvard University, joining their economics department from 1987-1989. He was Chargé de Recherche at the C.N.R.S. Laboratoire d’ Econométrie de L’ Ecole Polytechnique from 1989-1991, Cassel Professor of Money and Banking at the London School of Economics from 1991-1994, Chargé de cours associé at the Institut d’Etudes Europénnes de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles from 1994-1998, and John H. Scully ’66 Professor of Finance and Economics at Princeton University from 1998-2005. He was Founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Study of Toulouse, September 2011-2012.

Andrzej Rapaczynski is the Daniel G. Ross Professor of Law at Columbia University. He is known by economists for his research in the 1990s with Roman Frydman on the "transition" in Eastern Europe. Their survey of a wide sample of firms in Eastern Europe yielded important evidence on the impact of ownership on firm performance. Rapaczynski's other work is at the interstices of law, economics, and political science. He is also the author of Nature and Politics, a book on the political theories of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau.