The Wealth Effect: How the Great Expectations of the Middle Class Have Changed the Politics of Banking Crises

Jeffery Chwieroth, Andrew Walter, and "The Wealth Effect"

Event details


Date & time

Monday 29 July 2019


Seminar Room 1, Stanner Building 37, Crawford School of Public Policy, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Jeffrey Chwieroth, and Andrew Walter


Yanhong Ouyang

In this book launch seminar, Jeffrey Chwieroth and Andrew Walter explain how mass political demand has contributed to rising financial fragility and political instability and discontent in contemporary democracies. In their new book, The Wealth Effect (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Chwieroth and Walter use extensive historical and contemporary evidence to demonstrate that the politics of major banking crises have been transformed by the ‘wealth effect’: rising middle class wealth has generated ‘great expectations’ regarding government responsibilities for the protection of this wealth. They show that crisis policy interventions have become more extensive and costly – and their political aftermaths far more fraught – because of democratic governance, not in spite of it. Using data from a large number of democracies over two centuries, and detailed longitudinal studies of Brazil, the United Kingdom and the United States, the book breaks new ground in exploring the consequences of the emergence of mass political demand for financial stabilisation.

Jeffrey M Chwieroth is Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of International Relations, and co-investigator of the Systemic Risk Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of Capital Ideas: The IMF and the Rise of Financial Liberalization (Princeton University Press, 2010). He has published numerous articles and book chapters on the political economy of international money and finance. His research has been supported by grants from the Australian Research Council, the AXA Research Fund, the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Andrew Walter is Professor of International Relations in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He has published widely on the political economy of international monetary and financial issues and is the author of Global Financial Governance Confronts the Rising Powers: Emerging Perspectives on the New G20 (CIGI and McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016, edited with C Randall Henning), East Asian Capitalism: Diversity, Change, and Continuity (Oxford University Press, 2012, edited with Xiaoke Zhang), and China, the United States, and Global Order (Cambridge University Press, 2011, with Rosemary Foot). He has held previous academic positions at the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford and his research has been supported by the Australian Research Council, the EU, CIGI-INET, the Japan Foundation and the Korea Foundation.

Hosts of the seminar:

  • Professor Evelyn Goh, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Coral Bell School, ANU
  • Dr Adam Triggs, Asian Bureau of Economic Research and Research Fellow, Crawford School, ANU
  • Professor Warwick McKibbin, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School, ANU

This event is jointly organised with the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU.

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