W&L Professor to Deliver Lecture at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Art Goldsmith will deliver the fall lecture for the Richmond Association of Business Economics and the Virginia Association of Economists on Oct. 27.
Art Goldsmith, Jackson T. Stephens Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee University, has been invited to deliver the fall lecture for the Richmond Association of Business Economics (RABE) and Virginia Association of Economists (VAE) at a luncheon on Friday, Oct. 27 at noon at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
Goldsmith’s lecture, titled “Monetary Policy in the Age of AI: A Delicate Balancing Act,” is based on research conducted as part of a larger ongoing project, “Modernizing Economics Education,” involving Professor Jim Casey ’91 and undergraduate research assistant Mohammed Mourtaja ’25. Goldsmith and Casey contend that much of what is presented to students in conventional introductory economics textbooks no longer fits with how the economy functions. They point out that the impact on employment of investment by companies in plant and equipment is now different, for the first time, from the effect of investment in new technologies. Moreover, the share of investment funds for new technologies has risen tremendously in the past two decades.
Since the 1990s, the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the introduction of digitally integrated technologies has led to substantial displacement of persons engaged in routine work while simultaneously advancing productivity and job opportunities for those with more formal education performing jobs with varied tasks. Therefore, according to Goldsmith and Casey, “the efficacy of using expansionary monetary policy to lower the interest rate and stimulate investment spending – to curtail a recession and reduce unemployment – is now in question.” This standard policy action may increase unemployment because it incentivizes automation leading to the displacement of persons engaged in routine tasks. They contend that “expansionary monetary policy today creates technological unemployment while eliminating unemployment caused by limited spending – and the net effect is unclear.”
RABE is a non-profit, non-partisan professional association that provides educational and networking opportunities for individuals interested in economics and its application to public policy. Niels-Hugo Bluch, the Darrold and Kay Cannan Term Professor of Economics at W&L, currently serves as president of the Virginia Association of Economists (VAE). This organization aims to promote inquiry into economics, improve economic education, and develop an understanding of the operations of the Virginia economy.
Goldsmith recently completed a term as president of the Southern Economic Association (SEA), and he currently serves on the SEA Board of Trustees. He is also chair of the Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award Committee. Goldsmith joined W&L’s Economics Department in 1990 and, in 1995, became the inaugural holder of the Jackson T. Stephens Chair. He has been a core faculty member in the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability at W&L since 2005. Goldsmith served on the editorial board of the Review of Black Political Economy and the Review of Behavioral Economics in recent years.
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