Prof. Paul Romer on the New Growth Theory…
Prof. Paul Romer on the New Growth Theory and the challenges ahead for Mauritius: Improving Education for sust. economic devel.
Today I am going to seize the unique opportunity of attending my first public lecture at the UoM Auditorium from a reputed Economist: Professor Paul Romer.
Where I was sitting in the auditorium, on my left was a UoM student-non-economics backgroud, I was happy about her keen interest in the topic; on my right-a lady, maybe a senior economics lecturer and behind me: L’express Journalists!
There were mainly civil servants and some from from UoM. UoM Students were in few because of the setting up of this public lectuer at 18:00 – 19:30.
I thought being wise by noting the following key points of the lecture in my writing pad:
- Prof. Paul started the lecture by defining rival goods and nonrival goods. I appreciated his style: very simple slides (not even a background colour, logo, design, nothing for the pleasure of the eyes). He is independent from the use of microphone and is an interactive person with a good sense of humour.
- A bottle of medicine is a rival good whilst the formula to make this medicine is a non rival one. What immediately struck in my mind is PRIVATE goods which are characterised by rivalry and excludability
- Next came the Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) to apply the concept of terms: rival and nonrival goods. Nonrival goods are the essense of creating more people and then people using nonrival goods to create more. The acceleration of human history is based on non-rival goods
- Prof. wrote a paper having Mauritius as reference. He wrote about EPZ as an illustration of non-rival good which helped to increase employment and standard of living in our economy
- OIL is a new non-rival good which scare everybody
- It is the rules of using the nonrival goods that count. China has been using bad rules. The role of institutions and government can influence the rules
- the issue of property rights (patent, copyright, generic medicine) on rival goods: OK, but on non-rival goods: a subtle question
- one should invest in education
The Questions/Answers session was very interesting. Due to time constraint, not everyone could had the opportunity to ask their question. I highly appreciated the Pro-Chancellor’s request to comment on his views on the New Growth theory.
To end up, it was a pleasure to listen to my first public lecture by one of the 25 influential people listed by the Time magazine and a potential Nobel Prize winner. He is currently in Mauritius for the ICT symposium at Hotel Hilton. To close the event. the Dean of the Faculty of Social Studies & Humanities presented the vote of thanks and a souvenir to Prof. Paul Romer.