Avner Offer Speaker & Booking Information

Economic Historian
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Avner Offer is an economic historian who held the Chichele Professorship in Economic history at the University of Oxford, England. He is an Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and a fellow of the British Academy. He has published on international political economy, law, the First World War and land tenure. During the 1990s and 2000s, Offer's main interest was in post-war economic growth, particularly in developed societies, and the challenges that affluence presents to well being. His most recent work is on the strife between neoclassical economics and social democracy, each of them vying to shape the post-war decades. Apart from his academic work, he has published a memoir of the Six Day War in Israel.

Avner Offer was born and raised in Israel. He was educated at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (B.A. 1973) and Oxford University (D.Phil. 1979). He has worked at the University of York, the Australian National University, and the University of Oxford, with research fellowships at the University of Southampton, the University of Cambridge, Rutgers University and New York University. He was a Professorial Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, between 1992 and 2000. He is married with two children.

Offer's book of 2006, The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain since 1950, represents to some extent a challenge to Neoclassical economics. Through it he argues that "well-being" has in fact lagged behind the increasing affluence of western societies: that "affluence breeds impatience, and impatience undermines well-being...the paradox of affluence and its challenge is that the flow of new rewards can undermine the capacity to enjoy them."[2] The central concepts are therefore future discount, bounded rationality, and myopia.

In the 2016 The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn, he argues the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics has disproportionately been awarded to proponents of the neoclassical school. According to the book's thesis, the Nobel Prize provides a halo of scientific authority but its committee has underrepresented social democracy as a school of economical thought.

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