The Economics of Creative Destruction

A festschrift symposium in honor of Philippe Aghion and Peter Howitt, organised by Ufuk Akcigit and John Van Reenen

June 9-12, 2021

Zoom conference









Nobel laureates

In 1992, Philippe Aghion and Peter Howitt published "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction". To honor the 30th anniversary of this publication, Ufuk Akcigit and John Van Reenen organized a four-day zoom seminar, followed-up by a book edited at Harvard University Press on "The Economics of Creative Destruction". More than a hundred renowned economists have been meeting from June 9 to June 12 to present and exchange ideas about how the creative destruction framework offers a fresh lens to think about questions such as:

  • What are the effects of creative destruction on employment and health?
  • Why did we observed a growth decline despite the IT and AI revolutions?
  • How does creative destruction interacts with competition and trade?
  • How can we explain and tackle inequalities to make growth more inclusive?
  • How can we reconcile growth with the environment, especially the challenge of climate change?
  • How should we finance and organize the innovation ecosystem to favor creative destruction?
  • How to regulate modern capitalism?

Missed it? Want more?

You can browse sessions, download papers, and retrieve slides on our replay page.


This Festschrift conference, organized by Ufuk Akcigit and John Van Reenen, was initiated by Emmanuel Farhi, who passed away in July 2020. A beautiful mind and a genius economist, widely considered as the best macroeconomist of his generation, Emmanuel was also an outstanding human being who never failed to find time to listen to us and to provide advice and support. His great intelligence, his open-mindedness, his unbounded curiosity and his uncommon generosity, are sorely missed.

We thank the whole team at the Farhi Innovation Lab at College de France for their dedicated involvement in this project.

This conference is organized with the financial support of Banque de France and LVMH. John Van Reenen also thanks the ESRC through the POID initiative.

Banque de France
college de France
Harvard University Press