The need for structural socioeconomic change has become a platitude — something everyone can agree on, but only if we don’t explain what we really mean. This sort of pseudo-consensus comes with risks, because it can block efforts to achieve real compromises as the basis for consistent action.

In practice, for most of the past 25 years policy has deadlocked largely because of profound disagreement about what structural changes to prioritise. Debates emerge about what economic ills to address as well as their causes. Three main perspectives have emerged...

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