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In ‘De Nieuwe Wereld’, host Annette van Soest looks for answers to challenges faced by society. She uses 'what if' questions about current affairs in her discussions with economists, business specialists and other experts.

In the first episode, the key question is ‘What if economists made the decisions?’ ABS professor of Finance Arnoud Boot discusses the question with BNR’s in-house economist Han de Jong. Boot explains how economics is a social science with a wide scope for interpretation. In his view, it’s a good thing that neither of the new ministers of Finance or Economic Affairs has a background in economics. On the other hand, economists could help resolve some persistent problems such as the issues facing the housing market.

Next week: reducing consumption

The next De Nieuwe Wereld episode on 18 January will explore reducing consumption. What if we made businesses primarily responsible for resolving sustainability issues (instead of consumers)? UvA EB Marketing professor Willemijn van Dolen will discuss this question with fellow guests Tony Tonnaers (Kings of Indigo) and VU professor of Business Ethics Johan Wempe.