ESS Past Speakers


Eminent Speaker 2014: Professor Joseph Stiglitz

The Economic Society of Australia and sponsor Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, were honoured that Professor Joseph Stiglitz once again agreed to be our speaker in 2014.

Professor Stiglitz is an acclaimed international economist and recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics. He is University Professor at Columbia University in New York and Chair of the University’s Committee on Global Thought. 

He helped create a new branch of economics, “The Economics of Information”. This explores the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneers such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only of theorists, but of policy analysts.

He has made major contributions to macro-economics and monetary theory, to development economics and trade theory, to public and corporate finance, to the theories of industrial organisation and rural organisation, and to the theories of welfare economics and of income and wealth distribution. In the 1980s, he helped revive interest in the economics of Research & Development.  

His work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well, and how selective government intervention can improve their performance.  

Eminent Speaker 2013: Professor Deidre McCloskey

Deirdre McCloskey teaches economics, history, English, and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A well-known economist and historian and rhetorician, she has written sixteen books and around 400 scholarly pieces on topics ranging from technical economics and statistics to transgender advocacy and the ethics of the bourgeois virtues.

She is known as a "conservative" economist, Chicago-School style (she taught for 12 years there), but protests that "I'm a literary, quantitative, postmodern, free-market, progressive Episcopalian, Midwestern woman from Boston who was once a man. Not 'conservative'! I'm a Christian libertarian."

Her latest book, Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World (University of Chicago Press, 2010), which argues that an ideological change rather than saving or exploitation is what made us rich, is the second in a series of four. The first was The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce (2006), asking if a participant in a capitalist economy can still have an ethical life (briefly, yes).   Other publications include “The Rhetoric of Economics” (1983), The Cult of Statistical Significance (2008 with Stephen Ziliak), Economical Writing (2000), How to Be Human- Though an Economist (2000),   “Christian Economics” (1999), “Happyism: The Creepy New Economics of Pleasure” (2013). 

More information can be found  at www.deirdremccloskey.com


Eminent Speakers 2012: Prof. Sir James A. Mirrlees & Prof Jagdish Bhagwati

Professor Sir James A. Mirrlees. Nobel Laureate in economic sciences, Professor Sir James A. Mirrlees was appointed as Master of Morningside College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong in August 2009. A pioneer in optimal taxation theory, Professor Sir James Mirrlees was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1996 in recognition of his fundamental contributions to the economic theory of incentives under asymmetric information. He was knighted in 1997. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 1957, Professor Mirrlees was admitted to Trinity College at Cambridge University and received his PhD in Economics in 1963. From 1968 to 1995 he was Edgeworth Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Nuffield College. From 1995 to 2003, he has served as Professor of Political Economy at the University of Cambridge. He has been Distinguished Professor-at-Large at CUHK since 2002. Professor Mirrlees has also held visiting professorships at MIT, UC Berkeley, Yale and Melbourne.

Professor Jagdish Bhagwati is senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and University Professor at Columbia University. He has been economic policy adviser to Arthur Dunkel, director-general of GATT (1991–93), special adviser to the UN on globalization, and external adviser to the WTO. He has served on the expert group appointed by the director-general of the WTO on the future of the WTO and the advisory committee to Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the NEPAD process in Africa, and was also a member of the Eminent Persons Group under the chairmanship of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso on the future of UNCTAD. Professor Bhagwati has published more than three hundred articles and has authored or edited over fifty volumes; he also writes frequently for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times, as well as reviews for the New Republic and the Times Literary Supplement. Professor Bhagwati is described as the most creative international trade theorist of his generation and is a leader in the fight for freer trade. His most recent book Termites in the Trading System (Oxford University Press, 2008) discusses the deleterious effects of preferential trading agreements. His previous book In Defense of Globalization (Oxford University Press, 2004) attracted worldwide acclaim. Five volumes of his scientific writings and two of his public policy essays have been published by MIT press. The recipient of six festschrifts in his honor, he has also received several prizes and honorary degrees, including awards from the governments of India (Padma Vibhushan) and Japan (Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star). A native of India, Professor Bhagwati attended Cambridge University where he graduated in 1956 with a first in economics tripos. He then continued to study at MIT and Oxford returning to India in 1961 as professor of economics at the Indian Statistical Institute and then as professor of international trade at the Delhi School of Economics. He returned to MIT in 1968, leaving it twelve years later as the Ford International Professor of Economics to join Columbia. He is married to Padma Desai, the Gladys and Ronald Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems at Columbia University and a scholar of Russian and other former socialist countries’ transition problems. They have one daughter, Anuradha Kristina.      



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