Events

The George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State hosts conferences where members of the business, academic, and public policy communities gather to exchange views on and debate ideas about the center’s research agenda. The center also seeks to raise awareness of important economic and policy issues at events open to students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and other members of the public.

Upcoming Events

May 24, 25, and 26, 2017

Mini-Course: "Is Direct Democracy a Solution to Populism?" with John Matsusaka (USC)

Join us for a series of stand-alone, interrelated lunch seminars with John Matsusaka (Charles F. Sexton Chair in American Enterprise, University of Southern California).

In recent years, a surge in populism in many of the western democracies has fueled the rise of political movements that promise to restore power back into the People’s hands. In turn, this led to two of the most unexpected political outcomes of the past year: the decision of Great Britain to leave the European Union, and the election of Trump as the 45th president of the United States. These lectures discuss the possible reasons for the rise of global populism and explores the role of direct democracy—initiatives and referendums—as an alternative to representative democracy. Is the growth of direct democracy part of the problem, or can it be part of the solution?

Seminars will take place from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. in Harper Center C05 (5807 S Woodlawn Ave.).

  • Wednesday, May 24: Are the People Losing Control Over the Institutions They Elect? Watch Live »
  • Thursday, May 25: Why Direct Democracy Can Work. Watch Live »
  • Friday, May 26: Can We Use Direct Democracy to Fix Democracy? Watch Live »

John Matsusaka is Charles F. Sexton Chair in American Enterprise in the the Marshall School of Business, Gould School of Law, and Department of Political Science at the University of Southern California, and Executive Director of the Initiative and Referendum Institute at USC. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, and has held visiting appointments at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, UCLA, Caltech, and the University of Chicago. His research focuses on the financing, governance, and organization of corporations and governments. He has published numerous scholarly articles, served as a consultant for the White House Council of Economic Advisors, and is the author of For the Many or the Few: The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy (University of Chicago Press, 2004). From 2007 to 2013 he served as Vice Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs in the USC Marshall School of Business.

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June 1-2, 2017

Conference on the “Political Economy of Finance”

The Stigler Center at The University Chicago Booth School of Business is hosting a one-and-a-half day academic conference on the “Political Economy of Finance.”

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View Past Events By Year

April 24 and 25, 2017

Mini-Course: "Trump and Trade" with Douglas Irwin (Dartmouth)

Join us for a pair of stand-alone, interrelated lunch seminars with Douglas Irwin (John Sloan Dickey Third Century Professor in the Social Sciences, Dartmouth College).

Seminars will take place from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. in Harper Center 104 (5807 S Woodlawn Ave.).

  • Monday, April 24: Are We Losing? Trade Deficits and Global Competition (Watch Video »)
  • Tuesday, April 25: Bad Deals? Those Disastrous Trade Agreements (Watch Video »)

Douglas Irwin is the John Sloan Dickey Third Century Professor in the Social Sciences in the Department of Economics at Dartmouth College. He is author of Free Trade Under Fire (Princeton University Press, fourth edition 2015), Trade Policy Disaster: Lessons from the 1930s (MIT Press, 2012), Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression (Princeton University Press, 2011), The Genesis of the GATT (Cambridge University Press, 2008, co-authored with Petros Mavroidis and Alan Sykes), Against the Tide: An Intellectual History of Free Trade (Princeton University Press, 1996), and many articles on trade policy in books and professional journals. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and has also served on the staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisers and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

April 13, 2017

"The Economics of Investigative Journalism: the Case of French Mediapart" with Edwy Plenel and James Hamilton

Investigative journalism that holds powerful actors to account and exposes the ways special interest groups influence the rules of the game is an important democratic institution. But is there a viable business model for media outlets that provide this service? Is financial investigative journalism a service that can be produced by the market or is it a public good?

These questions will be discussed in a special event hosted by the Stigler Center with Edwy Plenel, the Editor-in-Chief of MediaPart and Stanford Professor James T. Hamilton.

Edwy Plenel is the founder of MediaPart, a startup created in 2008 that disrupted the French news media market with groundbreaking investigative stories. Mediapart has become highly profitable, with a business model that is based solely on subscription fees, not advertising.

James Hamilton is the Hearst Professor of Communication and the Director of the Journalism Program at Stanford University. He has published many books on media markets and information provision. His most recent book, Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism (Harvard, 2016), focuses on the market for investigative reporting. Through research in the field of computational journalism, he is exploring how the costs of story discovery can be lowered through better use of data and algorithms.

11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Lunch will be served

Harper Center C25
5807 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

Watch Video »

March 27–29, 2017

Is There a Concentration Problem in the United States?

The Stigler Center will host a three-day conference in Chicago in March 2017, bringing together academics, regulators, and public intellectuals to discuss one of the most interesting questions of our time: is there a concentration problem in the United States?

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Call for Papers »

March 6, 2017

"Is American Democracy in Trouble?" with David Moss (HBS)

Is American democracy in trouble? Professor David Moss will take up this question from an historical perspective, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of the nation’s political system as it has evolved over the past 230-plus years. He will pay particular attention to the nature of political conflict over time, and whether partisan divisions and other political fault lines have become especially dangerous today, as many commentators contend. Ultimately, he will consider whether it’s possible for America’s aging democracy to overcome its many challenges—and if so, how. Over the past several years, Professor Moss has developed a case-method course on the history of American democracy, available to both Harvard undergraduates and business school students, and he recently finished writing a book on the subject called Democracy: A Case Study, which will be published by Harvard University Press in early 2017.

David Moss is the Paul Whiton Cherington Professor at Harvard Business School, where he teaches in the Business, Government, and the International Economy (BGIE) unit. He earned his B.A. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from Yale. In 1992-1993, he served as a senior economist at Abt Associates. He joined the Harvard Business School faculty in July 1993.

4:30 p.m. Reception
5-6:30 p.m. Lecture

Harper Center 104
5807 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

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March 3–4, 2017

How Incomplete is the Theory of the Firm?

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January 9, 10, 11, 2017

Mini-Course: "Blockchains and the Future of Finance" with David Yermack (NYU)

Blockchains represent a novel application of cryptography and information technology to age-old problems of financial record-keeping, and they may lead to far-reaching changes in the finance industry. Over the next decade, banks, stock markets, and other intermediaries are expected to shrink as more financial transactions move to peer-to-peer FinTech platforms. This lecture discusses the potential implications of these changes for managers, institutional investors, small shareholders, auditors, and other groups in the financial world.

David L. Yermack is the Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation at New York University Stern School of Business. He serves as Chairman of the Finance Department and Director of the NYU Pollack Center for Law and Business. Professor Yermack teaches joint MBA - Law School courses in Restructuring Firms & Industries and Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies, as well as PhD research courses in corporate governance, executive compensation, and distress and restructuring.

All seminars will take place from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. in Harper Center 104, 5807 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637.

  • Monday, January 9: What Problems Do Blockchain's Solve? Watch Video »
  • Tuesday, January 10: Blockchains and Corporate Finance Watch Video »
  • Wednesday, January 11: Blockchains and Central Bank Digital Currency Watch Video »

December 5, 6, 8, 2016

Mini-Course: "Political Economy in China: Capital Markets, Governance, and Growth" with Bernard Y. Yeung (National University of Singapore)

Join us for a a mini-course of three stand-alone interrelated lunch seminars with Bernard Yeung (NUS).

Professor Bernard Yeung is the Dean and Stephen Riady Distinguished Professor in Finance and Strategic Management at National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School. Before joining NUS in June 2008, he was the Abraham Krasnoff Professor in Global Business, Economics, and Management at New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business. He has also served as the Director of the NYU China House, the honorary co-chair of the Strategy Department of the Peking University Guanghua School of Management, and Advisory Professor at the East China Normal University. From 1988 to 1999, he taught at the University of Michigan and at the University of Alberta from 1983 to 1988.

All seminars will take place from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. in the Harper Center, 5807 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637.

  • Monday, December 5 in C25: Anti-Corruption Reforms and Shareholder Valuations: Evidence from China Watch Video »
  • Tuesday, December 6 in C08: the Chinese Growth Model Watch Video »
  • Thursday, December 8 in C25: the Chinese Economy: Moving Forward Watch Video »

November 30, 2016

"The Euro" a Conversation with Stiglitz and Brunnermeier, Moderated by Zingales

Is the euro doomed? Or is it an irreversible step toward a closer political union, which has brought peace and stability to Europe? To discuss these fundamental questions, we will have on the one side Nobel prize winner and author of the book The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe, Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University), and on the other side a rising star in the economics profession and co-author of the book The Euro and the Battle of Ideas, Markus Brunnermeier (Princeton University). Our own Luigi Zingales will moderate the debate.

Noon–1:15 p.m.

Harper Center 104
5807 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

Watch Video »

September 30, 2016

Welcome Back BBQ

November 20 – Saturday, November 21 2015

Crisis in the Economic Theory of the Firm


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