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

November 8–9, 2017

Stigler in the 21st Century

Register here»

November 30, 2017

The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream

Have Americans lost the willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change – key characteristics which have helped us produce a dynamic economy?

Tyler Cowen, Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University, will consider these questions and more in his Stigler Center lecture.

5:00 p.m. Reception
5:30-7 p.m. Lecture

Gleacher Center Room 621
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Register here»

May 2018

Conference on the “Political Economy of Finance”

View Past Events By Year

October 25, 2017

"Is Western Liberal Democracy in Retreat?" with Ed Luce

In his last book, The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce discusses the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy―of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a terrifying symptom.

Edward Luce is the Washington columnist and commentator for the Financial Times. He writes a weekly column, FT’s leaders/editorials on American politics and the economy and other articles. Ed has worked for the FT since 1995 as Philippines correspondent, capital markets editor, South Asia bureau chief in New Delhi and Washington bureau chief between 2006 and 2011.

5:00 p.m. Reception
5:30–7 p.m. Lecture

Gleacher Center, Room 621
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Watch Video »

September 26, 2017

What a Trump America Can Learn From Italy

What can America learn from Italy’s experience under Berlusconi? And can Italy offer any hope?

Beppe Severgnini, a columnist for Corriere della Sera and the New York Times, will consider these questions and more in his Stigler Center lecture.

12–1 p.m.
Lunch will be served

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

Watch Video »

September 23, 2017

Populist Plutocrats: Lessons from Around the World (with Harvard Law School)

September 19, 2017

NYC: Journalists in Residence Program Info Session

Join us for an informational session in New York City about the spring 2018 Stigler Center Journalists in Residence Program, which will be presented by Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and Faculty Director of the Stigler Center at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and 2017 Stigler Center Journalists in Residence Fellows Brooke Fox (Financial Times) and Jana Kasperkevic (Marketplace).

July 4, 2017

London, UK: Chicago Booth Stigler Center Journalists in Residence Program Info Session

Join us for an informational session at the Chicago Booth London campus about the spring 2018 Stigler Center Journalists in Residence Program, which will be presented by Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and Faculty Director of the Stigler Center at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Alexandra Fattal, Italy business and finance correspondent at The Economist and 2017 Stigler Center Journalists in Residence fellow.

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 Video »
  • Thursday, May 25: Why Direct Democracy Can Work. Watch Video »
  • Friday, May 26: Can We Use Direct Democracy to Fix Democracy? Watch Video »

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.

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?

Learn More »

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

Register »

March 3–4, 2017

How Incomplete is the Theory of the Firm?

Learn More »

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 »

October 24, 2016

"Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal" a Conversation with Eugene Soltes (HBS), Moderated by Nick Epley (Booth)

October 13, 2016

"SEC and Revolving Doors: A Conversation with Deutsche Bank Whistleblower Eric Ben-Artzi

September 30, 2016

Welcome Back BBQ

July 19, 2016

"Spaces of the Princes, Spaces of the People: On Machiavelli's Construction of a Political Topography" with Stefano Visentin (University of Urbino Carlo Bo)

May 3, 2016

Panel Discussion: "Corporate Governance in the Era of Shareholder Activism" 

April 28, 2016

Lunch Lecture: Insider Trading by Public Servants: Evidence from the Real Estate Transactions in a Developed Country with Professor Sumit Agarwal (National University of Singapore)

April 19, 2016

"Work On Demand–Serving Chicago's Underserved" with David Plouffe (Uber)

April 12, 2016

"Welfare, Competition, and Quality of Government" with Bo Rothstein, Casey Mulligan, and Luigi Zingales 

April 11, 2016

"How Scandinavian Countries Became Non-Corrupt" with Bo Rothstein (Oxford)

March 31, 2016

"Protecting Our Drinking Water" with Robert Bilott (Taft)

March 15, 2016

Climate Change: Why Journalism Failed with Alan Rusbridger

March 3, 2016

Big Pharma: The Business of Innovation and Regulation with Luba Greenwood

February 4, 2016

Why the news media failed the public before the financial crisis — and why it will fail again with Dean Starkman

January 26, 2016

The US Has a Drug Problem with Kyle Bass, Hayman Capital Management L.P.

January 5, 2016

The Rise of Executive Impunity: How the Justice Department Lost the Will and Ability to Prosecute Top Corporate Officers with Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica

December 2, 2015

Why Banks Still "Own the Place" with Professor Anat Admati (Stanford GSB)

December 3, 2015

Lunch Lecture: What’s Wrong with Banking and What Academics Can Do About It with Professor Anat Admati (Stanford GSB)

November 20 – Saturday, November 21 2015

Crisis in the Economic Theory of the Firm

November 11, 2015

Thin Political Markets: A talk by Professor Karthik Ramanna

October 12, 2015

LATAM event: Fireside Chat with Mauro Cunha

October 12, 2015

Lunch lecture: The Great Pyramids of America

October 7, 2015

How Politics Impacts Financial Markets: A talk by Professor Randall Morck

October 6, 2015

Lunch Lecture: Shareholder Rights and Regulatory Framework in Brazil: Lessons from the frontline

April 10, 2015

The Next Frontier of Climate Change: State and Local Action in Chicago

November 13, 2014

The Ninth B. Peter Pashigian Memorial Lecture

October 15, 2014

A Conversation with Peter Thiel, Cofounder of PayPal

May 15, 2014

30 Years After the Failure of Continental Illinois Bank: Have We Solved Too Big to Fail?

May 9, 2013

Energy Policy Workshop with Epic, Chicago Booth

April 25, 2013

Spring Energy Forum: Meghan Busse, Northwestern University: "Did Cash for Clunkers Deliver?"

December 6, 2012

The Energy Policy Series: Session Four

November 8, 2012

The Energy Policy Series: Session Three

October 29, 2012

The Eighth B. Peter Pashigian Memorial Lecture

Support The Stigler Center
Pro-Market | The Stigler Center Blog
Financial Trust Index, How much do Americans trust financial institutions?
Sign Up for the Stigler Newsletter