Stigler Lectures

Upcoming Lectures

January 29-31, 2019

"Management Strategy and Beyond" with Raffaella Sadun

Join us for three stand-alone, interrelated lunch seminars taught by Raffaella Sadun on the role of management practices—and managers—for organizational performance. The sessions will include an overview of studies documenting the variation in the adoption of management practices across firms and countries, as well as its impact on firm performance. We will explore the reasons for the variation in management, and conclude with a session exploring the role of management in the public sector.

Raffaella Sadun is the Thomas S. Murphy Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School. Her research focuses on the economics of productivity, management and organizational change. Her research documents the economic and cultural determinants of managerial choices, as well as their implications for organizational performance in both the private and public sector (including healthcare and education). She is among the founders of the World Management Survey and the Executive Time Use Study. Professor Sadun's work has appeared in leading peer reviewed journals including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Economic Journal, and has been featured in the business press, including The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times. She is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Faculty Associate at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, Research Affiliate at the Center for Economic Policy Research and Research Associate in the Ariadne Labs Program in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She was also nominated as a Junior Faculty Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation.

Tuesday, January 29: 12-1pm
Does management matter?

This session will review the evidence on the quality of management practices across firms, focusing on both variations across firms and their effect on firm performance. We will review findings emerging from “big-data” documenting the adoption of management practices across and within countries, as well as experimental studies aiming at identifying causal effects.

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Wednesday, January 30, 12-1pm
Why does management vary across firms?

This session studies why the quality of management varies across firms, focusing on the role of “complements”. We will explore contextual factors (e.g. competitive pressure) as well as internal choices (e.g. decentralization and incentives), which shape the returns to structured management practices. We shall also study emerging evidence on the relationship between leadership behavior and management practices.

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Thursday, January 31, 12-1pm
The role of management in the public sector

This session will consider the extent to which management affects the performance of public sector organizations. We will explore emerging evidence from a wide variety of sectors, focusing in particular on healthcare.

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All seminars take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in Harper Center, Room 104 (5807 S Woodlawn Ave)



Register here»

March 5, 2019

Raghuram Rajan on How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind

Join the Stigler Center for a conversation with Chicago Booth professor Raghuram Rajan – one of the most important economic thinkers of our time – on the current populist backlash against globalization and the release of his new book The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind. The conversation will be moderated by Chicago Booth professor Luigi Zingales.

Raghuram Rajan has an unparalleled vantage point onto the social and economic consequences of globalization and their ultimate effect on our politics. In The Third Pillar he offers a magnificent big-picture framework for understanding how these three forces–the state, markets, and our communities–interact, why things begin to break down, and how we can find our way back to a more secure and stable plane.

The “third pillar” is the community we live in. Economists all too often understand their field as the relationship between markets and the state, and they leave squishy social issues for other people. That’s not just myopic, Rajan argues; it’s dangerous.

Raghuram Rajan is the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He was the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India between September 2013 and September 2016. Euromoney magazine named him Central Banker of the Year in 2014. Between 2003 and 2006, Dr. Rajan was the Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund. He co-authored Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists with Luigi Zingales in 2003. He then wrote Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, for which he was awarded the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for best business book in 2010.

Luigi Zingales is the Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and the Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow and Director of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He launched the Capitalisn't podcast with Katherine Waldock in January 2018.

5:30 p.m. Registration and reception

6:00 p.m. Discussion and Q&A

7:15 p.m. Adjournment and book signing

Gleacher Center, Room 621 - 450 N. Cityfront Drive, Chicago 60611


Pre-register here»

Past Lectures

November 12, 2018

Not Your Typical Short Seller: A Conversation with Fahmi Quadir

Join the Stigler Center for a conversation with short-only hedge fund chief Fahmi Quadir and Booth Professor Luigi Zingales on short selling, regulation, exposing corporate fraud, countering retaliation, and thriving in a sometimes-reviled maverick industry lacking diversity.

Fahmi Quadir is the founder and chief investment officer of Safkhet Capital—a New York based short-only hedge fund focused on fraud identification and deep forensic research, which she founded in 2017 at the age of 26. Her dedication, skill, and courage in uncovering fraud through forensic due diligence has earned her the nickname of “The Assassin”. Previously, Quadir managed short investments at Krensavage Asset Management, where she played a pivotal role in successfully shorting Valeant Pharmaceuticals during a bull market. Quadir began her career at Deallus Consulting, where she advised executives at global pharmaceutical companies on strategy and achieving a competitive edge. The American-born daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, Quadir graduated from Harvey Mudd College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics and Biology. While attending school, Quadir was a New York Academy of Sciences Fellow at the Maimonides Medical Center, James Simons Fellow at the Stony Brook University Medical Center, a researcher at Harvey Mudd College, and Strauss Research Fellow at ICDDR,B. She was chosen to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2018 in the Finance category and she was also featured in an episode of hit Netflix show Dirty Money.

Luigi Zingales (moderator) is the Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and the Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow and Director of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He launched the Capitalisn't podcast with Katherine Waldock in January 2018.

11:45 a.m. Registration

12:00 noon Discussion and Q&A

1:00 p.m. Adjournment

Harper Center 104
5807 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637



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October 15-17, 2018

"Organizing Technological Change" with Luis Garicano

This is a course on the interaction between organizational change and technological change. We shall study how organizations change as a result of digitization, changes in the role of managers, and how organizational structure and change mediates productivity growth.

Join us for three stand-alone, interrelated lunch seminars exploring these topics with Professor Luis Garicano.

Luis Garicano is a professor of Economics and Strategy and head of the Center for the Digital Economy at IE Business School. He has previously been a Full Professor of Economics and Strategy at Chicago Booth (where he has remained a visiting professor, teaching in the Hong Kong and London XP programs, ever since he left Booth) and at the London School of Economics, and has been a visiting Professor at MIT and LBS among other institutions. Garicano is a leading researcher on topics such as the impact of technology on economic growth, the organization of economic activity, and the future of work in the knowledge economy. His research has shown that it is the interaction between technology and its implementation, through organizational change, that really matters in inducing productivity and change. His current lines of research also include building the institutions to avoid new economic crisis in the Eurozone. Garicano holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Law from Universidad de Valladolid, a Master’s degree in European Economic Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, and a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. Garicano has been actively involved in policy making. He was recently elected Vice President of ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), and he currently heads the area of Economy and Employment for Spain’s Ciudadanos party.

Monday, October 15: 12-1pm
How does organization mediate changes in the structure and level of wages?

This session will study the connection between changes in the nature of tasks, in the organization of work, in the organization of firms and in the structure of incentives

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Tuesday, October 16, 12-1pm
The changing roles of managers in the knowledge economy: managers as translators

This session studies the changing roles of managers as the interface between different "languages" in the organization. We shall explore some theoretical views and study in depth the case of of consulting

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Wednesday, October 17, 12-1pm
How does organization mediate productivity growth and economic growth?

This session will deal with differential technology adoption in firms with different firm sizes and ownership structure, and will seek to explain recent evidence on the increasing gap between productivity growth in different sized firms and different countries. We shall also study resistance to change, and why some organizations refuse to adapt to the evolution of technology.

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All seminars take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in Harper Center, Room 104 (5807 S Woodlawn Ave)



October 8, 2018

The People vs. Democracy with Yascha Mounk, Katherine Waldock, and Luigi Zingales

Join the Stigler Center and the Union League Club of Chicago for a conversation with author Yascha Mounk on his latest book, The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom is in Danger and How to Save It. The discussion will be moderated by Capitalisn’t podcast co-hosts Luigi Zingales (University of Chicago) and Katherine Waldock (Georgetown University) and will be recorded and released in a future episode.

Yascha Mounk is a lecturer on government at Harvard University, a senior fellow at New America's Political Reform Program, and host of The Good Fight podcast. Mounk’s research focus is on political theory, comparative politics, and the crisis of liberal democracy. Next to his scholarly work, Yascha writes about politics in Europe and the United States for publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Die Zeit and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and has appeared on CNN and NPR. He holds a BA and MPhil from Cambridge University, and a PhD from Harvard University.

Katherine Waldock is an assistant professor of finance at the McDonough School of Business and holds a courtesy joint appointment with the Georgetown Law Center. She is also co-host of the Capitalisn’t podcast with Chicago Booth professor Luigi Zingales.

Luigi Zingales is the Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and the Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow and Director of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He launched the Capitalisn't podcast with Katherine Waldock in January 2018.

5:00 p.m. Registration and reception

5:30 p.m. Discussion and Q&A

7:00 p.m. Adjournment and book signing

UNION LEAGUE CLUB OF CHICAGO - 65 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604


Watch video»

May 23–24, 2018

Mini-course: "Corporate Political Influence in the United States" with Brian Richter

Corporations attempt to capture the government and to wield influence over policy outcomes.  What channels are available to firms attempting to do so in the United States—and how is this activity regulated and disclosed? Is there too much or too little corporate money in politics? Are politicians infinitely bribable or are there limits?  And what’s the connection between corporate political influence and gerrymandering and corporate social responsibility?

Join us for two stand-alone, interrelated lunch seminars exploring these topics with Professor Brian Richter.

Brian Kelleher Richter is currently visiting the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago’s Booth School from the University of Texas at Austin's McCombs School of Business where he is an Assistant Professor in the Business, Government, and Society Department.  He received his Ph.D. from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, a Master’s from UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, and his S.B. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.  Outside of academia, he’s worked in both the public and the private sector, in the US and abroad.  At UT Austin, he teaches courses on corporate social responsibility and business & politics. 

Wednesday, May 23, 12–1 p.m.
Corporate-Linked Money

Topics addressed include:

  • Is there too much corporate money in politics?
  • How is corporate political activity regulated?
  • What types of corporate-linked money flow into US politics and how do these influence channels work in practice?
    • What are campaign contributions?
      • What is a political action committee (PAC)?
      • What is a personal campaign contribution?
    • What is a “Super PAC”? And what did the Citizens United Supreme Court case actually do?
    • What is lobbying?
  • How do different forms of corporate-linked money in politics actually work in practice?
  • Where else might influence money flow? Are there linkage to corporate philanthropy?

Watch video»

Thursday, May 24, 12–1 p.m.
Alternative Sources of Influence

Topics addressed include:

    • Are politicians infinitely bribable?  What are the limits to corporate political influence beyond regulating money in politics?

    • What is the relationship between corporate social responsibility profiles of firms have anything to do with money in politics?  Why does such a relationship exist?

    • What is gerrymandering, how is it done, and by whom? 

    • How do political districts and gerrymandering matter for firms interested in obtaining beneficial policy outcomes?

    • Why might the Supreme Court’s forthcoming decisions on gerrymandering (in Gil vs Whitford and Benisek v Lamone) potentially matter more for corporate political influence than Citizens United?

    Watch video»

    All seminars take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in Harper Center, Room C25 (5807 S Woodlawn Ave)

    May 14–16, 2018

    Mini-course: "Problems of Legitimacy for Central Banks in Democracies" with Paul Tucker

    Join us for three stand-alone, interrelated lunch seminars with Sir Paul Tucker, Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, Chair of the Systemic Risk Council, and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.

    Sir Paul Tucker is a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and chair of the Systemic Risk Council. He previously served as deputy governor at the Bank of England and as a member of the G20 Financial Stability Board’s Steering Group, chairing a group on Too Big To Fail. In 2014, Tucker was knighted by Britain for his services to central banking. His other current activities including being as a director at Swiss Re, a leading global re-insurer, and of the Financial Services Volunteers Corps.

    Sir Paul Tucker’s forthcoming book Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State will be available for purchase and signing.



    Monday, May 14, 12–1 p.m.

    Constraining Central Banks in Democracies

    Topics addressed will include:

    • The problem of unelected administrative power and (flawed) justifications for it
    • Credible commitment as the key ingredient to constraining administrative power
    • The need for insulation from quotidian politics and the democratic deficit in central banks
    • Why legitimacy matters
    • Tucker’s Principles for Delegation and related implications for antitrust and prudential supervision

    Watch video»

    Tuesday, May 15, 12–1 p.m.
    Applying the Principles for Delegation

    Topics addressed will include:

    • How the Principles fit (or don't) with the constitutional structures and norms of the US, UK, and Germany
    • A new non-delegation doctrine for US
    • The difficulty US has in achieving incentives-values compatibility
    • Examples from utility regulation, and the big problem of securities regulation

    Watch video»

    Wednesday, May 16, 12–1 p.m.
    The Post-Crisis Central Banks

    Topics addressed will include:

    • Is monetary policy independence out of date?
    • Balance sheet policy
    • Central banks as lenders of last resort
    • The role of an ethic of self-restraint

    Watch video»

    All seminars take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in Harper Center, Room 104 (5807 S Woodlawn Ave)

    May 1, 2018

    Radical Markets and the Captured Economy

    Join us for a conversation with authors Brink Lindsey, Steven Teles; Eric Posner and Glen Weyl on their latest books–The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality; and respectively Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. The conversation will be moderated by Georgetown University’s Katherine Waldock.

    Not so long ago, Silicon Valley was America’s pride and joy. Google, Facebook, and Apple represented the best of America—our drive to innovate, to dare, to dream. But the winds have decidedly shifted in the last year or two, as Big Tech’s enormous wealth and power have become apparent. Has Big Tech taken on monpoolistic tendencies, stifling competition and innovation? Are these tech darlings big enough to necessitate increased regulation or perhaps even antitrust action? Is it time to break up Big Tech?

    12:00 p.m. Registration, discussion and Q&A
    1:00p.m. Adjournment and book signing

    Harper Center C25
    5807 S Woodlawn Ave
    Chicago, IL 60637


    Lunch will be served.

    The event will be live-streamed.

    Learn More»

    Watch Video»

    February 26, 2018

    Fireside Chat: "Financial Regulation and Beyond: An Insider's Perspective" with Sharon Bowen & Guy Rolnik

    Join the Stigler Center for a conversation with Sharon Bowen, former commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Booth professor Guy Rolnik, on the challenges and opportunities facing regulators in the financial sector and beyond.

    In June 2017, when Ms. Bowen announced her intent to resign from the CFTC, there were only two commissioners on what is mandated to be a five-member bipartisan board. Lacking a full complement of commissioners since 2014, the CFTC had been “frozen in place while the markets we regulate are moving faster every day,” Bowen explained upon her announcement. “This fact,” she added, “is intolerable to me.”

    Ms. Bowen will offer an insider’s perspective on the progress made to reduce systemic financial risk, the remaining challenges in areas such as cybersecurity and high frequency trading, avoiding regulatory capture, maintaining competitive markets, the future of the Dodd-Frank Act, and the possible implications for regulators, the financial industry, and beyond.

    Sharon Bowen brings more than 35 years of regulatory, securities, and public policy expertise. She joined the Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. Board of Directors in December 2017, and also serves on the boards of certain NYSE U.S. regulated exchanges. Most recently, she served as a Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 2014 - 2017. During that time, she was a sponsor of the CFTC Market Risk Advisory Committee. Bowen was previously confirmed by the U.S. Senate and appointed by President Obama on February 12, 2010 to serve as Vice Chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). She assumed the role of Acting Chair in March 2012. Prior to her appointment to the CFTC, she was a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins LLP. Bowen’s broad and diverse corporate and transactional practice of almost 32 years began in 1982 when she started her career as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell. She joined Latham as a senior corporate associate in the summer of 1988 and became a partner January 1991, and continued at Latham & Watkins LLP until 2014. Bowen earned a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia, MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and JD from Northwestern University School of Law.

    Guy Rolnik is a clinical associate professor of strategic management at Booth. For the last 28 years, he has lived and worked in the intersection of business, finance, regulation, politics, and the media. First, as a financial journalist and editor, later as a business entrepreneur and founder of a media company, and in the last decade as a policy entrepreneur—using media as a tool for driving structural reforms in the economy. Rolnik earned a BA in Economics from Tel Aviv University, a Kellogg-Recanati International MBA from the EMBA program at Northwestern University and Tel Aviv University, and an AMP165 from the advanced management program at Harvard Business School.

    All seminars take place from 12-1 pm in Harper Center, Room 104 (5807 S Woodlawn Ave)

    Watch video»

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    February 14–15, 2018

    Mini-course: "Fintech and Banking in Europe: A Steady Revolution" with Robert Nicastro

    Join us for two stand-alone, interrelated lunch seminars with Italian banker and investor Roberto Nicastro.

    Roberto Nicastro is an Italian businessman and banker. He has served as chairman of Cassa del Trentino, the “A” rated Italian financial company, since 2015. He is also an angel investor in several fintech and various other startups. From 2015 to 2017, he served as chairman of the 4 ‘Good Banks’, entrusted  by the Bank of Italy to chair, restructure, and sell them. From 2010 to 2015, he served as group general manager of UniCredit Group, responsible for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Poland, Austria, Fineco, the group digital agenda, relationship with regulators, and the internal control system.  Previously, he headed CEE, retail banking, and planning. From 2000 to 2015, he was also deputy chairman of Bank Pekao (Poland), board member of HVB (Germany), Bank Austria, Unicredit Bank Russia, Koç Bank (Turkey), and chairman of Zagrebacka Banka (Croatia), Bulbank (Bulgaria), and Zivnostenska Banka (Czech Republic), among others. From 1991 to 1997, he was a senior manager at McKinsey & Co, with expertise in consumer goods, banking and supervision. From 1989 to 1991, he worked as a financial analyst at Salomon Brothers (London) in the M&A/capital markets department. From 1988 to 1989, Nicastro was a guest researcher at the Bocconi University’s Business Management School.

    Wednesday, February 14, 12–1 p.m.

    How Fintech is Transforming Retail Financial Services in Europe

    Topics addressed will include:

    • The digital divide across the continent
    • The unbundling of retail financial services business models
    • Main effects on customers and incumbent players/banks
    • The monetization of data
    • Main examples in retail payments, savings, lending, IT, RegTech
    • The push from regulators in 2018: PSD2 (Payment Services Directives) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

    Watch video»

    Thursday, February 15, 12–1 p.m.
    Banks' Reaction to Fintech: Strategies, Legacies, 'Coopetition'

    Topics addressed will include:

    • The legacy issue (HR, brick and mortar, customers habits, IT puzzle, internal siloes)
    • Financial markets and short termism as hurdles to digital drive
    • Cost drive
    • Digital transformation
    • Partnering with fintech
    • “Open banking”
    • Fintech venture capital initiatives by banks
    • Size considerations in digital innovation
    • 'Winners and losers'

    Watch video»

    All seminars take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in Harper Center, Room 104 (5807 S Woodlawn Ave)

    November 30, 2017

    Tyler Cowen in Conversation with Luigi Zingales on 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 this conversation with Luigi Zingales, Faculty Director of the Stigler Center, on Cowen's book The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream.

    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 »

    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 »

    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 12–1 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 12–1 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 2006 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 6, 2017

    "Is American Democracy in Trouble?" with David Moss

    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

    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.

    Due to the high level of interest, all three mini-course sessions have been moved to Harper Center 104.
    All seminars will take place from 12–1 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
    • Tuesday, December 6 in C08: the Chinese Growth Model
    • Thursday, December 8 in C25: the Chinese Economy: Moving Forward

    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.

    12–1:15 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)

    Over the past seven years, Eugene Soltes (Harvard Business School) sought to understand why senior executives engage in misconduct. As part of this project, he has extensively interviewed nearly 50 of the most prominent executives convicted of white-collar crimes. Soltes hypothesizes that many of the most well-known cases of executive failure might better be described as failures of managerial intuition rather than failures of reasoning. During the presentation, he will discuss the background of the project and some of his preliminary findings.

    12 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

    Harper Center C08
    5807 S Woodlawn Ave
    Chicago, IL 60637

    Watch Video »

    October 13, 2016

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

    In May 2015, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay a $55 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that it inflated the value of its complex derivatives portfolio during the height of the financial crisis. In late August 2016, whistleblower and former Deutsche Bank risk officer Eric Ben-Artzi caused a media sensation when he publicly rejected an $8.25 million award from the SEC due to the agency’s failure to punish Deutsche’s executives. At this event, Eric Ben-Artzi will share his behind-the-scenes stories.

    5 p.m. lecture 
    Reception to follow

    Harper Center C25
    5807 S Woodlawn Ave
    Chicago, IL 60637

    Watch Video »

    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)

    Professor Stefano Visentin from the University of Urbino Carlo Bo presents his research on political space, particularly the relationship between Machiavelli's thought and the development of the modern nation-state.

    4 - 6 p.m.

    Pick Hall 506
    Discussant: Agatha Slupek
    Co-sponsored with the Department of Political Science

    May 3, 2016

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

    Why is shareholder activism so prevalent right now? What systematic changes could improve corporate oversight? What are the options for a dissenting director when he/she is in a minority position on fundamental issues? Join us for a lively discussion as Karla Scherer (Chairman, The Karla Scherer Foundation), Nell Minow (Vice Chair, ValueEdge Advisors), and Paola Sapienza (Professor of Finance, Kellogg School of Management) discuss this topic together with Jeff Gramm (hedge fund advisor and author of Dear Chairman: Boardroom Battles and the Rise of Shareholder Activism).

    4:30 - 5 p.m.

    Harper Center Room 104
    Free and open to the public

    April 19, 2016

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

    Wage stagnation continues to pose a real challenge in today’s global economy. But what if people could work whenever they wanted to and earn extra money whenever they needed it? Enter Uber. Chief Advisor and Board Member David Plouffe heads to the University of Chicago for an exclusive presentation and fireside chat on our changing economy and why more people than ever are seeking flexible work.

    4:30 - 5 p.m.

    Harper Center Room 104
    Free and open to the public

    April 12, 2016

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

    Is competition the natural evolution of every economic system? Is the best government the smallest government? How does welfare impact the efficiency of an economic system? Bo Rothstein (Oxford), Casey Mulligan (Chicago), and Luigi Zingales (Chicago Booth) will discuss this topic, bringing in different perspectives.

    5 - 5:30 p.m.

    Harper Center Room 104
    Free and open to the public

    April 11, 2016

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

    What recipes do social scientists have to eradicate corruption and transform a country in an advanced democracy? Political scientist Bo Rothstein discusses the lessons he learned from 30 years of research on quality of government and institutions, with particular reference to the Scandinavian historical experience.

    4:30 - 5 p.m.

    Harper Center Room 104
    Free and open to the public

    March 31, 2016

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

    Described in the New York Times as “DuPont’s worst nightmare,” Robert Bilott, a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister, took on an environmental lawsuit that changed his career and exposed a decades-long history of chemical contamination of drinking water near a DuPont plant in West Virginia. After his client settled with Dupont over contamination by the ‘unregulated’ chemical PFOA or C8, Bilott decided to push ahead in pursuing the truth and exposing that PFOA is a risk to human health. In 2001 Bilott filed a class action lawsuit, Leach, et al. v E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co, on behalf of about 70,000 people in six water districts in West Virginia and Ohio that contained high levels of PFOA, leading to an ongoing legal battle with DuPont.

    Bilott discussed the legal, regulatory, political, and scientific challenges of addressing unregulated chemical contaminants in drinking water.

    4:30 - 5 p.m.

    Harper Center Room C25
    Free and open to the public

    March 15, 2016

    Climate Change: Why Journalism Failed with Alan Rusbridger

    Climate change is perhaps the biggest story of our generation. If the planet warms up in line with the majority of informed predictions the likely consequences for the human race will be immense. Yet how often do you read a story about climate change on the front page of your regular newspaper? How often does the subject feature in television bulletins?

    Why is it that journalism has failed to rise to arguably on of the most pressing issue of our times? Is the fault of journalists? Or are we - the apathetic readers - also to blame? Or is it something about the nature of journalism itself which sets it up for failure?

    Alan Rusbridger–after editing the Guardian for 20 years–decided to end his editorship by running a five month campaign to try and get the issue into greater public consciousness. In doing so he broke all the conventional truths about journalism taught in J Schools. But, arguably, he succeeded in bringing about change.

    5 - 5:30 p.m.

    Harper Center Room 104
    Free and open to the public

    Watch Video »

    March 3, 2016

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

    Pharmaceutical companies have come under increasing scrutiny for large increases in drug prices over the past years. Some have blamed investors and M&A for pressuring companies to raise prices. Others have blamed a broken patent and regulatory framework that stymies effective competition.

    In this talk, Luba Greenwood will explore the role of incentives, regulation, investment, and the patent system in driving the business model of modern pharma, and the ultimate impact of this system on patients.

    5 - 5:30 p.m.

    Harper Center Room C25
    Free and open to the public

    February 4, 2016

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

    Dean Starkman, an award-winning journalist and media critic, is a big believer in the power of journalism to correct market failures, hold regulators and political leaders to account, and, even keep Wall Street itself in check. But, he argues, in the years leading up to the financial calamity of 2008, it didn’t, with catastrophic consequences. Why not?

    The professional press provided reams of information about Wall Street and the financial system in the years before the crash — just the wrong kind, he says. For his book, the Watchdog that Didn’t Bark: the Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, 2014), Starkman sifted through an ocean of reporting on Wall Street and the financial system to discover the great paradox of the crisis: namely that while the press’s usual sources — insiders and elites — didn’t have the story, plenty of outsiders did. He reflects on the meaning of the crisis and its aftermath for journalism and explores how when it can live up to its irreplaceable role of providing oxygen to the public sphere and safeguarding the public interest against private externalities. Those expecting cheap and easy solutions will be disappointed. Journalism’s fact-gathering resources fell dramatically during and after the crisis, and its future is murky at best. But Starkman believes that while the crisis shook democracy both in the U.S. and around the world, it offers valuable lessons for journalism and the public that relies on it.

    5 - 5:30 p.m.

    Harper Center Room C25
    Free and open to the public

    January 26, 2016

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

    A small minority of drug companies are abusing the drug patent system in the U.S to sustain patents that contain no meaningful innovations, but serve to maintain their anti-competitive, high-price monopoly to the detriment of Americans suffering from illness. Kyle Bass will share his views on inefficient regulation and how eliminating improperly granted pharmaceutical patents promotes competition and innovation, which ultimately benefits consumers and taxpayers.

    5 - 5:30 p.m.

    Harper Center Room 104
    Free and open to the public

    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

    Jesse Eisinger will discuss his forthcoming book for Simon & Schuster on the Department of Justice. The book traces changes in the Justice Department culture, the law, policies, and practices—primarily from the Enron-era cases to today—to understand why the Justice Department has difficulty prosecuting top executives of the largest companies in the United States.

    Eisinger is a senior reporter at ProPublica. He writes a regular column for the New York Times’s Dealbook section. (He is currently on book leave.) In April 2011, he shared the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for a series of stories on questionable Wall Street practices that helped make the 2008 financial crisis the worst since the Great Depression. He won the 2015 Gerald Loeb Award for commentary. He has twice been a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Baffler and on NPR and "This American Life." Before joining ProPublica, he was the Wall Street editor of Conde Nast Portfolio and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, covering markets and finance.

    5 - 5:30 p.m.

    Harper Center Room C25
    Free and open to the public

    December 2, 2015

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

    Despite an enormously harmful financial crisis and despite rhetoric from politicians and regulators about the need to control Wall Street, the banking industry is still dangerous and distorted. What is wrong with banking and why is the industry so successful in virtually maintaining a bad status quo? This talk will describe the forces that explain why and how the banking industry maintains its economic and political power in the US and elsewhere. Professor Admati will discuss the basic economics of banking, trends in recent decades, and the unique governance issues that pervade the institutions within and around banking. Among the reasons for the success of the industry is the pervasive myth that banks are “special,” and the spin and narratives that maintain this myth and which have been used to justify the excessive privileges banks enjoy. Professor Admati will assess the state of financial regulations, calls for “breaking up the banks,” risk tax, and other approaches.

    5 - 5:30 p.m.

    Harper Center Room C25
    Free and open to the public

    November 20 and 21, 2015

    Crisis in the Economic Theory of the Firm

    Milton Friedman famously wrote that the only social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. Friedman's result is based, among others, on the assumption that the rules of the game are fixed: firms, in their profit maximizing behavior, cannot modify the rules to their own advantage. Ironically, the year after Friedman published “The social responsibility of business,” George Stigler, Friedman’s colleague at the University of Chicago, published “The Theory of Economic Regulation,” perhaps the most influential piece ever written on the problem of regulatory capture. A central thesis of this paper is that, as a rule, regulation is "acquired by the industry and is designed and operated primarily for its benefit.” Hence, firms are not players in a game whose rules are exogenously set (as in Friedman’s view), but players that successfully lobby to modify the rules of the game to their advantage. From a normative point of view, in this world what should a firm maximize? Is Friedman's rule still valid, or should it be modified? If so, how? This is the topic we want to discuss in this meeting.

    Co-organized with Harvard Business School

    Harvard Business School
    See schedule for more details.

    November 11, 2015

    Thin Political Markets: A talk by Professor Karthik Ramanna

    “Thin political markets” are the processes through which some of the most complex and critical institutions of our capitalist system are determined—e.g., our accounting-standards infrastructure; rules for bank-capital adequacy; actuarial standards; and auditing practice. In thin political markets, corporate special interests are largely unopposed because of their own expertise and the general public’s low awareness of the issues. This enables special interests to structure the “rules of the game” in self-serving ways. On one level, this behavior embodies the capitalist spirit articulated by Milton Friedman: “The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.” But the ethics of profit-seeking behavior are premised on the logic of competition and, as this session will demonstrate, this logic breaks down in thin political markets. The result is a structural flaw in the determination of critical institutions of the capitalist system, which, if ignored, can undermine the legitimacy of the system. Professor Ramanna will close with some ideas on how to fix the problem.

    5 - 5:30 p.m.

    Harper Center Room 104

    October 12, 2015

    LATAM event: Fireside Chat with Mauro Cunha

    A fireside chat with Mauro Cunha (CEO, AMEC) on the topic of "Asset Management and Corporate Governance in Brazil: landscape, opportunities and challenges. Mediated by Professor Luigi Zingales.

    7 - 8:30 p.m.

    Gleacher Center, Room 100
    Exclusively for LABG members

    October 7, 2015

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

    The George Stigler Center at Chicago Booth presents the first in a new series of talks aimed at MBA students and the entire University of Chicago community. Professor Randall Morck of the Alberta School of Business will talk about his research on the influence of politics on financial markets.

    6 p.m.

    Harper Center Room C25
    Free and open to the public

    April 10, 2015

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

    View Welcome and Introductory Remarks »

    • Robert Brennan, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, The New Republic
    • Michael Quigley, Member, U.S. House of Representatives (D-IL 5th)

    View Headline Interview: EPA's Gina McCarthy »

    Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency interviewed by Jeffrey Ball, Scholar-in-Residence, Stanford University's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, and Contributor, The New Republic

    View City Approaches to Confronting Climate Change »

    • Emma Berndt, Executive Director, Urban Energy and Sustainability Lab, University of Chicago
    • Katherine Gajewski, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Philadelphia
    • Amy Francetic, Chief Executive Officer, Clean Energy Trust
    • Gabriel Pacyniak, Climate Change Mitigation Program Manger, Georgetown Climate Center
    • Moderator: Jeffrey Ball, Scholar-in-Residence, Stanford University's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, and Contributor, The New Republic

    View State Efforts to Implement Climate Legislation »

    • Doug Scott, Former ICC Chair and IEPA Head, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Great Plains Institute
    • Michael Polsky, President and CEO, Invenergy
    • Moderator: Michael Greenstone, Director, Energy Policy Institute at Chicago

    Location: University of Chicago

    November 13, 2014

    The Ninth B. Peter Pashigian Memorial Lecture

    Introductory Remarks: Robert Topel
    Featuring: Professor Kevin Murphy “Competition, Negotiated Discounts and Contracts that Reference Rivals”

    View the lecture »

    3:30 p.m.

    Harper Center Room 06

    October 15, 2014

    A Conversation with Peter Thiel, Cofounder of PayPal

    Peter shares highlights from his new book, Zero to One

    Co-sponsored with the Polsky Center

    View coverage »

    5 - 6:30 p.m.

    Harper Center Room 104

    May 9, 2013

    Energy Policy Workshop with Epic, Chicago Booth

    12 - 1:15 p.m.

    Booth School of Business Room C02

    April 25, 2013

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

    Dr. Meghan Busse at Northwestern University focuses her research on market structure and competition, with particular interest in pricing and price discrimination. Her areas of current interest are energy economics and the U.S. automobile industry; her study of the auto industry is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

    She will speak on the question "Did Cash for Clunkers Deliver? The Consumer Effects of the Car Allowance Rebate System."

    12 - 1:15 p.m.

    Booth School of Business Room C02

    April 12, 2013

    The Ronald Coase Institute & The Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State (PDF)

    Round-table Discussion:

    The Role that Scholarly Ideas Have Played in Influencing Policy

    December 6, 2012

    The Energy Policy Series: Session Four

    Vertical Commitments and the Price Effects of Mergers: Evidence from Electricity Markets

    Erin Mansur, Datmouth College

    12 - 1:15 p.m.

    Harper Center Room C02

    November 8, 2012

    The Energy Policy Series: Session Three

    Cynthia Wu, Chicago Booth
    Risk Premia on Crude Oil Futures Prices

    12 - 1:15 p.m.

    Harper Center Room C02

    October 29, 2012

    The Eighth B. Peter Pashigian Memorial Lecture

    Introductory Remarks: Robert Topel
    Featuring: Professors Jesse Shapiro and Matt Gentzkow
    The Media and the State: Historical Evidence from U.S. Newspapers

    3:30 p.m.

    Harper Center Room 104

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