BMO Public Lectures

Posted: Wed, 08/31/2016 - 16:38 Updated: Wed, 08/31/2016 - 16:55

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The Bank of Montreal Lecture Series will bring distinguished academics and speakers to Simon Fraser University for annual public lectures.

Past BMO Lectures

Who Gets What and Why: The economics of life choices from school admissions to kidney exchange 

You participate in many more markets than you may realize. From school admissions to kidney exchanges, markets are all around us - even when no money exchanges hands. Alvin Roth, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics, explains the economics of hidden markets and how market design can help fix broken markets, and create new ones. Professor Roth will explore how we can make better decisions by matching our desires in a marketplace.  He is the author of Why Gets What – and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design. 

Alvin Roth's Bio
Al Roth is the Craig and Susan McCaw Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and the George Gund Professor Emeritus of Economics and Business Administration at Harvard. He shared the 2012 Nobel memorial prize in Economics, "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design.”. His work is in game theory, experimental economics, and market design. He directed the redesign of the National Resident Matching Program, through which most American doctors find their first employment as residents at American hospitals. He has also helped in the reorganization of the market for more senior physicians, as they pursue subspecialty training, and in other labor markets. He helped design the high school matching systems used in New York City, and the school choice systems for public and charter schools in other large American cities. He has helped in the design and implementation of kidney exchange, which allows  incompatible patient-donor pairs to find compatible kidneys for transplantation. He is the author of Who Gets What and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design.



Vernon Smith Presents "Rethinking Housing Bubbles: Propositions on Housing, Instability and Recession"

On November 13, 2014 Dr. Vernon L. Smith, Nobel Laureate, spoke at Simon Fraser University on “Rethinking Housing Bubbles: Propositions on Housing, Instability, and Recessions”.  Over 200 alumni, students, business professionals, and members of the community attended this lecture.

Housing bubbles have foreshadowed 11 out of the 14 most recent US recessions. The last Great Recession (1997-2012) began with a housing bubble and collapse, with the effects still lingering today. Bubbles have occurred in economic history but severe episodes are rare. The recent collapse, like the Depression, was unexpected by economic and policy experts. 

The Great Recession and the Depression were the result of a severe housing bubble that was triggered by households spiraling into negative net equity. Home values plummeted against fixed mortgages indebtedness, with banks and other lending institutions being pulled into this spiral. Our path to a recovery might be long. Dr. Smith will identify alternative recovery scenarios but none of them are painless.

Vernon L. Smith, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, 2002, "for having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis, especially in the study of alternative market mechanisms," has held appointments at Purdue University, Stanford University, Brown University, University of Massachusetts, USC, California Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, University of Alaska-Anchorage, George Mason University, and Chapman University.

Professor Smith received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from California Institute of Technology (1949), his master's in Economics from the University of Kansas (1951), and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard (1955). He has authored or co-authored over 290 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics, experimental economics, and the housing origins of economic instability, 1920-2014.

Professor Smith is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Purdue University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Management degree in 1989. Dr. Smith was elected member, National Academy of Science, 1995. In 1996 he received Cal Tech's Distinguished Alumni Award. He became Kansan of the year (Topeka Gazette) in 2002, received a Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Kansas in 2011 and in 2014 an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.

He has served on numerous editorial and editorial advisory boards, and as president of several national economic associations. He has served as a consultant on the liberalization of electric power in Australia and New Zealand, and has participated in numerous private and public discussions of energy privatization and liberalization in the United States and around the world. In 1997 he served as a Blue Ribbon Panel Member, North American Electric Reliability Council.



Richard Blundell Presents "Using Evidence to Improve the Tax System: Lessons from the Mirrless Review"

Richard Blundell will explain how taxes influence our daily decisions and how tax reform could be used to improve the workings of the economy, creating a more efficient society.  He will discuss the findings from the Mirrlees Review, a comprehensive analysis of tax systems. Richard was part of the team of international experts that developed the Mirrlees Review and recommended key tax reforms across the whole tax system.  

His lecture will focus on the taxation of earnings and how tax design can change behavior to improve the efficient running of the economy. Using examples from academic research, Richard Blundell will break down the theories that inform the tax reform and clarify the challenges, benefits, and outcomes.

Richard Blundell's Bio
Richard Blundell holds the David Ricardo Chair of Political Economy at University College London where he was appointed Professor of Economics in 1984, and was Chair of the Department 1988 – 1992. Since 1986 he has been Research Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), where he is also Director of the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy. A graduate of University of Bristol and the LSE, he holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland; the Norwegian School of Economics, NHH, Bergen, Norway; and the University of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany. He has held visiting professor positions at UBC, MIT and Berkeley. 

In 1995 he was awarded the Yrjö Jahnsson Prize, given every two years to the best young economist in Europe (aged under 45), for his work in microeconometrics and the analysis of labour supply, welfare reform and consumer behaviour. In 2000 he was awarded the Econometric Society Frisch Prize Medal for his paper 'Estimating Labour Supply Responses using Tax Reforms'. He was awarded the CBE in the 2006 Queens New Year Honours list for his services to Economics and Social Science. In 2008 he was the recipient of the Jean-Jacques Laffont Prize given to a high level economist whose research combines both the theoretical and applied aspects of economics. He was awarded the CES-Ifo Prize in 2010 and the Sandmo Prize in 2011.

He served as President of the European Economics Association in 2004, President of the Econometric Society in 2006,  President of the Society of Labor Economics in 2010 and President of the Royal Economic Society (2011-2013). He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society (1991), Fellow of the British Academy (1996), Honorary Member of the American Economic Association (2001), Honorary Member American Academy of Arts and Science (2002) and Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (2003).

He has been on the editorial board of many academic journals and was co-editor of Econometrica from 1997-2001 and co-editor of the Journal of Econometrics from 1992 to 1997. He is currently an Editorial Board member of Annual Reviews. His published papers have appeared in academic journals including Econometrica, Review of Economic Studies, American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Applied Econometrics and Economic Journal. He has also published a number of edited volumes and monograph. For a complete list of publications and other activities, please see Richard Blundell's website. He is also one of the editors of the Mirrlees Review of Tax Reform which reported its findings in 2011.



Ross Levine's Lecture "Guardians of Finance: Making Regulators Work for Us"

Dr. Ross Levine was the speaker for the April 2013 BMO Public Lecture. Dr. Levine is one of the co-authors of “Guardian of Finance”. This book is a timely analysis of the (in)actions of financial regulators that lead to the financial crisis in the late 2000’s and why current regulations are on the path to repeat history. Dr. Levine will propose ways to rectify this situation, however powerful forces will work against reform. Dr. Levine is the current Wilis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance at the University of California, Berkeley.
Watch Dr. Levine's BMO Public Lecture, "Guardians of Finance: Making Regulators Work for Us".

Hundreds of members of the general public and local business communities turned out in early March 2012 for a penetrating discussion of the current economic outlook in the aftermath of the financial crisis, presented by Dr James Bullard, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis.

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