World-leading economists to assemble at Warwick for annual conference


The University of Warwick Economics Department is this year’s host for the Royal Economic Society Annual Conference. The RES is one of the oldest economic associations in the world, founded in 1890 to promote the study of economic science.

The prestigious event, taking place from 15 to 17 April in the university’s Oculus building, brings together more than 700 academic and professional economists from across the globe to present current research developments in economics, showcase real-world applications, and develop their personal and professional networks.

Leading global thinkers from Chicago, Princeton and Milan will deliver keynote lectures on themes including the future of capitalism, welfare policies, and the science of trade, while other conference sessions will consider corruption, inequality, the economics of healthcare, the rise in hate crime, and the impact of gender on economic development.

In addition to the main conference agenda, special events this year will include a mentoring retreat for female economists in the early stages of their careers, a series of evening discussion events open to the public, and a symposium of junior researchers, organised by the students themselves to foster discussion and sharing of research in all fields of economics.

Professor Jeremy Smith, Head of Department, said:

“I am very proud that the Warwick Department of Economics has been chosen to host this important conference.

“As a Department, we aim to deliver cutting-edge research with real-world policy relevance. It is the personal connections between researchers that makes our success possible and so we are delighted to be bringing together such a stellar collection of economists, at all stages of their careers and across the whole spectrum of economics.”

Local residents with an interest in economics and public affairs will be able to take part in the conference thanks to three early evening RES Presents discussion events, one on each day of the main conference.

The Question Time-style events are free to attend and will feature a panel discussion by leading economists on a topical issue followed by a debate. The three topics chosen for RES Presents 2019 are: Brexit, how universities can support regional development, and what it is that economists really do. Speakers will include the University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Croft.

Lord Nicholas Stern, President of RES, said:

“Our Annual Conference is a focal point for economists, students and professionals wanting to explore how economics can help us analyse and tackle the real issues in our lives.

“It provides a platform to consider significant subjects including changes in technology, inequality and the international economy. Importantly it is also an opportunity to communicate and engage with the media and the public about how economics can unlock our understanding of these topics.

“With more than 700 economists from all over the world coming together at the University of Warwick to discuss around 500 different economic ideas, it demonstrates that the UK continues to be at the forefront of economics.”

Keynote speeches will be delivered by:

  • James J. Heckman, Henry Shultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Public Policy and Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago. He will deliver the Sargan Keynote Lecture, entitled: Analyzing Social Experiments as Implemented
  • Anne Case, Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University, where she is the Director of the Research Program in Development Studies. She will deliver the Hahn Keynote Lecture, on Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism
  • Eliana La Ferrara, Invernizzi Chair in Development Economics at Bocconi University, Milan. She is also President of the European Economic Association and of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). She will deliver the Economic Journal Keynote Lecture, on Enforcing conditional welfare programs.
  • Peter Neary, Professor of Economics at Oxford University and a Professorial Fellow of Merton College. He will deliver the Past President’s Keynote Address, on Gravity without Apologies: The Science of Elasticities, Distance, and Trade

The three RES Presents events are:-

  • 15 April: How can economics be better communicated and discussed?

This debate will discuss how economics is taught and studied and how economists engage and communicate.

Chair: Professor Lord Nicholas Stern;

Panellists: Dr Arun Advani, Professor Wendy Carlin, Professor Rachel Griffith, Martin Wolf.

  • 16 April: Brexit – where is it taking us?

This debate will explore the different options available to the UK and our future relationship with the EU.

Chair: Dr Gemma Tetlow;

Panellists: Lord Macpherson, Professor Vicky Pryce, Professor Michael Wickens, Professor L. Alan Winters.

  • 17 April: How can universities and businesses foster economic growth?

This debate will consider the role of universities and businesses in fostering economic growth in cities and regions and how they can improve their contributions to local development.

Chair: Rachana Shanbhogue;

Panellists: Professor Paul Cheshire, Professor Stuart Croft, Rain Newton-Smith.