Economic Journal Anniversary Sessions

In addition to the usual programme of outstanding keynote lectures and special sessions, this year’s conference will feature a number of sessions celebrating the 125th Anniversary of The Economic Journal (EJ) and launching the anniversary edition of the journal.

The EJ sessions will consider the legacy of classic papers that have appeared in the journal over its history and relate their seminal contributions to current work in a number of important fields of economic analysis and policy. Convening at 5pm on each of the three days of the conference a host of eminent international experts will discuss topics in applied microeconomics (inequality; the taxation of savings), economic theory (behavioural economics; household production theory) and macroecononomics (growth; innovation; climate change; cyclical fluctuations in productivity and wages).

Participants include: Philippe Aghion, Anthony B. Atkinson, Orazio Attanasio, Alan Auerbach, Richard Blundell, Francois Bourguignon, Pierre-Andre Chiappori, Lawrence Christiano, Mikhail Golosov, Chad Jones, Arthur Lewbel, William Nordhaus, John Pencavel, Robert Pollak, Nicholas Stern, Robert Sugden and John Van Reenen.

ECONOMIC JOURNAL ANNIVERSARY SESSIONS

(Almost) A Century Since Dalton (And Gini): Where Is Inequality Analysis Going?

Monday 30 March 5pm-6.30pm, Location: Lecture Theatre B

The session draws on Hugh Dalton’s seminal article on “The Measurement of the Inequality of Incomes”, published in the Economic Journal in 1920, to discuss subsequent developments in the analysis of economic inequality. It focuses on four broad topics at the frontier of the research: consumption, income and net worth in the measurement of economic well-being; world income inequality; income dynamics and its implication for inequality; and the multidimensional view of inequality. Tony Atkinson will introduce the session, and then a distinguished speaker will deal with each topic; enough time will be allowed for a general discussion.

Anthony B. Atkinson (Nuffield College, Oxford, and LSE)
Timothy M. Smeeding (University of Wisconsin–Madison, currently visiting OECD)
Francois Bourguignon (Paris School of Economics)
Stephen P. Jenkins (LSE)
Sabina Alkire (OPHI, University of Oxford)

Harrod And Ramsey On Growth

Monday 30 March 5pm-6.30pm, Location: Lecture Theatre A

Early in its history, the Economic Journal published two papers - Ramsey's "Mathematical Theory of Saving" (1928) and Harrod’s “Essay in Dynamic Theory” (1939) - that went on to be highly influential, in different ways, in shaping growth theory, the modelling of savings in the aggregate and macroeconomics more generally. In this session Orazio Attanasio will begin by discussing the astonishing modernity of the Ramsey paper and how the framework developed in that paper relates to subsequent advances, from optimal growth theory, to permanent income/life-cycle theory of consumption , and other equilibrium models of growth. Following that, Timo Bopart and Chad Jones will present recent and ongoing research in the area and discuss the directions of modern theoretical and empirical work on growth more generally.

Orazio Attanasio (UCL and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
Timo Bopart (IIES, Stockholm)
Chad Jones (Stanford University)

On And Beyond Regret Theory

Monday 30 March 5pm-6.30pm, Location: 2.219/2.220

During the 1960 and 1970's several experimental studies questioned the descriptive status of expected utility theory and also its status as a theory for rational choice behaviour in the face of risk. The search for alternative decision models that could accommodate observed risk behaviour produced a few popular alternative models many of which incorporated insights from experimental economics and psychology. This session is centred around the alternative proposed by Graham Loomes and Robert Sugden in the paper "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice Under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Vol. 92, No. 368 (Dec., 1982). The session will begin with five short presentations which will be followed by a round table discussion.

Horst Zank, University of Manchester
Robert Sugden, University of East Anglia
Peter Wakker, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Marcel Zeelenberg, Tilburg University
Han Bleichrodt, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Graham Loomes, University of Warwick

Cyclical Variations In Real Wages

Tuesday 31 March 5pm-6.30pm, Location: Lecture Theatre B

More than 75 years ago, the Economic Journal – under Keynes’ editorship - published a series of papers on the behavior of real wages which have had an everlasting impact on the discipline. Keynes (1939) set out the case for downward nominal wage rigidity and for countercyclical real wage movements while Dunlop (1939), Richardson (1939) and Tarshis (1939) examined the empirical plausibility of these hypothesis. John Pencavel will review this debate and then relate the central issues to subsequent research on real wage dynamics drawing on microeconomic evidence. After that new research will be presented. Lawrence Christiano will discuss how wage inertia may be an equilibrium outcome and its implications for unemployment fluctuations. Christopher Huckfeldt and Antonella Trigari, will present joint work with Mark Gertler on the role of wage flexibility of new hires for the cyclical movements in unemployment. Benjamin Johannsen will present joint work with Lawrence Christiano and Martin Eichenbaum on the properties of New Keynesian models. The session will end with a short discussion about the outlook for future research on the topic.

Morten O. Ravn (UCL and Centre for Macroeconomics)
John Pencavel (Stanford University)
Lawrence Christiano (Northwestern University)
Christopher Huckfeldt (Cornell University)
Antonella Trigari (Bocconi University)
Benjamin Johannsen (Federal Reserve Board)

Sponsored by the ESRC Centre for Macroeconomics

The Taxation Of Savings

Tuesday 31 March 5pm-6.30pm, Location: Lecture Theatre A

Anthony Atkinson and Agnar Sandmo’s seminal paper “Welfare Implications of the Taxation of Savings”, published in the Economic Journal in 1980, embedded static optimal tax theory in an overlapping generations framework and provided an organizing framework for analyzing dynamic optimal taxes, intergenerational welfare, and issues relating to the optimal taxation of labour and capital income. This session will take that paper and framework as a starting point and discuss ongoing and new developments and research directions in the area. Alan Auerbach and Mikhail Golosov will discuss the taxation of saving in the context of optimal tax design and the new dynamic public finance literature, focusing on the relationship among different tax instruments under different assumptions about government objectives, policy constraints and the nature of idiosyncratic risks. Richard Blundell will then give a short perspective on the issues and chair a broader discussion.

Alan Auerbach (University of California, Berkeley)
Mikhail Golosov (Princeton)
Richard Blundell (UCL and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Sponsored by the ESRC Centre for the Analysis of Public Policy at the Institute for Fiscal Studies

50 Years Of Home Production And The Allocation Of Time

Tuesday 31 March 5pm-6.30pm, Location: 2.219/2.220

Fifty years ago, Gary Becker published his paper “A theory of the allocation of time” in the Economic Journal. In this ground breaking paper, which has obtained almost 10,000 citations in Google Scholar thus far, Becker merged the consumption of goods with time use in the production of household utility. It had a big influence in the literature, not only in obvious fields like labor economics and family economics, but also in fields like health economics or transportation economics. This special session will start with four short presentations on some aspects of Becker’s time allocation model, which will be followed by a panel discussion on its wider impact.

Arthur Lewbel (Boston College)
Pierre-André Chiappori (Columbia University)
Robert Pollak (Washington University in Saint-Louis)
Frederic Vermeulen (University of Leuven)

Innovation And Growth

Wednesday 1 April 5pm-6.30pm, Location: Lecture Theatre B

In 1989 the Economic Journal published Wes Cohen and Daniel Levinthal’s “Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D” which has received over 7,000 citations on Google Scholar. This paper has had a huge influence on the literature as it focused on the way firms’ efforts both push the technological frontier out but are also directed at catching up with the leading edge. In this session we bring together three papers on innovation and growth from leading scholars who focus on how we should understand innovation in the 21st Century. Philippe Aghion will discuss the original Cohen and Levinthal paper and consider its implications for analyzing important aspects of the growth process such as cross-country convergence and divergence, the international coordination of climate change policies, and the role of openness in the production of ideas. Following this, John Van Reenen and Ufuk Akcigit will then present recent work on various aspects of the nature of innovation and invention.
John Van Reenen (LSE and Centre for Economic Performance)
Philippe Aghion (Harvard University)
Ufuk Akcigit (UPenn)

Sponsored by the ESRC Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE

Climate Change And Economic Growth

Wednesday 1 April 5pm-6.30pm, Location: Lecture Theatre A

‘To slow or not to slow’ (Nordhaus, 1991 in the EJ) was the first economic appraisal of greenhouse gas emissions abatement and founded a large literature on a topic of great, worldwide importance. This session traces its legacy, in particular dynamic modelling of the linkages between economic growth and the climate. Three presentations will offer some of the latest perspectives on the issue, as well as making the link with fiscal policy.

William Nordhaus (Yale; by video)
Nicholas Stern (LSE)
Simon Dietz (LSE)
Rick van der Ploeg (University of Oxford)
Ottmar Edenhofer (Technical University of Berlin)

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