2016 Conference Home

The 2016 Annual Conference of the Royal Economic Society took place Monday 21 March to Wednesday 23 March 2016 at the University of Sussex, Brighton. The conference invited submissions of papers and special sessions from academic, government and business economists in any field of economics and econometrics.

The 2016 RES Conference programme is now available.

2016 Keynote and Plenary sessions can be viewed here and on RES Youtube.

The 2016 Conference Brochure can be downloaded here: low-res | high-res.

Programme highlights include Keynote Lectures by the French development economist Esther Duflo of the Poverty Action Lab and Kristrin Forbes, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, as well as a Plenary session on Brexit and another on Minimum Wages with former US presidential adviser and Princeton economist Alan B. Krueger.

Keynote Lectures

The Keynote Lectures were given by:

  • Professor Esther Duflo (MIT) - Economic Journal Lecture

“Randomized Evaluation as a Guide to Policy: progress and Challenges”

Professor Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at the MIT and a co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). In her research, she seeks to understand the economic lives of the poor, with the aim to help design and evaluate social policies. She has worked on health, education, financial inclusion, environment and governance.

  • Professor Kristin Forbes (MIT and Monetary Policy Committee) - Hahn Lecture

"Current Account Deficits during Heightened Risk: Menacing or Mitigating?"

Professor Kristin Forbes joined the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England in July of 2014. She is also the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Professor of Management and Global Economics at the Sloan School of Management at the MIT. Her academic research addresses policy-related questions in international macroeconomics, including topics such as capital flows, contagion, and financial crises.

  • Professor Susanne Schennach (Brown) – Sargan Lecture

"Learning From Errors"

Susanne Schennach is currently a Professor of Economics at Brown University, and is an International Fellow at cemmap. Prior to this she was a Professor in the Economics Department at the University of Chicago. She is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and is especially well known for her research on measurement error.

Plenary Sessions

The Plenary Session: Minimum Wages opened the Conference on Monday 21 March from 10:30 - 12:00.

Chair: Sir David Norgrove (Chair of the UK Low Pay Commission).

  • Professor Alan B. Krueger (Princeton)


  • Professor Sir Richard Blundell (UCL)
  • Professor Arindrajit Dube (Massachusetts, Amherst)
  • Professor Steve Machin (UCL)

Minimum wages have never been so popular. More than 100 countries worldwide now have a statutory minimum wage and politicians across the UK, the US and other OECD countries are implementing substantial increases in minimum wage levels. On 1 April, the UK Chancellor’s 'National Living Wage’ will come into force and is set to increase to 60% of median earnings by 2020. Yet two decades ago, the common view was that minimum wages do more harm than good. In this session, Princeton economist and former US presidential adviser Alan Krueger took us through the past 30 years of minimum wage research to understand how academic and political views have shifted. We heard responses from Arindrajit Dube, Stephen Machin and Richard Blundell on recent increases in the US and the UK and the issue of how minimum wages interact with in-work benefits.

The Plenary Session: Brexit? ran from 11:00-12:30 on Tuesday 22 March and took the form of a panel discussion.

  • Professor Richard Baldwin (Graduate Institute, Geneva)
  • Dr Swati Dhingra (LSE)
  • Professor Enrico Spoloare (Tufts)
  • Professor John Van Reenen (LSE)

On 23 June, the British public will vote on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union. This session brought together expert economists from the UK, Europe and the US to debate the potential costs and benefits of Britain leaving the EU - so-called ‘Brexit'. The panellists discussed the implications for the macroeconomy, monetary and fiscal policy, labour markets, migration and trade flows under a range of potential scenarios both inside and outside the EU.

Please feel free to contact the Programme Chair (Richard Dickens) or Deputy Programme Chair (Holger Breinlich) for questions about the programme, or the Local Organiser (Dimitra Petropoulou) with wider questions about the conference.

Download the Conference Poster

Economic Journal Conference Issue

Authors of papers accepted for presentation at the 2016 RES conference were entitled to submit their papers for possible publication in the associated conference issue of the Economic Journal. The conference volume is edited by the main Editorial Board of The Economic Journal.

Exhibitors at Conference 2016

Social Events

In addition to the main conference agenda, there was a drinks reception on Monday 21 at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, set in the beautiful Pavilion Gardens, with the opportunity for delegates to tour the Royal Pavilion. The conference Gala Dinner took place at Brighton’s iconic seafront Grand Hotel on Tuesday 22 March.


The Programme Chair for the 2016 conference was Richard Dickens (University of Sussex); the Deputy Programme Chair was Holger Breinlich (University of Nottingham); the Local Organiser was Dimitra Petropoulou (University of Sussex). The programme and local organising team can be contacted on Conference2016@res.org.uk. The RES Conference Secretary, Professor Neil Rickman can be contacted here.

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