Public Lecture

The Annual Public Lecture

This initiative by the RES aims to bring the best communicators in the economics profession into contact with a wide public and to show the importance of top-quality economic research. Aimed principally at sixth form students of Economics but of interest to all, the Annual Public Lectures have become an established part of the senior school calendar as well as open to the general public. You can watch or download most of the lectures from the links below.

2015 Public Lecture

The 2015 Annual Public Lecture "Does Starbucks Pay Enough Tax? - How and Why We Tax Large Multinational Firms" will be given by Professor Rachel Griffith.

Tuesday 24th November - The Royal Institution, London

Thursday 3rd December - The Whitworth, University of Manchester

Rachel is Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester and Deputy Research Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a Fellow of the British Academy and Managing Editor of the Economic Journal. She was awarded a CBE in this year's Birthday Honours List for her work on economic policy.

About the lecture

The idea that large multinational firms avoid paying their fair share of taxes by engaging in tax-avoidance activities is pervasive in the public consciousness. The US and UK media regularly report on the activities of individual firms and the taxes they have avoided. There have been public protests over tax avoidance activities, and the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has formed a commission to study the issue and made recommendations for reform.

In this lecture Professor Rachel Griffith will discuss some of the empirical evidence about the taxes that firms pay on their profits, the avoidance activities they engage in and the implications this has for the governments ability to collect tax revenue. Surprisingly, there is relatively little evidence that the UK or US lose substantial amounts of tax revenue due to firms' avoidance activities. This is surprising because it seems that there are ample opportunities for them to do so. Professor Griffith will discuss why that might be the case, and some of challenges that governments face in effectively taxing firm profits.

Applying for tickets

STOP PRESS: The London venue school group tickets have now all been allocated. Schools are welcome to add their names to the waiting list on Eventbrite where they will automatically be notified of any returned tickets, though numbers are likely to be limited. Due to the popularity of this lecture, the Society will invest again this year in filming and streaming the lecture live through Wavecast to enable viewers to register and view remotely, including taking part in the Q&A session via social media directly to the lecture. School groups have used this in the past to view the lecture in the classroom with the teacher moderating questions to be sent via the interactive link to be put to the lecturer, in this case Professor Rachel Griffith. The registration page for the Wavecast stream will be published in October.

Schools may also consider attending the regional lecture in Manchester on 3rd December. The link for tickets to this venue is below.

Tickets for the London lecture will be available via the London Eventbrite page from Monday 14th September. FULLY ALLOCATED, waiting list for return tickets in operation. This lecture will be screened live for those unable to obtain tickets. Further details to follow.

Tickets for the Manchester lecture are available via the Manchester Eventbrite page.

Download the poster for Rachel Griffith's RES Annual Public Lecture

Previous Lectures

The 2014 RES Public lecture "What journalists should know about economists – and vice versa"
was given on 25 November 2014 at the Royal Institution, London and 26 November at the University of Liverpool, by Stephanie Flanders, award winning  BBC journalist and Economics Editor and now J.P. Morgan Asset Management's chief market strategist for the UK and Europe. Watch the Stephanie Flanders lecture video (with downloadable slides)

Slides for Stephanie's lecture can be downloaded here.

Stephanie Flanders is a former speech writer and senior advisor to US Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers in the Clinton Administration, where she was involved in the management of emerging market crises and other major economic issues from 1997 to 2001. She has also worked as a reporter for the New York Times, and as principal editor of the UN's 2002 Human Development Report. Prior to this she was an editorial-writer and economics columnist at the FT, and an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and London Business School. She joined the BBC in 2002 and served on the elected Council of the Royal Economic Society from 2008 to 2012. Stephanie Flanders was named Broadcaster of the Year for 2011 by the Harold Wincott Foundation and the Political Studies’ Association’s Broadcaster of the Year for 2012.

Download the Poster for Stephanie Flanders' RES Annual Public Lecture.

Watch Previous RES Public Lectures

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