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.
Diary Note: 2016 Public Lecture: will be given by Professor Phillip Kircher and held at the Royal Institution London on 29th November 2016. More details here in September 2016.
The 2015 Annual Public Lecture "Does Starbucks Pay Enough Tax? - How and Why We Tax Large Multinational Firms" was given by Professor Rachel Griffith, CBE, FBA on 24 Nov at the Royal Institution Faraday Theatre, London and 3 December at 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. Read more about Rachel Griffith.
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 discussed 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 discussed why that might be the case, and some of challenges that governments face in effectively taxing firm profits.
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.