Dear colleagues and students
I am pleased to invite you to the first Vice-Chancellor’s Open Lecture for 2021, which will be presented by Nobel laureate Professor Abhijit Banerjee, who is the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His lecture is titled “Good Economics for Hard Times”.
Professor Banerjee will speak on what economics can teach us about recovery today given the hard times the world is facing because of the ongoing pandemic, the daunting outlook of economic contraction on the horizon and rampant climate change. Could economics be a source for good or is it confined as a tool for bankers and financiers to make their own personal gains?
Taking from his book Good Economics for Hard Times, co-authored with Professor Esther Duflo, Professor Banerjee will discuss how economics can be harnessed for the common good to tackle the challenges of today, from boosting growth to tackling inequality; educational recovery to technological disruption; and climate change.
His awards include being a co-recipient of the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel for his ground-breaking work in development economics research, winner of the Infosys Prize, and recipient of the 2011 Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award for his book Poor Economics.
He is a past president of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, international research fellow of the Kiel Institute, and a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society. He was previously a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Alfred P Sloan Foundation. He has also served on the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-level Panel of eminent persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
In 2003 he co-founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) with Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan, and he remains one of the Lab’s Directors. J-PAL’s Africa hub is based in the School of Economics at UCT. He has also authored many articles, written four books, edited three more books and directed two documentary films.
Please join us online for this lecture that I am sure will stimulate our thinking on how we as a society can begin to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When: Thursday, 29 April 2021
Time: 18:00 SAST
Platform: Microsoft Teams
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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