Prof. Scahill Discusses Henry George Lecture

Professor Scahill is pictured second from right in a photo from the 2016 Henry George lecture. From left: economics faculty members Jinghan Cai, Ph.D.; Christos Pargianas, Ph.D.; Susan Trussler, Ph.D.; Iordanis Petsas, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Economics and Finance; Satyajit Ghosh, Ph.D.; Ioannis N. Kallianiotis, Ph.D.; Aram Balagyozyan, Ph.D.; Edward M. Scahill, Ph.D.; and lecturer David Card, Ph.D., director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research and Class of 1950 Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.
November 14, 2017

Edward Scahill, Ph.D., an associate professor of economics at The University of Scranton, joined the University in 1989. He is currently an associate professor and chair of the Henrgy George Committee in the Department of Economics and Finance. The Annual Henry George Lecture Series has featured nine Nobel Prize recipients among its 31 lecturers.  The 32nd lecture is scheduled for Nov. 17.  This year’s lecturer is David Autor, Ph.D., an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Why is it called the Henry George lecture?

Well, the lectures series was begun before I arrived in Scranton. There is a foundation in New York, the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, which was established in 1925 to propagate the ideas of the 19th-century economist and social reformer, Henry George. His bestselling book “Progress and Poverty” fit under the broad ideal of Jesuit education. With the assistance of John Kelly, a local realtor and a member of the Schalkenbach Board of Directors, the School of Management received a grant that was used to fund the lecture series.

Nine lecturers have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. Do you have a knack for knowing who will win?

There’s some lore that Robert Solow, our second lecturer, found out that he won the Nobel when he was here at Scranton. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it makes a nice story so I don’t question it. Several of our past speakers are recipients of the John Bates Clark Medal. This is awarded by the American Economic Association to the “American economist under the age of 40 who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.”

In addition to the fall lecture, we also have a spring seminar. One of our previous spring speakers was Angus Deaton, a Scottish-American economist. His research examines how happiness and income are correlated across different countries. He received a Nobel Prize in Economics in 2015. His presentation was well-received by both faculty and students.

Tell me about this year’s lecturer.

David Autor, Ph.D., Ford Professor of Economics and associate department head of MIT’s department of economics, was happy to do this with us. He has been a pleasure to work with. His research is really interesting and his lecture is on trade with China, which is a political football right now.

He’ll also speak with a smaller group of students and faculty members in the department earlier in the day. He can be somewhat more technical in this talk, the title of which will be “Automation and Employment:  What Should (and Shouldn’t) We Worry About.”  Although some economists and analysts believe that the increased use of robotic technology in the workplace will have a negative impact on jobs, Dr. Autor is more optimistic. This should be an interesting and relevant topic for our students, who will soon be searching for jobs.

Get details about the upcoming Henry George lecture here.

Annual Fall Henry George Lecture
Past Speakers
1986          Alfred E. Kahn, Robert Julius Thorne Professor of Political Economy, Cornell University
1987          Robert M. Solow, Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Nobel Laureate, 1987
1988          Alan S. Blinder, Rentschler Professor of Economics, Princeton University
1989          Charles L. Schultze, Director of Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution
1990          Alice Rivlin, Senior Economics Fellow, The Brookings Institution
1991          Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Nobel Laureate, 2008
1992          Robert E. Lucas, Jr., John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago - Nobel Laureate, 1995
1993          Jacob A. Frenkel, Governor of the Bank of Israel
1994          Amartya Sen, Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University - Nobel Laureate, 1998
1995          John B. Taylor, Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics, Stanford University
1996          N. Gregory Mankiw, Prof. of Economics, Harvard University/Director, Monetary Economics Program, National Bureau of Economic Research
1997          George A. Akerlof, Professor of Economics, University of California at Berkeley, Sr. Fellow, The Brookings Institution - Nobel Laureate, 2001
1998          Robert E. Hall, Robert and Carole McNeil Endowed Professor of Economics and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
1999          Christina D. Romer, Class of 1957 – Garff B. Wilson Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley
2000          Joseph E. Stiglitz, Professor of Economics, Stanford University - Nobel Laureate, 2001
2001          Robert J. Shiller, Stanley B. Resor Professor of Economics, Yale University - Nobel Laureate, 2013
2002          Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Professor of Economics, Columbia University
2003          Paul M. Romer, Professor of Economics, Stanford University and Founder, Aplia, Inc.
2004          Frederic S. Mishkin, Alfred Lerner Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions, Columbia University
2005          Peter A. Diamond, Institute Professor and Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Nobel Laureate, 2010
2006          Thomas Sargent, William Berkley Professor of Economics and Business, New York University - Nobel Laureate, 2011
2007          David Romer, Herman Royer Professor of Political Economy, University of California, Berkeley
2008          Robert Barro, Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics, Harvard University
2009          J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
2010          R. Glenn Hubbard, Dean, Columbia Business School
2011          Daron Acemoglu, Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2012          Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University
2013          John List, Homer J. Livingston Professor of Economics, University of Chicago
2014          Philippe Aghion, Ph.D., Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics, Harvard University
2015          Susan Athey, Economics of Technology Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business
2016          David Card, 1950 Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley


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