Heckman's talk on inequity

Today, I was so luck to have enjoyed Heckman's speech. As usual, the information is attached here:

MOVE Distinguished Visitor Lecture
Speaker: James Heckman
Date: March 24, 2011

Heckman is well-known for the development of theoretical and empirical models of human development and lifecycle skill formation, with a special emphasis on the economics of early childhood education.

To be honest, I know Heckman because of his famous contribution to theoretical econometrics - actually, I just learned Heckman two-step estimation this month... Then he came here, and I got the chance to see the "real" version. Out of my expectation, he is such a good speaker! I concentrated on his speech for two continuous hours without a second to relax. OMG... I thought he was a technical guy - from the typical impression he should not care about anything else but math... However, I was totally wrong! He also works a lot on applications and empirical works which reflects the responsibility of a real economist. Like today, he talked about inequity. Although he was going to "sell" his academic idea, it was so good and so intuitive that can really convince you what is going on in the real world. So fresh, and comes to you with tons of inspirations.  Nice~

Tomorrow the more academic-targeted workshop will take place in UAB. Last time when I went to MOVE's workshop, there were only 20 people in a very big lecture hall and some of them were even sleeping... This time, from today's observation, I think there will be over 100 people tomorrow, and a big proportion of them will be brilliant researchers. It should be impressive. The basic info is attached here:

ICREA-MOVE Conference on Family Economics

Program Committee:Pierre-Andre Chiappori, Christopher Flinn, Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner and James Heckman
Local organization: Nezih Guner
Date: March 25-26, 2011
Venue
: Campus de Bellaterra-UAB

It is so nice to enjoy this kind of high-quality workshop here in Barcelona. Fortunately, I think the school here, as well as those nice organizers, really encourage students to take part in these kinds of seminars. Therefore, most time I can just walk in the conference room and pick a seat without registering in advance. Thank them so much for tolerating me -_-||

Oh one thing at last. Yesterday dear Ghazala also offered a seminar on her own research, which focused on gender difference in the labor market:

LABOUR/PUBLIC/DEVELOPMENT FACULTY LUNCH
Date: 23/03/2011
Speaker: Ghazala Azmat and Rosa Ferrer (UPF)
Title: Gender Inequality, Performance Pay and Young Professionals

Since it was her, it had no reason to be not good.Meanwhile, the active audiences were impressive as they had always been.

Moreover, today there was also another Chinese professor who talked about his economic history research,

ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS HISTORY SEMINAR SERIES
Date: 24/03/2011
Speaker: Debin Ma (LSE)
Title: Rock, Scissors, Paper: the Problem of Incentives and Information in Traditional Chinese State and the Origin of Great Divergence

I did not have enough time for this presentation, since the time was a little conflicted with Heckman's speech. However, I stayed there for half an hour and got the basic idea what was going on. It seemed that he was talking about the popular issue "Great Divergence (中文相当于李约瑟之谜)", and reminded me the time when I read Kenneth Pomeranz (彭慕兰)'s book last year:

  • Kenneth Pomeranz, The great divergence: China, Europe, and the making of the modern world economy (Princeton University Press, 2001).

When it comes to China, I cannot just stand there and say "I do not care", right? But the Great Divergence is not only a question on China, but also for the whole world. Institution or technology? All of us are curious which one drives the economy to grow on earth...

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