If This Is Zurich, It Must Be Sunday

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LINDAU, Germany – EP spent most of last week at the triennial Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences in this old lakeside resort in southwestern Bavaria – some 350 young economists from 66 countries, sixteen Nobel laureates in the economic sciences, and ninety British, European, and Latin American journalists.

Not much news, but plenty of illuminating talk about tradecraft. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi gave a keynote speech titled “The interdependence of research and policy-making,”

The meeting didn’t compete for drama with the annual Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City research conference in Jackson Hole last week, which this year was concerned with fostering global growth and international competition. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave the opening address.

Nor, for that matter, did the Lindau affair eclipse the annual meeting of the European Economic Association, held in Lisbon last week. Philippe Aghion, of the College de France and London School of Economics, gave the presidential address, “Rethinking Growth.”

The economics conference, which met first in 2004, is part of a Lindau tradition of Nobel laureate meetings with young physical scientists dating back to 1951. It has established itself as a valuable source of perspective on the social sciences – an apparently successful entrant to a very busy late-summer calendar.

Back to business here next week.