For over 30 years, the Cornelson Family Endowment has enabled the economics department to host the Cornelson Distinguished Lecture, an annual spring lecture by a prominent economist.

Select students in the economics department are invited to join the lecturer and members of the economics department for a reception and dinner before the lecture.

Previous Cornelson Lecturers include Nobel Laureates James Tobin, Oscar Arias Sanchez and Douglass C. North, previous Chairs of the President's Council of Economic Advisors N. Gregory Mankiw and Alan Krueger, and James Poterba, current President of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Spotlight on 2023 Cornelson Lecture

This April, we were joined by Colorado State University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics, Edward B. Barbier. His main expertise is environmental and resource economics as well as international environmental policy. Barbier has consulted for a variety of national, international and non-governmental agencies, including many UN organizations, the World Bank and the OECD. Named by Cambridge University as one of the world’s 50 most influential thinkers on sustainability, he has received countless awards and honors and is a highly cited scholar on global environmental and sustainability issues. 

Past Cornelson Lecturers
A woman smiling wearing a herringbone dress and a gold necklace

Bridget Terry Long - Dean of Faculty and Saris Professor of Education and Economics at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, Long discussed how education and inequality are intertwined and shared remedies that could improve student achievement and attainment.

James Poterba

James Poterba - Mistui Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and current President of the National Bureau of Economic Research, his lecture was entitled: "Economic Implications of an Aging U.S. Population."

A white woman with short brown hair smiles and wears glasses

Christina H. Paxson - President of Brown University and Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Paxson addressed how COVID-19 forced change - both good and bad - in educational attainment and the way higher ed functions.  

Dean Karlan

Dean Karlan - Professor of Economics at Yale University and President and Founder of Innovations for Poverty Action, Karlan presented the 2015 Cornelson Lecture entitled: "Pragmatic Optimism in the Fight Against Poverty: Lessons from Behavioral Economics."

Cecilia Rouse

Cecilia E. Rouse - Dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, the Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education and Founding Director of the Princeton University Education Research Section.

Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz - Professor of Economics at Columbia University and recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), presented the 2018 lecture "Capitalism, Inequality and Globalization."

Daron Acemoglu

Daron Acemoglu - Awarded the John Bates Clark Medal in 2005 as Best Economist Under Age 40, Acemoglu was named one of Foreign Policy magazine's "100 Global Thinkers for 2012."

Edward Glaeser

Edward Glaeser - Professor of Economics at Harvard University and former Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, Glaeser specializes in urban economics.