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Nobel Laureate Keynotes Economics Conference

Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz, who won the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics, talked about the causes of the most recent economic crisis during the 10th Carroll Round at Georgetown on April 15.

April 18, 2011 – Joseph Stiglitz, who won the 2001 Nobel laureate in economics, spoke April 15 at the 10th Carroll Round, an annual conference for top undergraduate students of international economics. 

The April 14-17 event, organized by Georgetown students, draws college seniors from all corners of the world whose work "is on par with – and often exceeds – the standards of graduate-level economists,” said Christopher L. Griffin (F '02).

Griffin co-founded the conference when he was an undergraduate and returned to mark its 10th anniversary. 

Bigger Risk

Stiglitz, a university professor at Columbia University, won the Nobel Prize for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information.

He focused his address on the causes of the most recent economic crisis, lamenting the lack of oversight concerning innovation in the financial world and the chances taken by banks in that climate.  

"As [banks] got bigger, the risk of 'too big to fail’ [got] bigger," Stiglitz said.  "It is the financial sector that really caused our deficit problem."

Jagdish Bhagwati, another university professor and leading economist from Columbia, also spoke at the conference.

Passionate and Knowledgeable

Amanda Delp (F '12) served as this year's conference chair,

"Even more than the opportunity to present and discuss their original research,” she said, “the chance to meet and connect with other accomplished students who are passionate and knowledgeable about economics is what the students seem to appreciate the most."

The format of the Carroll Round mirrors that of a professional academic conference.  

Each student presents his or her own paper and is also assigned as chief discussant during the critique of another student's paper.  This year’s topics ranged from access to credit in Eastern Europe and Mexico’s international trade patterns to the effects of parental migration on child nutrition. 

Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (SFS), alumni and private donors support the Carroll Round.

Tending the Flame

Student organizers and alumni supporters used the 10th anniversary of the event to honor Mitch Kaneda, the SFS associate dean who has been the event's faculty adviser since its inception.  

The 2011 Kaneda Award for Best Paper went to David Thomas of Exeter College, Oxford University for "A Robust Approach to Price Stickiness." 

"Had [Kaneda] not agreed to tend to the flame, the Carroll Round would be history,” Griffin said.

“The Carroll Round has very much defined my career,” Kaneda said. “I never wanted to leave Georgetown because of the privilege of interacting with students here.”

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