Economics seminars in Dublin next week

Next week sees a lot of activity on the seminar front.
1.  Tuesday November 23

Economics and Psychology One Day Session: UCD Geary Institute

We will be hosting a session on Economics and Psychology in the UCD Research Building on November 23rd. Those who wish to attend should RSVP to Philippa Barrington at Please indicate whether you wish to attend the full-day session or the keynote lecture by Professor Laibson only.  There is no registration fee.

Includes 4pm – 5.30pm: Keynote Speaker.

David Laibson (Harvard) “Natural Expectations and Economic Behavior”

More details here.

2. Thursday November 25

The second Geary Lecture of 2010 will be given by Professor Canice Prendergast, W. Allen Wallis Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Venue: ESRI, Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2
Date: 25/11/2010
Time: 4 p.m.

For the last couple of decades, there has been a large body of work arguing for the widespread use of pay-for-performance as the appropriate means of aligning the interests of workers with those of their employers. This lecture outlines recent contributions to this body of work, and focuses on a number of general themes. First, the successes of pay-for-performance schemes are limited to a small class of agency settings that do not seem to generalise to other settings. Second, the literature has now begun to consider instruments other than pay as the most natural way to align interests. Finally, there is controversial literature in psychology that now challenges the basic assumptions of this strand of economic literature. The talk will review all these recent contributions, and likely directions for future research.

Canice Prendergast, who was a research assistant at the ESRI from 1983 to 1985, is now one of the world’s foremost researchers on workplace incentives and their impact on productivity. He is currently the W. Allen Wallis Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

The Geary lecture is organised each year by the ESRI and honours Dr R. C. Geary (1896 –1983), the first Director of the Institute.
This is one of the special events being held during 2010 to mark the Institute’s fiftieth birthday.

Attendance at the event is free but must be pre-booked. There are a limited number of places available and early booking is encouraged. To book a place, please send details of attendee’s name, organisation and contact telephone number by email to

3.  Friday November 26

Canice Prendergast will also give an academic seminar at 1pm on Friday 26 November in the ESRI seminar room.

Contracts and Conflict in Organizations


In many organizations, the way that incentive problems are alleviated is not via contracts, but rather who is hired. This paper offers a theory of targeted hiring, and how its role changes as contracting becomes poorer.

2 replies on “Economics seminars in Dublin next week”

It would be wonderful if all this intellectual frenzy could be converted into useful and implementable economic policy, but our system of political governance is seriously deficient in this respect.

On the other hand, though, it is interesting to note the number of principal contributors on this board who have been absorbed by the government machine. I can count Alan Ahearne, Alan Matthews, John FitzGerald, Colm McCarthy and Patrick Honohan. There may be others. Not all, of course, are in purdah, but it does restrict their ability to engage with the hoi polloi on this board and elsewhere. And, no disrespect intended, Philip Lane has advised a Cttee of our totally ineffectual parliament on fiscal governance and Karl Whelan advises the European Parliament which has all the perks, pay and prerequisites, but lacks the power of even the most obsequious national parliament.

It sums it up for me when the most able and respected are either excluded from effective participation in policy debate and formulation or, if included in policy formulation and implementation, are excluded from effective participation in debate on, and public scrutiny of, policy proposals.

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