Economic and Social History Society of Ireland Annual Conference 3-4 December 2021

The annual conference of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland will take place online, hosted by NUI Galway, on the Friday and Saturday this week.

It includes the K.H. Connell Memorial Lecture, which will be given by Prof. David Dickson (TCD), on ‘Ireland and the Caribbean in the 18th century’. 

There are panels on: family and identity; the urban environment and public health; transnational relationships; urban labour and politics; deeds, debts and discovery in the 18th century; food and society in the nineteenth century; social policy and the law in the 20th century;  prisons and society; economic policy and independence; the economics of hospitals; changing dynamics in pre-independence Ireland; and popular culture in 20th-century Ireland. 

Registration is free. The full programme of papers as well as a link for registration is available at:

The links for the sessions will be sent out to those who register. 

Irish Economic Association Annual Conference 2022

The 35th Annual Irish Economic Association Conference will be organised by the University of Limerick and held in the Castletroy Park Hotel on Thursday, May 5th and Friday, May 6th, 2022.

The keynote speakers will be Prof. Sandra Black, Professor of Economics and of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and Prof. Silvana Tenreyo, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The Association invites submissions of papers to be considered for the conference programme. Preference will be given to submissions that include a full paper. Papers may be on any area in Economics, Finance and Econometrics.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 11th of February 2022 and papers can be submitted for consideration here

Two Permanent Lectureships in Economics at NUI Galway

The Discipline of Economics at NUI Galway invites applications for two permanent lectureships (above the bar) in economics. The positions relate to (i) health and wellbeing, and (ii) development, inclusion, and sustainability. Full details of the posts can be found here.

EVENT and INVITATION: Government Economists for New Economic Systems

OECD Unit for New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC)


Thursday 4 November, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm (CET) 


New analytical and systems-oriented approaches and integrated policy approaches are required to understand and manage inter-connected systemic issues.

In a Systemic Recovery from Covid-19, as governments are forced to apply cross-disciplinary and integrative economics to the formulation and implementation of policy, it will become increasingly necessary to build new analytical capabilities and narratives within governments.

In moving from analysis and diagnoses of systemic challenges to policy alternatives, the New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC) Unit at the OECD has establishedGovernment Economists for New Economic Systems (GENESYS) as a platform for debating, experimenting and discussing policy alternatives and the analytical approaches which underpin them.

Opened by the President of the Eurogroup, Irish Finance Minister,  Paschal Donohoe

Followed by a roundtable discussion on lessons from the Covid crisis for new economic thinking and acting, chaired by Financial Times Associate Editor Rana Foroohar with panellists:

Jonathan D. Ostry, Deputy Director of the Research Department, International Monetary Fund and Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) “Challenges for Policies”
Jo Swinson, Director, Partners for a New Economy (P4NE)
William White, Senior Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute, Toronto, and former chairman of the OECD Economic and Development Review Committee
Sweta C. Saxena, Chief, Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
Eric Beinhocker, Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) Oxford, and Professor, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
Megan Greene, Economist, Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School
Angus Armstrong, Director, Rebuilding Macroeconomics
Thomas Fricke, Director, New Economy Forum and Chief Economist, European Climate Foundation
Michael Jacobs, Professorial Fellow, Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI)
Alan Kirman, Chief Advisor to the NAEC Initiative

If you wish to join the GENESYS network, please send your name, email address and affiliation to

Ronald Findlay, 1935-2021

Ronald Findlay, who died late last week, was one of the finest trade theorists of his generation. Born in Rangoon in 1935, his first papers appeared in the QJE and Oxford Economic Papers in 1959.  A short note, co-authored with the present writer, was published online by the Journal of Global History earlier this year. Ron’s publication record thus spanned eight successive decades: a remarkable achievement, but not so remarkable to anyone fortunate enough to know the man.

Ron’s graduate classmate, Ronald Jones, is reported to have once said that all economics is either trade or history.[1] While Ron’s career was built on his effortless mastery of trade theory, he had an unparalleled knowledge of and interest in history, based on a lifetime of judicious reading. Indeed, his own life contained more history than is true for most of us. As a seven-year-old Anglo-Burmese boy he saw the first Japanese bombs fall on a post office across the road from where he lived; his family was compelled to flee the country, participating in the great trek out of Burma. Ron remembered one day running ahead of the rest of the group and spotting a British soldier, whose presence meant that they had finally made it to the comparative safety of India. The fugitives having been re-housed, Ron’s new teachers decided to see if he could cope with a well-known textbook of the time. But having mistaken the page number Ron read the copyright notice, rather than anything to do with Dick, Jane, or Spot. “The refugee boy can read”, was the verdict.

His subsequent academic career was predictably brilliant, with a BA from Rangoon University being followed by a PhD at MIT, where Ron studied under Bob Solow. “Solow was the older brother everyone wished they had had”, he once said, “while Samuelson was Zeus”. It was a golden generation on Mount Olympus: I will never forget the evening I spent sitting on a floor in Stockholm listening to the two Ronnies, Findlay and Jones, alongside Bob Mundell, swapping stories about their graduate years.

Ron returned home and taught in Rangoon, where he had the honour of being marched around a lake by Joan Robinson who had flown to Burma expressly to tell him how mistaken he was about capital. But it was probably inevitable that he should end up returning to the United States, where he was the Ragnar Nurske Professor of Economics at Columbia University for many years. Columbia was, and remains, a power-house in international economics, and Ron was central in achieving that.

And Columbia was where I met him as a young and fairly clueless assistant professor in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Like many other young people, no doubt, Ron took me under his wing with great generosity of spirit and kindness. I had decided to make the switch from international economics to economic history, but Ron had as much to teach me about the past as he did about trade and growth theory, and our frequent lunches with Mike Gavin were one of the highlights of my time there. Ron was an unforgettable presence in the seminar room, extemporizing with a piece of chalk and a blackboard. As others have said he was a genius at reducing general equilibrium models to their graphical essences in the most intuitive manner possible.

I will always be grateful to Mike Bordo, Alan Taylor, and Jeff Williamson, who in 1999 had the very good idea of putting together a conference on the history of globalization, insisting that each chapter be written by a two-person team: one an economic historian, the other a “regular economist”. I seized the opportunity to work with Ron, and over the next eight years we wrote first the chapter, and subsequently a book expanding on the theme. It was an intense and hugely enjoyable collaboration, and the eventual publication of the volume, while gratifying, left a void in my day-to-day life.

Ron had the wisdom and knowledge that comes with age, but retained a boyish enthusiasm and impishness that made him a joy to be with: the schoolboy was never very far from the surface. He was one of the most affirming people that I have ever met, and was not only admired and respected, but loved, by his many friends and colleagues. I am so very fortunate to have known him. He was devoted to Jane and the rest of his family, and my thoughts are with them today.

[1] That is to say, either theory or empirics.