FC Talks

Reciprocity or community? different pathways to cooperation and welfare

The Spring 2021 FC Talks series presents Anna Gunnthorsdottir.

Anna Gunnthorsdottir is an experimental game theorist with an interest in business, political, financial and military strategy, mass phenomena such as market bubbles and social and political trends and contagion, subconscious motives and mechanism design. Her research aims at finding ways to achieve goals and increase efficiency through preparation and planning. Her work is published in the leading journals in the field, and has been awarded the Emerald Literati Prize.

 

Prof. Gunnthorsdottir holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Iceland and a PhD in Decision Sciences and Economics from the University of Arizona. Prof. Gunnthorsdottir is a Fellow of the University of Iceland's Behavioral Decision Laboratory and the George Mason University Neuroeconomics laboratory. She has trained strategic thought, negotiations, game theory and experimental methods in MBA,  executive MBA, masters and PhD courses and executive programs, and for corporate and political leaders, in the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Iceland, Spain and Austria.

 

Abstract: It is known that norms of cooperation, pro-social values, and well-functioning institutions support economic growth. We experimentally compare pro-social, cooperative behavior in Iceland and the US. The two countries have similar education levels and GDP but differ culturally. An in-depth analysis of the thought processes behind pro-social acts reveals cultural differences: Icelanders tend to cooperate unconditionally as if out of a moral obligation to the community while Americans focus on fairness, and seek to match the cooperation levels of others in their group. Our results indicate that different cultures can achieve similar economic and societal performance through different thought processes and suggest that messages to increase cooperation within or between social units should be tailored to such differences. We speculate that the different approaches to pro-social behavior that we identified reflect each country’s geographic features, social structure, and history.
 
This talk will be hosted on Zoom by Lucy Schwarz. Please contact Lucy for details if you are interested in attending or if you wish to be added to our listserv.

When

12:30 p.m. April 15, 2021

Event Contacts

Digital Signage Date

Friday, April 9, 2021 - 12:17

Revenue Sharing from Broadcasting Sports

The Spring 2021 FC Talks series is dedicated to our late colleague, Patrick Harless. Patrick Harless was an economist who joined the Freedom Center in 2018. He was a dedicated educator who, although his work was highly technical, was able to teach economic topics all levels of students. This memorial series brings together talks by Harless's former PhD advisor, his co-authors, and our own faculty.

Juan Moreno-Ternero is Professor of Economics at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide.

This talk will be hosted on Zoom by Lucy Schwarz. Please contact Lucy for details if you are interested in attending or if you wish to be added to our listserv.

When

12:30 p.m. April 29, 2021

Event Contacts

Digital Signage Date

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 11:38

Interview Hoarding

The Spring 2021 FC Talks series is dedicated to our late colleague, Patrick Harless. Patrick Harless was an economist who joined the Freedom Center in 2018. He was a dedicated educator who, although his work was highly technical, was able to teach economic topics all levels of students. This memorial series brings together talks by Harless's former PhD advisor, his co-authors, and our own faculty.

Vikram Manjunath is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa.

This talk will be hosted on Zoom by Lucy Schwarz. Please contact Lucy for details if you are interested in attending or if you wish to be added to our listserv.

When

12:30 p.m. March 18, 2021

Event Contacts

Digital Signage Date

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 11:33

Understanding Originalism

The Spring 2021 FC Talks series presents Tina Fernandes Botts.

Tina Fernandes Botts is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Fresno.  She has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Memphis and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School.  Her areas of specialization are philosophy of law, philosophy of race, hermeneutics, and feminist philosophy.  In the philosophy of law, she writes about constitutional theory and law and society.  In the philosophy of race, Professor Botts publishes about the nature of racial identity, particularly mixed race identity.  Professor Botts has published three books, including an academic monograph, For Equals Only: Race, Equality, and the Equal Protection Clause (Lexington Books, 2018), which traces the changing concepts of race and equality in U.S. Supreme Court cases over the past 150 years.  She is also the editor of Philosophy and the Mixed Race Experience, published by Lexington Books in 2016, and is the co-author, with Rosemarie Tong, of the fifth edition of Routledge’s classic text in feminist philosophy, Feminist Thought, published in 2017.  Professor Botts is currently at work on a textbook in the philosophy of race, to be published in 2022 by Rowman & Littlefield, International:  Philosophies of Race: Classical and Contemporary Approaches. In her talk, she will argue that the legal doctrine of originalism, properly understood, necessarily includes tailoring constitutional interpretation to the needs of the interpretive moment, context, or jurisprudential need.

Abstract: Controversy surrounding how to properly determine the meaning of the U.S. Constitution has existed since just after the document was completed and signed on September 17, 1787. The method of interpreting the constitution that we now know as originalism did not emerge on the scene until after the decision of Brown v. Board of Education, however, in 1954. There, the Supreme Court held that the U.S. Constitution did not support racially segregated schools. Conservatives of the day were deeply troubled by the decision in Brown. According to many of them, the Brown decision was wrongly decided because the framers of the constitution supported racial segregation. It was the founders’ “original intent,” they argued, that public school children should be separated on the basis of race. The idea that the “original intent” of the founders should determine constitutional interpretation thereafter came to be known as originalism. Originalism has taken other forms since then, including a strain that holds that it is the “original meaning” of the constitution (and not the “original intent”) that should govern. Still a third strain known as “living originalism” claims that it was the intent of the framers that the constitution should be flexible. All strains of originalism, however, are incoherent for the reason that neither original meaning nor original intent can be ascertained. Instead, whenever anyone seeks constitutional meaning, what is sought is a working interpretation of a written legal text through the utilization of the standard rules of statutory construction, in keeping with the basic principles of legal hermeneutics.

This talk will be hosted on Zoom by Lucy Schwarz. Please contact Lucy for details if you are interested in attending or if you wish to be added to our listserv.

When

12:30 p.m. April 22, 2021

Event Contacts

Digital Signage Date

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 16:35

Redistributive Taxation and Social Contract Theory

The Spring 2021 FC Talks series presents Charles Delmotte.

Charles Delmotte is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the NYU School of Law’s Classical Liberal Institute. His research uses methods from political philosophy and insights from political economy to analyze tax policy. He has conducted research at the Department of Political Economy at King's College London, at the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Economics (Munich), and here at the Freedom Center, and we are happy to welcome him back.

Abstract: The distributive justice literature has recently formulated several tax proposals, with limitarians or property-owning democrats proposing new or higher taxes on wealth or capital income intended to decrease the growing wealth gap. In this talk, I ask what a genuine “contractarian” response to inequality and redistributive taxation would be. I will argue that contractarianism generates a “benefit principle for public policy”; that is, specific rules and institutions are acceptable to the extent that they create benefits for all individuals in society or at least don’t make anyone worse off. This benefit principle grounds a middle stance between egalitarian traditions that eschew economic inequality and target accumulation of capital as such and “everyday libertarianism,” which has been said to justify the unequal returns that capitalist societies produce. Moreover, I argue that the benefit principle opposes wealth accumulation to the extent that wealth was generated through rent-seeking—i.e., that income unrelated to economic productivity, which is not embedded in mutually beneficial exchanges. I maintain, however, that ruling out rent-seeking requires not ex post taxation, but primarily a more “pre-distributive corrective policy,” i.e., reconfiguration of market institutions to prevent wealth accumulation through rent-seeking in the first place. The contractarian response is, thus, not to tackle inequality as such but to reform the market to promote the occurrence of mutually beneficial exchange.

This talk will be hosted on Zoom by Lucy Schwarz. Please contact Lucy for details if you are interested in attending or if you wish to be added to our listserv.

When

12:30 p.m. Thursday

Event Contacts

Digital Signage Date

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 16:33

Flipping a Coin to Determine Priorities

The Spring 2021 FC Talks series is dedicated to our late colleague, Patrick Harless. Patrick Harless was an economist who joined the Freedom Center in 2018. He was a dedicated educator who, although his work was highly technical, was able to teach economic topics all levels of students. This memorial series brings together talks by Harless's former PhD advisor, his co-authors, and our own faculty.

William Phan is a Research Assistant Professor of Economics at North Carolina State University. His research is in microeconomic theory and the design of mechanisms to allocate and exchange resources. Just like Patrick, he earned his PhD under the supervision of William Thomson. William and Patrick co-authored "On Endowments and Indivisibility: Partial Ownership in the Shapley-Scarf Model" (Economic Theory, 2020) as well as the working paper "Efficient Mixtures of Priority Rules For Assigning Objects." In his talk, William is going to present his joint work with Patrick.

This talk will be hosted on Zoom by Lucy Schwarz. Please contact Lucy for details if you are interested in attending or if you wish to be added to our listserv.

When

12:30 p.m. April 8, 2021

Event Contacts

Digital Signage Date

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 16:30

Corporate Conformism

The Spring 2021 FC Talks series is dedicated to our late colleague, Patrick Harless. Patrick Harless was an economist who joined the Freedom Center in 2018. He was a dedicated educator who, although his work was highly technical, was able to teach economic topics all levels of students. This memorial series brings together talks by Harless's former PhD advisor, his co-authors, and our own faculty.

Saura Masconale is an Assistant Professor and Director of Outreach here at the Freedom Center. Saura is a PPEL scholar whose interests range widely, from corporate governance and the role of fairness in the corporation to, more broadly, the relationship between legal institutions, inequality and efficiency. Her most recent work examines the role of the public corporation as a producer of moral goods and aims at showing that a hybrid regime where both the government and corporations are in charge of producing such goods is desirable. For her FC Talk, Saura is going to present a paper on corporate conformism, which Patrick gave her valuable feedback on.

Abstract: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has gone mainstream. The growing “demand for corporate morality” has prompted new optimism among scholars about corporations’ ability to cater to both our economic and moral preferences. However, while scholars agree that the production of “moral goods” may benefit society as a whole, they continue to disagree on whether it can be reconciled with economic efficiency. This talk suggests that the real cost of CSR is not economic but democratic. When a morality demand is introduced in competitive markets, there is no profitable deviation at the equilibrium for corporations as producers of moral goods, as not engaging in CSR would make them less competitive. This equilibrium prediction dispels concerns about economic efficiency—but implies a warning against the risk of “corporate conformism” and a loss of pluralism. This risk is a by-product of the divisive nature of moral goods, as a reflection of individuals’ often conflicting moral preferences. Attempting to capture a larger demand, corporations conform to the morality of the capitalist majority, even though it might represent just a minority of individuals. This threatens moral pluralism, potentially explaining why CSR engagement presently tends to have an almost exclusively progressive connotation. There are no easy answers to cure CSR’s overlooked democratic dysfunction, but the talk concludes by attempting to identify the several tough questions that need to be asked to that end.

This talk will be hosted on Zoom by Lucy Schwarz. Please contact Lucy for details if you are interested in attending or if you wish to be added to our listserv.

When

12:30 p.m. March 25, 2021

Event Contacts

Digital Signage Date

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 16:28

A Social-Status Rationale for Repugnant and Protected Market Transactions

The Spring 2021 FC Talks series is dedicated to our late colleague, Patrick Harless. Patrick Harless was an economist who joined the Freedom Center in 2018. He was a dedicated educator who, although his work was highly technical, was able to teach economic topics all levels of students. This memorial series brings together talks by Harless's former PhD advisor, his co-authors, and our own faculty.

Romans Pancs is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. He is the author of Lectures on Microeconomics: The Big Questions Approach (MIT Press). With Patrick, he co-authored "A Review of Robert Sugden's Community of Advantage" (Journal of Economic Literature, forthcoming) as well as "A Social-Status Rationale for Repugnant and Protected Market Transactions," the latter of which will provide the basis for his FC Talk.

Abstract: Individuals deem repugnant and societies proscribe market transactions in sex, organs, and surrogacy, among others. Repugnance persists in spite of potential gains from trade. We resolve this tension by observing that repugnance norms help status-conscious individuals. We examine a model of an economy in which an individual loses social status if another consumes more of every good. Repugnance norms can forestall such loss of status. They do so by enforcing the partition of goods into separate markets (e.g., goods traded for money, favors exchanged among friends, and kidneys exchanged among donor–patient pairs) and proscribing exchange across these markets.

This talk will be hosted on Zoom by Lucy Schwarz. Please contact Lucy for details if you are interested in attending or if you wish to be added to our listserv.

When

12:30 p.m. March 11, 2021

Event Contacts

Digital Signage Date

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 16:25

Moral and Aesthetic Agency at the Intersection of Art and Economics

The Spring 2021 FC Talks series is dedicated to our late colleague, Patrick Harless. Patrick Harless was an economist who joined the Freedom Center in 2018. He was a dedicated educator who, although his work was highly technical, was able to teach economic topics all levels of students. This memorial series brings together talks by Harless's former PhD advisor, his co-authors, and our own faculty.

Robert Gordon is an Assistant Professor of General Studies at the Fred Fox School of Music and affiliated with the Freedom Center as well as the Center for Buddhist Studies here at the U of A. He is the Program Manager of the American Culture & Ideas Initiative and organizes The Voices of Culture Lecture Series. Before Patrick's passing, he and Robert were co-developing a seminar on Arts, Economics, and Entrepreneurship, which Robert is going to talk about in his presentation.

(Annibale Carracci, "The Choice of Hercules," 1596)

Abstract: This talk explores the overlapping space within the concepts of culture, economics, and morality (think of a Venn diagram with three circles). One way to approach these topics together is to unpack their shared language and contemplate how the terminologies common to these fields intersect with lived experience. Terms like “value,” “agency,” and “success,” or phrases such as “time is money” and “net worth,” can mean different things in different disciplines. But does that imply that they mean different things to a person ensconced in a common culture where these fields exist simultaneously? Or, do people inflect such concepts in their daily lives as they psychologically navigate the panoply of choices that exist in the cultural landscape of contemporary life? This talk meditates on various aspects of culture, economics, and moral life with respect to identity, self-worth, and aesthetic judgment.  

This talk will be hosted on Zoom by Lucy Schwarz. Please contact Lucy for details if you are interested in attending or if you wish to be added to our listserv.

When

12:30 p.m. Feb. 4, 2021

Event Contacts

Digital Signage Date

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 16:22

How to Divide When There Isn’t Enough: From Aristotle, the Talmud, and Maimonides to the Axiomatics of Resource Allocation

The Spring 2021 FC Talks series is dedicated to our late colleague, Patrick Harless. Patrick Harless was an economist who joined the Freedom Center in 2018. He was a dedicated educator who, although his work was highly technical, was able to teach economic topics all levels of students. This memorial series brings together talks by Harless's former PhD advisor, his co-authors, and our own faculty. 

William Thomson is the Elmer B. Milliman Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester, and Patrick completed his PhD under his supervision. He is the author of Guide for the Young Economist (MIT Press), which has been translated into four languages. From 2003 to 2008, he was editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Game Theory, and from 2004 to 2006 he was president of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare. His talk is going to be based on his recent book How to Divide When There Isn’t Enough: From Aristotle, the Talmud, and Maimonides to the Axiomatics of Resource Allocation (Cambridge University Press).

Abstract: When a firm goes bankrupt, how should its liquidation value be divided among its creditors? Taking as a starting point several examples of situations of that type discussed in antiquity and medieval times, I will use the adjudication of conflicting claims over a resource as a vehicle to introduce the axiomatic approach to economic design. The central position underlying the approach is that solution mappings are not God-given; rather they are the object of choice. The approach consists in the formulation of criteria of desirability of solution mappings and in the study of their compatibility when imposed in various combinations. I will review the central principles that have been invoked in the development of this research program and discuss its do's and don't's.

This talk will be hosted on Zoom by Lucy Schwarz. Please contact Lucy for details if you are interested in attending or if you wish to be added to our listserv.

When

12:30 p.m. Jan. 21, 2021

Event Contacts

Digital Signage Date

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 16:08
Subscribe to RSS - FC Talks