FH Gruen Lectures

Professor Fred Gruen

Public lectures in honour of the late Professor Fred Gruen

Professor Fred Gruen was Head of the Economics Program, Research School of Social Sciences, the Australian National University from 1972-1986, and inaugural Director of the Centre for Economic Policy Research over 1980-1986. Fred made a significant contribution to Australian economic and public policy debate. His endowment to ANU has led to the establishment of the FH Gruen Distinguished Fellowships for researchers in the fields of economic and welfare policy.

Next FH Gruen lecture

Professor Matthew Shapiro

Cognitive decline, limited awareness, imperfect agency, and financial wellbeing

Thursday, 15 February 2024 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM AEDT | Allan Barton Forum, Level 2, Building 26C Kingsley Street Acton, ACT 2600

Matthew will address how cognitive decline may lead older individuals to make poor financial decisions, and how the timely transfer of financial control to a reliable agent could offset poor decision making. This timely transfer, he points out, can be compromised by cognitive decline that goes unnoticed.

Expanding on his research paper, Matthew will present survey-based evidence that older individuals possessing significant wealth regard suboptimal timing of the transfer of control as a substantial risk to their financial wellbeing.

Matthew is the Lawrence R. Klein Collegiate Professor of Economics and Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. He is also a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He received Bachelor and Master degrees from Yale in 1979 and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984.


Most recent FH Gruen lecture

Professor Emily Lancsar

Valuing Health and Human Life: past present and future

Thu, 17 Aug 2023 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM AEST I Birch Building #35 - level 1 Innovation Space 35 Science Road Acton, ACT 2601

View the recording here.

Monetary values of health and human life are central to many public policy evaluations, such as new roads to reduce the death toll, improving health by reducing air pollution, and investment in healthcare to improve health and longevity. The value of a statistical life (VSL) was developed to value mortality-risk reduction and is broadly used in such evaluations. The quality-adjusted life year (QALY) was simultaneously developed for economic evaluation within the health sector.

In this lecture, Professor Emily Lancsar will reflect on both approaches to valuing life and health, outlining a number of implications of the departure of health economics from the economics mainstream in its approach. Emily will also present a program of work on valuing life and health that addresses these implications, including distributional considerations. She will conclude with an overview of new work to reconcile the two approaches and the implications arising from the potential for broader cross-sectoral comparisons across the public policy sphere.

Emily is Head of the Department of Health Services Research and Policy at the ANU College of Health and Medicine. She is an economist with particular interests in: valuing life and health; modelling choice, preferences and behaviour; economic evaluation; and policy analysis.

Emily has received a number of prestigious grants and fellowships. She is a member of several government advisory committees, including the Medical Services Advisory Committee, and a past member of the Evaluation Sub-Committee of MSAC and the Economic Sub-Committee of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. She is an Associate Editor of Health Economics and a past Vice President of the Australian Health Economics Society.

View Emily's full bio here.

Past lectures

Date & time Presenter Location


Thursday 17 August

5:30pm - 7:00pm

Professor Emily Lancsar Birch Building #35 - level 1 Innovation Space

Valuing Health and Human Life: past present and future

Friday 30 June

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Dr. Stephanie Hurder Copland Lecture Theatre, 25 Kingsley Pl. Smart Contracting in Practice

Thursday 22 June

5.30 pm–7.30 pm

Professor Frank Lichtenberg Manning Clark Hall, Cultural Centre Kambri 153

The longevity and budgetary impact of the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Date & time Presenter Location


Thu 25th August

5.30 pm–6.30 pm

Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP Manning Clark Hall, Cultural Centre Kambri 153

A More Dynamic Economy

Wed 29th June

5.30 pm - 7.00 pm

Professor Ross Garnaut T2 Theatre, Cultural Centre (ANU Building 153), Kambri, University Avenue

Economic Ideas and Competition Between Autocracy and Democracy

Date & time Presenter Location


Thu 20th May 10.00am-11.00am Professor Christopher Snyder Online

The Economics of COVID-19 Vaccine Supply

Date & time Presenter Location


Tue 17th November  5.30pm-7.30pm

Dr. Stephen King Online

Using economics to reform Australia's mental health system.

Mon 20th July 5.30pm-7.30pm

Assaf Razin Online

De-globalization and Social Safety Nets: Post-Pandemic World Economy?


Date & time Presenter Location


Thurs 6th June 5.30pm-7pm Kathryn Spier, Harvard Law School Haydon Allen Tank

Recent Developments in the EConomics of Litigation

Date & time Presenter Location


Wed 20 June


Professor Ngo Van Long Innovations Theatre

Ethical motivation and economic behavious: theory, evidence and policy implications.

Date & time Presenter Location


Wed 8 March


Professor L. Alan Winters Allan Barton Forum

Brexit and the developing countries

Date & time Presenter Location


Tues 4 October


Professor John Quiggin CIW auditorium

After reform: the economic policy agenda in the 21st century

Tues 19 July 5:30-7:00pm

Professor Catherine Eckel Innovations Lecture Theatre

Shopping for Trust

Thurs 21 April 5.30-7.00pm

Professor Jeff Williamson Law Lecture Theatre

From Colony to Superpower: American Growth and Inequality since 1774

Date & time Presenter Location


Mon 19 Oct 5.30-7.00pm

Professor Frank Staehler Haydon-Allen Tank

Attracting foreign direct investment – curse or blessing?

Tues 28/7/2015

Professor Richard B. Freeman Manning Clark Centre Theatre 2

How to solve the inequality problem that is plaguing capitalism

Thurs 5/3/2015 5.30–7.00pm

Professor Richard H Steckel Arndt Lecture Theatre 1

New Approaches to the Standard of Living

Date & time Presenter Location


21/10/2014 5.30–7.30pm

Professor Dean Hyslop Hedley Bull Centre Lecture Theatre 1

Welfare Reform: Lessons from Large Scale Experiments


Professor Loren Brandt Arndt Lecture Theatre 1, HW Arndt Building #25A

The Chinese renewables sectors: A case of wilting greens?

Professor Paul Seabright Haydon-Allen Lecture Theatre (the Tank), Building #23 Can and should anything be done to change the unequal representation of women in positions of economic power in advanced societies?
Date & time Presenter Location


Professor Bob Haveman Law Link Lecture Theatre, Building #7, Fellows Road The US Labour Market is a mess: Is there a way out?
Professor Richard V. Burkhauser Sparke Helmore Law Theatre 2, Building #6A Top Incomes and Inequality in Australia: What Happened and Why?
Professor M Utku Unver CBE Lecture Theatre 1, CBE Building #26C Welfare and equity consequences of transplant organ allocation policies
Date & time Presenter Location


Professor Andrew Oswald Hedley Bull Centre (Bld 130, Theatre 1) Herd behavior and keeping up with the Joneses
Rob Heferen Manning Clark, Lecture theatre 6 Australian Tax Policy challenges in a changing world
5.30–7 pm
Prof Klaus F Zimmermann Weston Theatre, JG Crawford Building Challenges to the Euro Crisis and Beyond
Professor Jeffrey G Williamson Molonglo Theatre, Level 2, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU Commodity prices over two centuries: Trends, volatility and impact