Goldsmith Lectures

Goldsmith Lectures

The Goldsmith Economic Research Endowment was established in 2004 through a bequest by the estate of Barry Goldsmith. The Endowment is used to support scholarships at undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as academic posts in the ANU College of Business and Economics.

It also provides the opportunity to hold public lectures to advance the study in the discipline of economics.

Upcoming Goldsmith Lectures

Putting the 'finance' into public finance: How should capital gains be taxed? -- Professor Florian Scheuer, University of Zurich

Tuesday 28 May, 2–4pm (AEST)
Copland Theatre, HW Arndt Building 25A,
Kingsley Street, Acton

How should capital gains driven by asset price movements be taxed? While growing literature has documented the role of asset prices for the dynamics of wealth inequality, their normative implications are not well understood.

In this lecture, Florian will introduce asset prices into a model of capital taxation and show that the optimal tax base—notably, whether unrealised or only realised gains should be taxed—depends on the sources of valuation changes. Specifically, he’ll show that whenever asset prices are not exclusively driven by dividend changes, taxes must condition on realised trades, and elaborate on how this result stands in contrast to the classic Haig-Simons comprehensive income-tax concept, as well as recent proposals for wealth or accrual-based capital gains taxes.

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Shaping inequality and intergenerational persistence of poverty: Free college, better schools or transfers? -- Professor Dirk Krueger, University of Pennsylvania

Wednesday 29 May, 2–4pm (AEST)
Copland Theatre, HW Arndt Building 25A,
Kingsley Street, Acton

In this lecture, Professor Dirk Krueger (University of Pennsylvania) will discuss his paper, which constructs a general equilibrium overlapping generations model with intergenerational linkages and a multi-stage human-capital production process during childhood and adolescence, with both parental time and resource investments as well as government schooling inputs investments. The model features rich cross-sectional heterogeneity, and specifically distinguishes between single and married parents, and is disciplined by US household survey data on income, wealth, education, and time use.

The purpose of the model is to study alternative government education policies to encourage college attendance and completion, such as making college free, improving funding for primary and secondary public schooling, and strengthening social-insurance policies for children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. More broadly, Dirk will investigate which policies efficiently improve outcomes of socially-disadvantaged children, increase upward intergenerational mobility, and improve aggregate welfare.

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Recent Goldsmith Lecture

Education in a Changing World: Professor Eric Hanushek, Stanford University

While the importance of education for economic outcomes of individuals and of nations is broadly recognised, the full economic value is often underestimated. Professor Eric Hanushek begins this lecture with a discussion of where all of the countries of the world stand in terms of the requisite skills for competing in a modern economy.

From historical economic growth patterns, he shows it is then possible to estimate the economic gains to be had from bringing everybody up to minimal skill levels. Special attention is given to education and skills in Australia. This is followed by suggestions for improvement from economic research.

View the recording

Past lecture

Date Presenter
17 October 2023

Professor Eric Hanushek

"Education in a Changing World"

23 March 2023

William Coleman

"Adam Smith’s Case Against the British Empire"

28 February 2023

Professor Thomas J. Sargent

"Sources of artificial intelligence"

Past lecture

Date Presenter

19 July 2022

Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University

"What economic theory really says about the role and conduct of economic policy?"

Past lecture

Date Presenter

12 February 2020

Professor Richard Steckel, The Ohio State University

"Very Long-term Trends in Health on Four Continents:North America, South America, Europe and Asia"

Past lectures

Date Presenter

28 February 2019

Dr Alice Reid from University of Cambridge

'If only this could be my last': new ideas about reducing family size during the demographic transition

13 November 2019  

Associate Professor Jessica Pan from National University of Singapore

'The Remaining Gender Disparities in the Labour Market: Causes and Policy Responses'

Past lectures

Date Presenter

27 September 2017

Professor John Creedy from Victoria University of Wellington

"Inequality Measurement: In Pursuit of a Chimera?"

16 March 2017

Professor Leandro Prados de la Escosura, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

"Economic freedom and income inequality in the long run: Is there a trade-off?"

Past lectures

Date Presenter

27 October 2016

Professor Barry Eichengreen, University of California Berkeley.

"International Currencies Past, Present and Future: Lessons of the Very Long Run"

8 September 2016

Professor Dan Hamermesh, Royal Holloway University of London, and University of Texas at Austin

"Beauty in the Economy"