UCL Department of Economics


Gorman Conference & Lectures

Gorman Conference and Lectures 2022

Lecture Programme

Gorman Lectures graphic

As part of the Gorman Lecture series, Penny Goldberg from Yale University will be speaking at this event.

A substantial share of economic activity in many emerging and developing economies is informal, meaning that it is invisible to the government. Yet, the informal sector is nearly absent from theoretical and empirical work in International Trade and Economics more generally.

The two lectures will explore informality, both its causes and its implications for growth, welfare and inequality in an open economy. The first lecture will define informality; present several stylized facts; discuss existing work and views regarding the role of informality; and draw parallels between the informal sector and the gig economy. The second lecture will focus on the interplay of trade and informality. It will explore how openness affects informality as well as how the presence of an informal sector affects predictions of standard trade models.

Conference Programme

Monday 16 May 

14:00-15:30 Chair: Jonas Hjort (UCL)

Isabela Manelici (LSE) Responsible Sourcing? Theory and Evidence from Costa Rica

Rocco Macchiavello (LSE) The Sustainable Quality Program in the Colombia Coffee Chain

16:00-17:30 Chair: Imran Rasul (UCL)

Kalina Manova (UCL) Firm Heterogeneity and Imperfect Competition in Global Production Networks

David Atkin (MIT) Globalization and the Ladder of Development: Pushed to the Top or Held at the Bottom?

18:00-19:30 Gorman Lecture 1 – Moderator: Costas Meghir (Yale)

Penny Goldberg (Yale) - Informality and Development

Tuesday 17 May 

14:00-15:30 Chair: Kalina Manova (UCL)

Amit Khandelwal (Columbia) The US-China Trade War and Global Reallocations

Claudia Steinwender (LMU) Omnia Juncta in Uno: Foreign Powers and Trademark Protection in Shanghai’s Concession Era

16:00-17:30 Chair: Uta Schoenberg (UCL)

Kirill Borusyak (UCL) Understanding Migration Responses to Local Shocks

Gabriel Ulyssea (UCL & IFS) Rural-Urban Migration, Informality and Firm Dynamics

18:00-19:30 Gorman Lecture 2 – Moderator: Swati Dhingra (LSE)

Penny Goldberg (Yale) - Trade and Informality in the Presence of Labor Market Frictions and Regulations

Established in 2001, the Gorman Lectures are sponsored by UCL and Princeton University Press in honour of the influential economist William Moore "Terence" Gorman.


The annual series features a different leading economist each year and has so far included; Eric Maskin, Dan McFadden, James Heckman, Avinash Dixit, Robert M. Townsend, Ken Binmore, Robert Hall, Jerry Hausman, Thomas Sargent, Pierre-Andre Chiappori, Jean Tirole and Torsten Persson. The lectures cover a range of sub-discipline in Economics and are usually produced in book form by the Princeton University Press after the event. A list of W M Gorman's publications can be found on the Trinity College Dublin website and more information about his life and achievements can be found on the Guardian webpage.



Speaker: Daron Acemoglu (MIT)
Lecture 1: Tasks, Automation and Labor Market
Lecture 2:  New Tasks, Good Automation and Bad Automation: Implications for the Future of Work

Jointly organised by UCL Economics, IFS-Deaton Review and CReAM.

Catch up with the recordings below: 

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxRd2VcRd-Q&t=5s


YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/wd_Dsl3zQ9s


Speaker: Claudia Goldin (Harvard)

Lectures 1 & 2: A Long Road: Women's Quest for Career and Family

There will be a Conference during both days (co-sponsored by CReAM and IFS (ESRC Centre) themed around Claudia’s work and co-organised by Uta Schönberg, Monica Costa Dias and Claudia Olivetti.  


Speaker: Torsten Persson (Stockholm University)
Lectures 1 & 2: Political selection in Sweden: Facts, causes, and consequences.

Based on a unique set of data, Persson dicussed the selection into higher political office in Sweden. The two lectures addressed the following questions;

Can the selection of politicians combine high competence (ability) with an equal representation of different social backgrounds?

Do political parties consider candidates' popularity among the voters when appointing their leaders? How will a quota to raise the female representation in politics change the competence of elected politicians?


Speaker: Eric Maskin (Harvard)

Lecture 1: How Should Members of Parliament (and Congress) be Elected?

Candidates for  the British Parliament and the U.S. Congress are elected according to plurality rule (first-past-the-post). I will argue that this election method is seriously flawed. A better method is “true majority rule” (the Condorcet Method), according to which a candidate wins if she would beat all other candidates in a head-to-head contest. Indeed, there is a sense in which true majority rule dominates all others. Slides

Lecture 2: Elections and Strategic Voting

Strategic voting consists of voting for candidate A even though you prefer candidate B. Election methods that are vulnerable to strategic voting produce distorted outcomes and impose heavy extra costs on voters. No method is entirely strategy proof, but I will argue that the election rules proposed by two rival 18th century scientists---Condorcet and Borda---come closest. Slides 


Speaker: Jean Tirole (Toulouse School of Economics)

Lectures 1 & 2: Intellectual Property and Public Policy

One of the key markets in our knowledge economy is the market for intellectual property. The future of several industries hinges on public policy with regards to patent granting and licensing, copyright, trade secrets, open source solutions and standard setting. How can we stimulate widespread technology diffusion and reward only truly innovative contributions? In particular, public policy confronts two major issues concerning the diffusion and sharing of intellectual property.

First, new technologies tend to be covered by a wide array of patents issued to the different firms that contribute components to the technology. This patent thicket is conducive to “royalty stacking”, threatening the diffusion of the technology. It has accordingly been proposed that antitrust authorities stop discouraging patent pools, which are institutions through which owners of different pieces of intellectual property jointly market their licenses. Patent pools dominated the industrial world until an adverse landmark decision of the US Supreme Court in 1945, and now are making an impressive comeback in high tech industries. Patent pools, if poorly structured, however can be strongly anticompetitive. The lectures will discuss public policies toward patent pools and more generally co-marketing arrangements among potential competitors.

Second, when standardization is necessary, in many cases there are multiple routes to solving a given technological problem. Each one of these may be equally viable, but often a standards body will choose only one avenue. After the decision is made, however, the chosen patent becomes a “standard-essential patent,” and the patent owner can ask for a high royalty even when other patents could have offered comparable value, had the technology been morphed differently.  Standard essential patents have motivated for instance the ongoing disputes over smartphone patents. The lectures will discuss whether the standard-setting process should be regulated and how. Finally, the lectures will discuss various other issues regarding the future of intellectual property policy.


Speaker:  Pierre-Andre Chiappori

Lectures 1 & 2: Matching with Transfers

The lecture covered recent advance in the analysis of matching models under transferable or imperfectly transferable utility. Emphasis will be put, in particular, on multidimensional models and on econometric aspects.


Speaker: Thomas Sargent 

Lectures 1 & 2: Beneath and Beyond Demand and Supply Curves


Speaker: Jeremy Hausman 

Lectures 1 & 2: Heterogeneity, Consumer Behaviour and Welfare


Speaker: Robert Townsend 

Lectures 1 & 2: Evaluation of Financial Systems in Developing Countries