UCL Department of Economics


Gorman Lectures

Established in 2001, the Gorman Lectures are sponsored by UCL and Princeton University Press in honor 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 and Jean Tirole. The 2017 Lectures will be given by Torsten Persson.

The lectures can 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.



2017 Gorman Lecture

7 and 8 May 2017

Torsten Persson (Stockholm University)
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?



Gorman Lectures 2016

Eric Maskin

Eric Maskin (Harvard)

Tuesday 16th Feb, 5:30pm-7pm (Part I)

Wednesday 17th Feb, 5:30-7pm (Part II)

Sir Ambrose Fleming LT and Foyer, Roberts Building, UCL

Part I: 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

Part II: 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


Gorman Lectures 2015

by Jean Tirole (Toulouse School of Economics)

5.30pm-7pm, Tue 24th Feb  - Intellectual Property and Public Policy I

5.30pm-7pm, Wed 25th Feb - Intellectual Property and Public Policy II

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.


Gorman Lectures 2013

by Professor Pierre-Andre Chiappori

Wednesday 29th May, 17:30 and Thursday 30th May in the Sir Ambrose Flemming Lecture Theatre, Roberts Building, UCL, Gower Street London WC1E 6BT.

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.



Gorman Lectures 2012

Thomas Sargent to present the UCL Gorman Lectures in Economics 2012

The distinguished American economist and Nobel Prize Winner, Professor Thomas Sargent will be presenting the UCL Gorman Lectures in Economics 2012.

The subject of the lectures this year will be 'Beneath and Beyond Demand and Supply Curves'.

The lectures took place on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th November.

Flyer Abstract Manuscript


Gorman Lectures 2011

Jeremy Hausman to present the UCL Gorman Lectures in Economics 2011

The acclaimed economist, Professor Jerry Hausman from MIT, Massachusetts will be presenting the Gorman Lectures in Economics 2011. These annual lectures are sponsored by Princeton University Press and are in honour of Terence Gorman, a distinguished economist of the 20th Century.

The subject of the lectures this year will be 'Heterogeneity, Consumer Behaviour and Welfare'.

They will take place on Wednesday 30th November and Thursday 1st December


Gorman Lectures 2010

29th and 30th of November 2010

Robert Townsend 

"Evaluation of Financial Systems in Developing Countries".

Robert Townsend (MIT) presented the Gorman Lectures in Economics 2010, sponsored by Princeton University Press. This annual lecture is in honour of Terence Gorman, a distinguished economist of the 20th Century.