GSE Scientific Council Holds First Official Meeting


The Scientific Council of the Barcelona GSE convened for the first time in Barcelona on March 1st, uniting prominent academics from all parts of the world to form a plan of excellence for the school. The GSE Scientific Council is composed of 33 top scholars, including 10 Nobel Laureates, who advise on the academic strategy of the School. Nearly two-thirds of the members were able to attend the meeting, representing top levels of leadership from the world’s premiere universities and research institutions.

Andreu Mas-Colell (Chairman, Barcelona GSE), Robert Solow (Scientific Council), and Salvador Barberà (Director, Barcelona GSE Research Network) participate in the meeting

Over the course of the day-long meeting, the Council met with members of the GSE community to discuss the progress the school has made in the past year, collaborate on matters of institutional strategy, and formulate an optimal trajectory to achieve the school’s full potential.

The meeting presented the opportunity to assess the Barcelona GSE’s six master programs, two of which will be offered for the first time this coming academic year. The Council members also provided guidance on the School’s two reference doctoral programs, GPEFM (provided by UPF) and IDEA (provided by UAB).

The meeting also marked the occasion to reveal the Barcelona GSE Research Network, which encompasses the research carried out by the members of the GSE community. MIT Professor and Nobel Laureate Robert Solow noted, “The core of the school is the world-class economists who could be in any other center of economics in the world, but have chosen Catalonia, specifically Barcelona, as their base.”

The Council collaborates to guide the institutional strategy

Impressions of the meeting’s utility were very positive. Council member Jacques Drèze (Université Catholique de Louvain) described the event as “lively and fruitful”, pointing out that “whenever you get a group of economists together, there is a lot of information shared but not necessarily immediate conclusions drawn. Nevertheless, the future of the Barcelona GSE holds great potential.”

Other Scientific Council members mentioned the global excellence of the school. Professor Solow said that he was “particularly struck by the international character of the school. Barcelona would like to be a leading center in the world, competitive with the current centers- London, Boston, Chicago, etc. The school clearly has an excellent grounding and promising start.”

“The Barcelona GSE is doing something very unique—uniting the strengths and resources of two top preexisting economics programs to achieve an entirely new level of excellence,” said Professor Solow. “The results thus far have been superb.“

Many Scientific Council members pointed to the excellent economics community in Barcelona as one of the primary strengths of the school. Said Stanford Professor John Roberts, “Barcelona has long had an exceptional set of economists. Bringing them together in the GSE promises to create one of the world’s leading centers of economics.”

The intensive day of collaboration was concluded with a dinner at the Palau de Pedralbes for Scientific Council members and invited members of the GSE community. The dinner was preceded by short speeches by Andreu Mas-Colell, Chairman of the School, Scientific Council member Robert Solow, and Antoni Castells, Minister of Economics and Finance, Government of Catalonia.

Robert Solow addresses dinner attendees

In his speech, Minister Castells noted, “The meeting of the Scientific Council, composed of the most distinguished members of the economics community, underlines the importance of the Barcelona GSE and confirms that it was the right decision to create the school. Barcelona has become an acknowledged center of economics research, and our goal is to widen and consolidate leadership. We have the will to make it happen.”

Overall, the consensus of the Scientific Council was that the Barcelona GSE is on an excellent trajectory. Summing up his impression of the School, Professor Robert Solow noted “the GSE is turning Barcelona into one of the world’s premiere centers of economics study and research. Its prospects are good and the underlying theory is sound.”

“With the support of the Board of Directors and the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona will stay where it belongs as one of the best centers of economics research and teaching in the world—probably the center with the best climate, and certainly the center with the best architecture.”

2008 GSE Scientific Council Meeting Participants:

President of the Scientific Council:

  • Prof. Hugo Sonnenschein, University of Chicago

Members in Attendance:

  • Prof. Jürgen Basedow, Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law and member of the German Monopoly Commission
  • Prof. Richard Blundell, University College London
  • Prof. Mathias Dewatripont, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Prof. Jacques Drèze CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain
  • Prof. Raquel Fernández, New York University
  • Prof. Bengt Holmstrom, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Prof. Matthew O. Jackson, Stanford University
  • Prof. Timothy Kehoe, University of Minnesota
  • Prof. Anne Krueger, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University
  • Prof. Charles F. Manski, Northwestern University
  • Prof. José María Maravall, Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Ciencias Sociales
  • Prof. Juan Pablo Nicolini, Universidad Torcuato di Tella
  • Prof. Aloisio Pessoa de Araújo, IMPA i Fundaçao Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro
  • Prof. Edward C. Prescott, Arizona State University (Nobel Laureate)
  • Prof. John Roberts, Stanford University
  • Prof. Chris Sims, Princeton University
  • Prof. Robert M. Solow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Nobel Laureate)
  • Prof. Fabrizio Zilibotti, University of Zurich

Members of the Scientific Council pose for a group photo in the Barcelona GSE central office

Members of the Scientific Council

Antoni Castells (Government of Catalonia), Andreu Mas-Colell (Barcelona GSE), and Matthias Dewatripont (Université Libre de Bruxelles) arrive to dinner

Dinner at Palau de Pedralbes

Board member Joaquim Boixareu, Scientific Council member and Nobel Laureate Edward Prescott and Andreu Mas-Colell


GSE Scientific Council