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Partha Dasgupta challenges Barcelona GSE students to think beyond optimization in Opening Ceremony lecture

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The Barcelona Graduate School of Economics inaugurated the 2014-15 academic year on October 16 at Telefónica Tower, home of board member institution Telefónica. This year, 218 students from 50 different countries will pursue master degrees in Economics and Finance, Specialized Economic Analysis, and Data Science at the Barcelona GSE.

The opening ceremony featured a lecture by Prof. Sir Partha Dasgupta (University of Cambridge) on "Measuring the Wealth of Nations." In his lecture, Prof. Dasgupta pointed out some potential shortcomings of indicators such as GDP, happiness, and the Human Development Index (HDI) that are often used to measure the collective experience of people.

"Health, for example, is not usually included in human capital, but it should be," Prof. Dasgupta pointed out. "Economists love to optimize, but we need to think beyond optimization," he told the students.

Video: Partha Dasgupta, "Measuring the Wealth of Nations"

 

A need for truly good economists to lead the way to a more prosperous society

In addition to the academic lecture by Prof. Dasgupta, students also heard welcome remarks from several representatives of the Barcelona GSE's leadership including:

  • Dr. Montserrat Farell, UAB Vicerector for Economy and Organization
  • Mr. Kim Faura, General Director of Telefónica-Catalunya
  • Mr. Lluís Jofre, Director General for Universities, Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Prof. Àngel Lozano, UPF Vicerector for Research
  • Prof. Ramon Marimon, Chairman of the Barcelona GSE Board of Trustees

In his message for the new students, Prof. Lozano offered a challenge of his own to the aspiring economists in the room. "We don't need any more charlatans. We need truly good economists to guide us through these complex times, steer us away from trouble, and show us the way to a more prosperous society. And because I am convinced the Barcelona GSE is precisely the kind of institution that can produce this type of people, what I'll say to the students in the room is that we need you. We need you to become truly good economists."

Photo album from Opening Ceremony 2014-15