On Saturday the Barcelona GSE's Scientific Council gathered for its biennial meeting at the School's Ciutadella campus. The Barcelona GSE Scientific Council is an external academic body that analyzes the educational activities of the School, its strategies for supporting, attracting, and retaining research talent, and its institutional development.
Participating in this year's meeting were the Council's president, Prof. Hugo Sonnenschein (University of Chicago); four Nobel Laureates in Economics: Professors Robert Lucas (University of Chicago), James A. Mirrlees (University of Cambridge), Edward C. Prescott (Arizona State University), and Robert M. Solow (MIT); as well as Professors Jurgen Basedow (Max Planck Institute), Mathias Dewatripont (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Jacques Drèze (Université Catholique de Louvain), Raquel Fernández (New York University), Oliver Hart (Harvard University), Matthew O. Jackson, (Stanford University), Juan Pablo Nicolini (Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires), Aloisio Pessoa de Araújo (IMPA and Fundação Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro), and John Roberts (Stanford University).
Participants in the 2010 meeting of the Barcelona GSE Scientific Council with members of the GSE Board and faculty.
“It is a privilege to be able to gather some of the world's most distinguished economists on the GSE’s campus in Barcelona to discuss the trajectory of the School," said Prof. Massimo Motta, who participated in his role as Dean of the Barcelona GSE. "Their advice and reflections provide invaluable perspective from which the entire GSE community benefits."
Feedback and advice for Barcelona GSE initiatives
Among topics discussed during the meeting were the healthy growth of the GSE's master programs and their promising outlook for the coming years, as well as the performance of the GSE's two reference doctoral programs, The Graduate Program in Economics, Finance and Management (GPEFM) at the UPF and the International Doctorate in Economic Analysis (IDEA) offered by the UAB.
The Council also examined the dynamic research activities of the School's four founding academic bodies (UPF, UAB, IAE, and CREI), which together form one of the top three clusters of scientific research output in economics in Europe. They also touched briefly on the success of the GSE's first major international event, the joint meeting of the European Economic Association and the Econometrics Society (EEA-ESEM) hosted by the School in August 2009. The event brought together nearly 1800 academics and involved the participation of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
Another initiative that received positive feedback from the Council members was the Calvó-Armengol International Prize, organized by the Barcelona GSE ogether with the government of Andorra and Crèdit Andorrà. The first winner of the Prize is Prof. Esther Dufló (MIT), an expert in the economics of development and poverty. Prof. Dufló will receive the Prize in June.
The Barcelona GSE research endowment, a reality
One of the topics that stood out in the meeting was the consolidation and growth of the Barcelona GSE Research Endowment. Two years ago the Council members celebrated the establishment of the Endowment with its first contribution of 3M euros, and this year GSE was able to present them with the updated figure of 11.75M euros, thanks to generous contributions adopted by the Spanish Congress and awarded by the competitive AXA Research Fund, from the multinational insurance company of the same name.
The unique characteristic of the Barcelona GSE Research Endowment is that its revenues are dedicated exclusively to supporting the joint appointment of Barcelona GSE Research Professors with its four academic bodies. Five research professors have already been appointed since the position was created in the fall of 2008. They are professors Massimo Motta (ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE), Nezih Guner (UAB and Barcelona GSE), Salvador Barberà (UAB and Barcelona GSE), Antonio Ciccone (ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE), and Jordi Galí (CREI-UPF and Barcelona GSE). Over the next ten years, the GSE's strategic objective is to build an endowment of approximately 40M euros in order to support the appointment of about 40 research professors.
The 2010 Scientific Council Meeting at the Barcelona GSE's Ciutadella campus.
Prof. Hugo Sonnenschein (University of Chicago) and Barcelona GSE Chairman Prof. Andreu Mas-Colell during the Scientific Council meeting. The two economists shared the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in February.