Robert Lucas delivers 34th Barcelona GSE Lecture

Robert E. Lucas - Barcelona GSE Lecture

Robert Lucas (University of Chicago, Nobel Laureate, Barcelona GSE Scientific Council) explored the roots of industrial revolution and fielded questions from BGSE students, faculty, and researchers.

The Banc Sabadell Auditorium was packed on March 17 for the 34th Barcelona GSE Lecture, delivered by Professor Robert E. Lucas, Jr. (University of Chicago, Nobel Laureate in Economics). Professor Lucas spoke about the economic and demographic conditions that lead to industrial revolution.

"The human race enjoyed many centuries of population growth and artistic and scientific achievement long before the onset of the Industrial Revolution," he observed, "but sustained growth in the living standards of ordinary working people did not occur even in Europe prior to the 18th century. What took us so long? Why did the change happen at all?"

Barcelona GSE Research Professor Albert Marcet (ICREA-IAE and BGSE) and Banc Sabadell President Josep Oliu introduced our speaker

Evan Seyfried '16 was one of the current masters students who attended the lecture. He shared his thoughts on the event, the research presented, and meeting Professor Lucas in a blog post on the Barcelona GSE Voice, the School's student and alumni blog.

"When considering the Industrial Revolution, we can appreciate how natural it would be to dismiss the intangible, fuzzy concept of 'human capital' and only focus on material capital: factories, infrastructure, mines, et cetera," Mr. Seyfried reflects. "But if we view the Industrial Revolution with Lucas’s model in mind, we can at the very least see that Lucas’s statement from his 2015 paper—'human capital accumulation can account for all observed growth'—is quite plausible."

Lecture materials

Watch a short recap of the lecture and see other available materials below:

Media coverage

More talks by Robert Lucas at the Barcelona GSE

Upcoming Barcelona GSE Lectures

Prof. Justin Yifu Lin (Peking University)
"Will China continue to be a growth engine in the world?"
May 2, 2016
Banc Sabadell Auditorium

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