Professor Spence received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001. He completed his BA degree in Philosophy at Princeton University for which he was awarded a Summa Cum Laude, after which he won a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford where he did a BSc and MA in Mathematics. Professor Spence then went on to complete a PhD in Economics at Harvard in 1975. Between 1973 and 1975 he was an Associate Professor of Economics at Stanford. From 1975 to 1990 he served as Professor of Economics and Business Administration at Harvard, where in 1983 he was elected as Chairman of the Department of Economics, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1984. From 1990 to 1999 he served as the Dean of Stanford Business School. Professor Spence is perhaps best known for his seminal work on job market signalling models – work which subsequently triggered the vast literature in this branch of contract theory. In 2010, he joined the faculty of New York University's Stern School of Business. He remains a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. Professor has been a member of the Cairncross Foundation’s International Advisory Board since 2008.
The lecture topic is based on his current research. Professor Spence examined patterns of growth, structural change, employment and income distribution in various advanced, middle income and emerging market economies in a period of increasing globalisation. He argued that global economic trends had important implications for US growth and employment in the post-financial crisis period, and that restoring growth in the US requires structural change and expansion of the scope of the tradable sector. The lecture was co-chaired by Cyril Lin and Professor Qian Yingyi.
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