George Akerlof awarded the inaugural David Dodge CIFAR Lectureship

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Nobel Laureate and CIFAR Senior Fellow George A. Akerlof will present the inaugural David Dodge CIFAR Lectureship on manipulation and deceit in free market economies, based on the findings of his new book, Phishing for Phools (Princeton University Press), co-authored with Robert Shiller.

Established by CIFAR’s Board of Directors with support from Scotiabank, the David Dodge CIFAR Lecture will be given by a CIFAR Fellow or Senior Fellow who has shown extraordinary scholarship and made significant contributions to addressing an important challenge for Canada and the world. He or she will give two lectures — one in the nation’s capital and one in another Canadian city. The selected topic will be on an important question facing government, business and society today.

The lectureship comes with an award of $5,000 and the winner is chosen by a small advisory group made up of leading global scholars from across CIFAR’s networks. The first lecture will take place in Ottawa on Nov. 10, 2015 at the Grand Ballroom, 1 King St. West and the second March 10, 2016 in Toronto.

Akerlof is a University Professor at Georgetown University and the recipient of a 2001 Nobel Prize for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information. This research, illustrated in his seminal paper “The Market for Lemons,” revealed that in markets where sellers have more information than buyers, low-quality products — such as defective used cars — may drive out high quality products because of consumer uncertainty.

More recently, his research has incorporated major concepts from sociology into economics, such as identity and norms. He has argued, most prominently in his 2010 book Identity Economics, co-authored with CIFAR Senior Fellow Rachel Kranton (Duke University), that ignoring social psychological concepts neglects crucial factors in economic outcomes and overlooks important policy considerations. Akerlof has been engaged in three of CIFAR’s programs over more than two decades.

About David Dodge
A true Canadian leader, David Dodge has been engaged with CIFAR for many years. He first learned about CIFAR when he worked at the Department of Finance in the mid-1980’s. At that time, he was visited by then CIFAR President Fraser Mustard who made the case for federal government support for a CIFAR program in Economic Growth and Policy. From 1992-1997, David Dodge served as the Deputy Minister of Finance where he played a deci¬sive role in turning the ongoing federal government deficit into a historic stretch of surplus budget years. From 1998 to 2001, he served as Deputy Minister of Health Canada where he drew extensively from CIFAR’s Population Health program. From 2001-2008, David Dodge was Governor of the Bank of Canada where his leadership was instrumental in managing Canada’s economic health during the global financial downturn. In 2010, he enthusiastically agreed to lend his talents and energy to the CIFAR board and took on the role of Chair. He remains an active and committed CIFAR champion. When he stepped down as Chair, his contributions to Canadian public policy and to CIFAR were honoured with the creation of this award in his name and with the financial support of Scotiabank.

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