July 27-29, 2017 • Newport Beach, CA

About Cato University | Schedule | Register | Scholarship

Cato University’s College of Economics is based on the conviction that economics shouldn’t be limited only to specialists. Economics is a way of thinking, a tool for decision-making, and a basis for action. It’s the necessary foundation for understanding government, business, and society generally.

Discussions by Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith and top scholars and economics professors from Harvard University, Northwestern University, and the Cato Institute are designed to solidify your expertise on basic economic principles, and then help you apply those tools to today’s most pressing issues.

In this one-of-a-kind learning environment, you’ll join others from around the country who care about the direction of America and the world — individuals who aren’t content to let government experts or populist politicians direct “the economy,” but who want an economic order that’s based on freedom and justice and that delivers prosperity. Register here.

Schedule

Thursday, July 27
3:00 – 6:00PM Registration
6:30 – 7:30PM Reception
7:30 – 9:30PM The Economics of Liberty and Prosperity
Modern widespread prosperity is made possible by respect for individual freedom – to think, to plan, to challenge old ways of doing things, to introduce new products and services, to be enterprising. How are liberty and shared prosperity closely connected?

Dinner Speaker: Tom Palmer, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network


Friday, July 28
8:00AM Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15AM The Power of Incentives
What is the impact of positive incentives? Free societies rely on the right incentives to foster peaceful cooperation and harmony. How can the wrong incentives, even imposed with the best of intentions, create truly perverse consequences?

Speaker: Jeff Miron, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Economics, Harvard University
10:15 – 10:45AM Break
10:45 – 12:00PM Spontaneous Orders
Most of the order in human life wasn’t consciously foreseen, designed, or imposed; it just grew. Free societies include many islands of conscious planning, but the overall order of a free society isn’t planned. Organizations have purposes, but society has no one purpose.

Speaker: Lynne Kiesling, Department of Economics, Purdue University
12:00 – 1:30PM Lunch
1:30 – 2:45PM The Economics of Cooperation and Coercion
People can get what they want by persuasion or by violence. But, how does economics help us to understand each form of interaction: work and trade, on the one hand, and force and robbery, on the other?

Speaker: Jeff Miron, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Economics, Harvard University
2:45 – 3:15PM Break
3:15 – 4:30PM Rational Choice and Public Policy Analysis
Public choice has emerged to explain behavior in both markets and politics. To what extent do voters and consumers behave rationally, and how can a science largely germinated in the study of market exchange help to explain politics?

Speaker: Tom Palmer, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network
4:30PM Free Time
6:30 – 7:00PM Reception
7:00 – 9:00PM Documentary Screening and Discussion: The Human Costs of Welfare Policies

Dinner Speaker: Lisa Conyers, Director of Policy Studies, DKT Liberty Project


Saturday, July 29
8:00AM Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15AM Environmental Economics
How can property, contracts, markets, and legal accountability align incentives to create flourishing and clean environments, stewardship of resources, and social harmony?

Speaker: Lynne Kiesling, Department of Economics, Purdue University
10:15 – 10:45AM Break
10:45 – 12:00PM The Economics of Trade and the Politics of International Trade
International trade accounting is often a source of confusion that can be clarified by systematically examining the terms involved. What are the political controls and the myths that concentrated interests use to restrict mutually beneficial exchange?

Speaker: Dan Ikenson, Director of the Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute
12:00 – 1:30PM Lunch
1:30 – 2:45PM The Economic Analysis of Social Policy
Economics doesn’t just illuminate and explain exchange of goods and services or voting behavior in political contests. How can it be used to explain other governmental policies and their consequences, from prohibition of drugs and alcohol to sexual behavior?

Speaker: Jeff Miron, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Economics, Harvard University
2:45 – 3:15PM Break
3:15 – 4:30PM The Economics of Knowledge
The knowledge needed for economic coordination is dispersed throughout society and not easily communicated. How have markets, prices, and other mechanisms evolved to allow people in free societies to benefit from such dispersed knowledge without having to centralize and master it all themselves?

Speaker: Lynne Kiesling, Department of Economics, Purdue University
4:30PM Free Time
6:30PM – 7:00PM Reception
7:00PM – 9:00PM Adam Smith on Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations

Dinner Speaker: Vernon Smith, Nobel Laureate in Economics and Senior Fellow, Cato Institute

About Cato University | Schedule | Register | Scholarship

Tom PalmerTom G. Palmer is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and director of Cato University, the Institute’s educational arm. Palmer is also the executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. Before joining Cato he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights.

More about Tom Palmer

Jeff MironJeffrey A. Miron is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. His area of expertise is the economics of libertarianism, with particular emphasis on the economics of illegal drugs. Miron has served on the faculty at the University of Michigan and as a visiting professor at the Sloan School of Management, M.I.T. and the Department of Economics, Harvard University. From 1992-1998, he was chairman of the Department of Economics at Boston University. He is the author of Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition and The Economics of Seasonal Cycles. Miron received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Swarthmore College in 1979 and a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T. in 1984.

More about Jeffrey A. Miron

Lynne KieslingLynne Kiesling’s research focuses on the effect of regulatory institutions and their incentives on innovation and technological change, particularly in the electric power industry. She teaches classes in microeconomics, technological change, environmental economics, antitrust and regulation, environmental economics, and history of economic thought, and all of these topics and themes inform her research and other writing.

More about Lynne Kiesling

Dan IkensonDan Ikenson is director of Cato’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, where he coordinates and conducts research on all manner of international trade and investment policy. Since joining Cato in 2000, Ikenson has authored dozens of papers on various aspects of trade policy, focusing his research on U.S.-China trade relations; bilateral and multilateral trade agreements and institutions; globalization; U.S. manufacturing issues; trade politics; and trade remedies, such as the antidumping regime.

More about Dan Ikenson

Vernon SmithDr. Vernon L. Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics. Dr. Smith is professor of economics at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics and School of Law in Orange, California, a research scholar at George Mason University Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, and a Fellow of the Mercatus Center, all in Arlington, Virginia.

More about Vernon Smith

Lisa ConyersLisa Conyers has traveled the globe to report on topics as varied as welfare dependence and its effects on recipients, the relationship between religiosity and criminal behavior, the role and prevalence of violence in civil society, and the impact of health and family planning programs in the developing world.

More about Lisa Conyers