The Fourth Annual Kenneth J. Arrow Lecture: Persons and Time in the Welfare Economics of Climate Change

April 12, 2011 - 2:00pm
Low Memorial Library, Rotunda
2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Sir Dasgupta's lecture focused on the weakness in customary formulations of the idea of intergenerational well-being, and the resulting literature on the economics of climate change.  His lecture was followed by remarks from Kenneth Arrow, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Stanford University,  Scott Barrett, Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics, Columbia University, Geoffrey Heal, Paul Garrett Professor of Public Policy and Business Responsibility at Columbia Business School, and Joseph Stiglitz, Co-Chair of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University

About Sir Partha Dasgupta:

Sir Partha Dasgupta is the Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics and past chairman of the faculty of economics and politics at the University of Cambridge. From 1991 to 1997, Dasgupta was chairman of the scientific board of the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and, from 1989 to 1992, professor of economics and philosophy, and director of the Program in Ethics in Society at Stanford University. His research interests have covered welfare and development economics; the economics of technological change; population, environmental, and resource economics; the theory of games; and the economics of under nutrition.

Dasgupta is a fellow of St. John's College, a fellow of the Econometric Society, a fellow of the British Academy, foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, honorary fellow of the London School of Economics, honorary member of the American Economic Association, member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences. He is a past president of the Royal Economic Society (1998-2001) and the European Economic Association (1999). Dasgupta was named Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 in her Birthday Honours List for services to economics and was co-recipient (with Karl Goran Maler) of the 2002 Volvo Environment Prize. He is a fellow of the Royal Society (elected 2004) and a foreign member of the American Philosophical Society (elected 2005).

About Scott Barrett:

Scott Barrett is the Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics at SIPA and the Earth Institute. He was previously a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, where he also directed the International Policy program. Before that, he was on the faculty of the London Business School. He has also been a visiting scholar at Yale.

Barrett's research focuses on transnational and global challenges, ranging from climate change to infectious diseases. He is the author of Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making and most recently Why Cooperate? The Incentive to Supply Global Public Goods.

He has advised a number of international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, the European Commission, and the International Task Force on Global Public Goods. He was previously a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a member of the Academic Panel to the Department of Environment in the UK. Barrett is a research fellow with the Beijer Institute (Stockholm), CESifo (Munich), and the Kiel Institute of World Economics.

About Geoffrey Heal:

Geoffrey Heal is Paul Garrett Professor of Public Policy and Corporate responsibility and Professor of Finance and Economics at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University, Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs, Co-Director of Columbia's Center for Economy Environment and Society and of the Earth Institute's Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development. He taught at Cambridge as a Fellow of Christ's College, and subsequently at Sussex and Essex Universities in the UK, at the Universities of Paris and Stockholm, and in the U.S. at Yale, Stanford and Princeton. Heal is a Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists and was a founder and chairs the board of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, a group of forested tropical countries that has worked to reform the Kyoto Protocol to provide financial incentives for forest conservation.

Heal's current research interests reach from financial markets, where he studies the role of derivatives and the securitization of catastrophic risks, to environmental conservation, where he studies the use of market-based incentives for conservation of forests and biodiversity. He is particularly interested in the interface between economics and ecology, and the extent to which profit-oriented companies can contribute to the solution of social and environmental problems. Heal's latest books, Valuing the Future, Nature and the Marketplace and When Principles Pay attempt to develop an economic framework for thinking rigorously about sustainability and the issues for which it has become a metaphor.

About Joseph Stiglitz:

A graduate of Amherst College, he received his PHD from MIT in 1967, became a full professor at Yale in 1970, and in 1979 was awarded the John Bates Clark Award, given biennially by the American Economic Association to the economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the field. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, MIT and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is now University Professor at Columbia University in New York and Chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as CEA chairman from 1995-97. He then became Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997-2000. In 2008 he was asked by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy to chair the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, which released its final report in September 2009. In 2009 he was appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly as chair of the Commission of Experts on Reform of the International Financial and Monetary System, which also released its report in September 2009.

About Kenneth J. Arrow:

Professor Arrow is Joan Kenney Professor of Economics and Professor of Operations Research, Emeritus at Stanford University. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University, where his dissertation explored his famous "impossibility theorem" and became the foundation for his seminal book, Social Choice and Individual Values. Professor Arrow was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with John Hicks in 1972 for their pioneering contributions to general economic equilibrium theory and welfare theory. He remains the youngest person to have received the Nobel Prize in Economics, and many of Professor Arrow's students have gone on to win the Nobel Prize themselves. Professor Arrow has made major contributions to equilibrium theory, endogenous growth theory and information economics, and is considered one of the most influential practicing economists.

For more information about Professor Arrow, please visit and