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News from the Programs

The 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences

The Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences is a prestigious event, hosting Nobel Laureates in Economics and other sciences, and inviting young economists from all over the world to engage in discussions, exchanging ideas, networking in the relaxed atmosphere of Lake Constance and participating in the heart of the meeting: the lectures given by the Nobel Laureates.

The Opening Ceremony of the Lindau Meeting set the stage and the mood. After a short welcoming speeches by the Countess Bernadotte and the Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Torsten Persson, Mario Draghi gave the keynote. This was followed by the first Nobel Laureate lectures and a get together exclusively for the Nobel Laureates and the attending young economists.

It is with awe to see the ‘stars’ of our discipline presenting their work, offering insights, and pointing towards what with their experience they believe to be the future challenges of economics. One concern was repeatedly addressed: how important it is that economists communicate clearly both the findings as well as the limitations of their research to a broader public. Jean Tirole stressed in his lecture on morals and markets the role of economics as a social science, and Oliver Hart discussed the question of what exactly the objective of a firm should be, as a company’s goal to maximize profits as well as an individual’s goal to maximize utility may not be clearly distinctive.

The Panel Discussions were a lively exchange of ideas between the Laureates, young economists could send in their questions. Particularly memorable was the one on Contracts, Incentives and Organisations that was chaired by LMU’s Klaus Schmidt. Being familiar with Jean Tirole’s, Bengt Holmström’s and Oliver Hart’s seminal work, it was an outstanding experience to witness their debate that displayed academic exchange at its best:  pointing out different approaches to issues, acknowledging shortcomings and a clear view to mend them, all this candidly and in mutual respect.

The Lindau Meeting also offered ample opportunity to engage not only with the Nobel Laureates, but with other young researchers. It was interesting to exchange ideas after the insightful commentary of the Laureates, and to understand the partly different takes on how to solve economic questions among young attendees. This is perhaps the most important takeaway, as it provided conversations in a friendly atmosphere and expanded the networks for the young economists. The Lindau Meeting Alumni site gives us a way to stay in touch, and hopefully, to work further together on the first ideas developed in Lindau.

Apart from the professional side, the hosts in Lindau did their utmost to make our stay as comfortable as possible, which freed us to focus entirely on the meeting. They also organized the evening events and the boat trip, which was another chance to talk in a relaxed atmosphere with the other attendees. We want to thank the Laureates, all attendees and the organizers for their time, effort, and incredible hospitality which made this year’s Meeting on Economic Sciences such a special week for us.

We are very grateful that the Elite Network of Bavaria provided us with the means to attend this outstanding, inspiring and motivating meeting!

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