Karlye Dilts-Stedman, a graduate student in the Economics Department, was selected to participate in the 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences held from 22 – 26 August 2017 in Lindau, Germany. Only 400 young economists worldwide were chosen from among all those nominated. Her impression: “I found it remarkable how diverse the group of young economists was, not just in terms of nationality or gender, but also in terms of field of study—it seemed like every corner of the discipline was represented.”
Once every three years, Nobel Laureates convene at Lindau to meet the next generation of leading scientists — undergraduates, PhD students, and post-doc researchers — from all over the world. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings foster the exchange among scientists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines. According to the Program Committee: “The scientific programme of each Lindau Meeting is based on the principle of dialogue. The different sessions – lectures, discussions, master classes, and panel discussions – are designed to activate the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experience between and among Nobel Laureates and young scientists.”
Karlye participated in the meeting last month, and came home both inspired and energized. Here are a few of her impressions.
- This was my first time traveling to Bavaria, so I was first impressed by the incredible beauty of the town of Lindau. As for the meetings, I found it remarkable how diverse the group of young economists was, not just in terms of nationality or gender, but also in terms of field of study—it seemed like every corner of the discipline was represented. The Nobel Laureates are of course a smaller population, but even there the subjects of the plenary talks spanned from optimal monetary policy to the origins of mechanism design to climate change modeling.
- It’s hard to to say who is most impressive among the group of men who have won the Nobel Prize! If I have to choose one, it would probably be Peter Diamond. Not only did I enjoy his plenary session on pension design and his panel comments on fiscal policy, but I found him to be personable and generous with his time and energy. On one occasion, I sought him out to ask his thoughts, theoretical and pedagogical, about unions in the United States versus in a country like Germany (where unions are baked into the fabric of corporate governance). The response that he gave, extemporaneously, was perhaps the most thorough treatment I have ever been privy to, all while maintaining a accessibility of language that could have been understood by just about any audience I can imagine. His is the kind of approach to communication that I think any aspiring young economist would do well to learn from.
- The young economists from Germany made me feel very welcome. A particularly fond memory of mine involved a dialectic on fiat money and the purpose of central banks with a development economist from England, working as an assistant professor in Sweden. She made an interesting case for including her university in my job search!
- In terms of my research, it was interesting to hear Mario Draghi’s [chair of the European Central Bank, or ECB] keynote speech to kick off the conference, and then to hear Chris Sims’ [distinguished professor at Princeton University] reaction to it. These two sets of remarks put me in mind of how unique the environment of ECB monetary policy is and how it interacts with its (lack of) fiscal policy. What does “whatever it takes” mean when your member governments can refuse a liquidity injection?
- It was refreshing to envision my burgeoning career outside the (comparatively small) world of our program. Interacting with young economists from around the world and talking to them about what it’s like to get started in this field gave me some perspective as I think about the job market. Finally, this conference represented a significant opportunity to network in a collegial environment. In fact, the conference organizers printed each young economist a personal stack of business cards so that it would be easy to trade information and keep in touch.
Congratulations to Karlye on this wonderful opportunity!