Boston Symposium on Economics


The Boston Symposium on Economics is an annual, student-run public panel event hosted by the Northeastern University Economics Society. The event brings a wide variety of experts from academic, business, nonprofit, and policymaking realms to Northeastern for a discussion of critical economic issues. The event is open to all majors and is a great way to get engaged with major topics affecting our world today.


Each year, three distinguished speakers from an array of backgrounds come to Northeastern University’s Boston campus to present their perspectives on an issue within the field of Economics. Speakers spend 20 to 30 minutes delivering a prepared presentation, and then take a few minutes to answer questions from students and faculty in the Northeastern community.

The next Boston Symposium on Economics is scheduled for the Fall of 2018. Stay tuned for more information on next year’s event!

Past Speakers

Dani Rodrik
Ford Foundation Professor of International Economy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

Bill Cheney
Chief Economist at Manulife Financial

Noam Chomsky
Professor of Linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Activist, Writer

Rachel Minard
Founder & CEO of Minard Capital LLC

Jonathan Morduch
Professor of Public Policy and Economics at New York University

Edwin “Ted” Truman
Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs

Past Economics Symposiums

Review on Development Symposium Fall 2016:

On October 14, 2016, the Northeastern University Economics Society held our annual Symposium on Economics in Blackman Auditorium. The night was eventful and packed. The topic of the night was: “Rethinking Development Policy: Globalization and Constraints on Policy Space.” Our three speakers of the night were Dani Rodrik of Harvard University, Margaret McMillan of Tufts University, and Geoffrey Carliner of Boston University. Each speaker brought their extensive knowledge to the event and helped make the night a successful one.

The event drew not only students from across the University, but also alumni. Vincent Armentano, an alumnus of both Northeastern University and Economics Society, attended the event and said that “even though [he] graduated in May, [he] knew that he could not miss the event.” Professor Rodrik kicked off the night by focusing on labor mobility and the diversity of complex solutions that developing and developed nations will have to confront in the future. He began his presentation by asking a very provocative question to the audience: “Would you rather be a poor person in a rich country, or a rich person in a poor country?” The audience gave differing responses and was hooked.

Following Professor Rodrik were Professors Margaret McMillan and Geoffrey Carliner. Professor McMillan built on Professor Rodrik’s presentation by taking the concepts that Professor Rodrik talked about and explaining how they applied to her experiences in Tanzania and Ethiopia. She showed how radically different solutions will be needed for different states on the continent of Africa in spite of the fact that often times similar strategies and policies are adopted. Professor Carliner then offered his take on development by suggesting that Industrial Policy not be written off so easily. All three speakers provided amazing insight into the topic of development. The night ended with a Q & A session with the panelists where they were able to address specific questions from the audience.

Overall, the night was very successful and on behalf of Northeastern Economics Society, we want to thank the panelists for coming and sharing their knowledge with our community. We would also like to thank Professor Erten in the Northeastern Economics Department who was instrumental in making this event happen, as well as the whole Northeastern Economics Department for supporting our desire to host this event. We look forward to our next Symposium in the fall of 2017.

Boston Economics Symposium

Other Past Symposiums:

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