Nobel Conference 52 to Explore Search for Economic BalanceThis year’s conference will bring together economists and scholars to discuss the topic “In Search of Economic Balance.”
Posted on September 23rd, 2016 by

Gustavus Adolphus College will host the 52nd annual Nobel Conference on its Saint Peter, Minn. campus September 27-28. This year’s conference will bring together economists and scholars to discuss the topic “In Search of Economic Balance.”

“The 52nd Nobel Conference will explore the issue of economic balance at the place where social science and ethics intersect. The conference offers attendees a unique opportunity to witness scholars stepping beyond the boundaries of their own disciplines to explore globalization from multiple vantage points,” Nobel Conference director and Gustavus philosophy professor Lisa Heldke said.

“The global economy can seem like a large and distant entity that has nothing to do with the lives of most of us,” Heldke continued. “What do events like the Brexit vote, or cheap oil, or the collapse of the Brazilian economy have to do with our future financial security? One answer is ‘everything.’”

The two-day conference will feature economics experts from Duke, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Vanderbilt, Princeton, Oxford, and the University of Chicago. The opening speaker is behavioral economist Dan Ariely. Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. The conference will be closed by Chris Farrell, economics editor for Marketplace Money from American Public Media.

Chris Farrell will give the conference's closing lecture.

Chris Farrell will give the conference’s closing lecture.

Visit the Nobel Conference website for more information.

Conference Schedule

Tuesday, Sept. 27
8:30 a.m. – Doors Open
9:30 a.m. – Academic Procession and Opening Ceremony | Welcome from President Rebecca M. Bergman
10 a.m. – First Lecture: Dan Ariely, PhD | “The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty”
11 a.m. – Question and Answer Session
1 p.m. – Second Lecture: Orley Ashenfelter, PhD | “Comparing Real Wages around the World: Inequality in Human Wealth”
2 p.m. – Question and Answer Session
3 p.m. – Third Lecture: Joerg Rieger, PhD | “What Does Jesus Have to Do with Wall Street?”
4 p.m. – Question and Answer Session
6-8 p.m. – Art at the Nobel Conference | Reception at the Hillstrom Museum of Art, Jackson Campus Center (no ticket required)
7 p.m. – “Tales from the Tightrope: Economic Balance in Everyday Life” Panel Discussion | Margaret Anderson Kelliher, President and CEO, Minnesota High Tech Association; Jodi Harpstead, President and CEO, Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota; Anne Krisnik, Executive Director, Join Religious Legislative Coalition of Minnesota; Robert J. LaBombard, CEO, GradStaff; Ytive Prafke, Special Programs Coordinator and Media Specialist, Saint Peter School District; moderated by Matt Kusilek, pubisher, Minnesota Business magazine
7 p.m. – Music at the Nobel Conference | Justin Knoepfel (viola), Yumiko Oshima-Ryan (piano), Rena Kraut (clarinet), Barbara Leibundguth (flute), Sara Erickson Lumbe (oboe), Melissa Morey (horn), Ann Pesavento (bassoon) (no ticket required)

Wednesday, Sept. 28
8:30 a.m. – Doors Open
9:45 a.m. – Prelude and Welcome
10 a.m. – Fourth Lecture: Paul Collier, PhD | “Africa’s Prospects in a Difficult Decade”
11 a.m. – Question and Answer Session
1 p.m. – Fifth Lecture: John List, PhD | “Using Field Experiments to Make the World a Better Place”
2 p.m. – Question and Answer Session
3 p.m. – Sixth Lecture: Deirdre McCloskey, PhD | “How the World Grew Rich: The Liberal Idea, Not Accumulation or Exploitation
4 p.m. – Question and Answer Session
6:30 p.m. – Nobel Banquet and Closing Lecture | Alumni Hall, Johnson Student Union (ticket required)
7:30 p.m. – Closing Lecture: Chris Farrell | “On Economic Inclusion”


Tickets for the 52nd Nobel Conference are still available and range from $50-$120. Tickets may also be purchased for Wednesday evening’s Nobel Conference Banquet for $30. A buffet lunch is available for $12.50 per person per day. Tickets for the conference and meals can be purchased online at or by calling the Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520.


 The Nobel Conference will be livestreamed on the Nobel Conference website. Lectures will be archived and available for viewing on request beginning in mid-October.

About The Nobel Conference

Following the dedication of the Alfred Nobel Hall of Science in 1963 at Gustavus, the Nobel Foundation granted approval for an annual science conference to be held at the College. For five decades, Gustavus has organized and hosted The Nobel Conference, which draws about 4,500 people to the college campus in Saint Peter, Minn. The conference links a general audience, including high school students and teachers, with the world’s foremost scholars and researchers in discussion centered on contemporary issues relating to the natural and social sciences. The Nobel Conference is the first ongoing educational conference of its kind in the United States. It is made possible through income generated by a Nobel Conference Endowment and the support of annual conference contributors.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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