Japan-ASEAN Bridges Event Series: Why Globalization Has Failed to Reduce Inequality

TOKYO: On 18 January 2024, UNU and the International Peace Foundation will co-host a lecture by Prof. Eric S. Maskin, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences.

- Asia/Tokyo

On 18 January 2024, the United Nations University, in partnership with the International Peace Foundation, will host "Why Globalization Has Failed to Reduce Inequality", a public lecture by Professor Eric S. Maskin, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, and Adams University Professor and Professor of Economics and Mathematics at Harvard University. The event will start at 14:00 in U Thant International Conference Hall at the United Nations University in Tokyo.

This special lecture is part of the Japan-ASEAN Bridges Event Series, commemorating the 50th anniversary of official relations between Japan and the ASEAN region.

Professor Eric S. Maskin received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2007 for laying out the foundations of mechanism design theory, which determines whether it is possible to build an institution (or mechanism) that will achieve a specific economic or social goal. His contributions have had a profound impact on economics, public policy, and even fields as diverse as political science and computer science.

Professor Maskin will explore how and why globalization has led to an increase in income inequality in many emerging economies (the “haves” gain from globalization, while the “have-nots” lose out), which may help explain rising anti-globalization sentiment in recent years despite the large benefits that globalization has brought. However, Professor Maskin will also argue that education and job training for the least-advantaged members of society can make globalization work for them, too. Such training will be especially important in the post-COVID-pandemic world.

You are encouraged to participate in a question and answer session, which will follow Prof. Maskin's lecture.

This event will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation in Japanese. Advance registration (by 17 January) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.

Please note that entry into the venue will not be allowed after 14:15. Please be prepared to present identification at check-in. 

About the speaker

Prof. Eric Stark Maskin is a US economist who was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2007 "for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory," a specialized form of game theory that attempts to maximize gains for all parties within markets and examines whether trading mechanisms are the best ways of allocating resources. Professor Maskin is the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, a visiting lecturer with the rank of Professor at Princeton University's Economics Department, and a Member of the Advisory Board of the International Peace Foundation.

Eric Maskin attended Harvard University, receiving his AB in Mathematics and PhD in Applied Mathematics. After he earned his doctorate, Dr. Maskin went to the University of Cambridge in 1976, where he received an honorary MA degree while he was a research fellow at Jesus College. Prof. Maskin taught as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1977–1984 and from 1985–2000 at Harvard, where he was named the Louis Berkman Professor of Economics in 1997. In 2000, he moved to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Much of Professor Maskin's early work in the mid-1970s was in "implementation" theory, which addresses when one can devise procedural rules, ensuring that society will make the best choice among alternatives. A vast literature on implementation, influenced by Professor Maskin's groundbreaking work, has since evolved. In the early 1980s, Professor Maskin began his work on "optimal" auctions, exploring what sort of auctions or selling procedures raise the most revenue. Due to this work, Professor Maskin was asked in the early 1990s to advise the Bank of Italy on possible reforms in their system of auctioning treasury bonds.

Today, Professor Maskin works in diverse areas of economic theory, including game theory, the economics of incentives, contract theory, and social choice theory. He is well-known for his papers on mechanism design, implementation theory, and dynamic games. Much of his current research focuses on the theory of coalition formation and the theory of repeated games, comparing different voting systems and electoral rules and exploring which methods of voting best promote democratic values, examining the causes of income inequality, and exploring the benefits and drawbacks of protecting intellectual property.

Professor Maskin is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Past-President of the Econometric Society, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the European Economic Association, an Honorary Fellow of St. John's College in Cambridge and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He was named Monash Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Monash University and Honorary Professor at Wuhan University and Tsinghua University. He received various honorary doctorate degrees and was awarded the Erik Kempe Award in Environmental Economics in 2007. Professor Maskin has served as Editor or Associate Editor for many journals, including The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Economics Letters, Social Choice and Welfare, Games and Economic Behaviour, and International Journal of Game Theory.

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