George Staller Lecture

The George Staller Lecture is a Cornell Economics tradition made possible by a gift from Russell B. Hawkins '77.  This annual lecture is open to the public and is highly recommended to all members of the Cornell Economics Community.

2023 Staller Lecture:

Dr. Jens Ludwig

University of Chicago

“Economics and AI”

Thursday, October 12, 2023

View Ludwig’s full lecture here.

George John Staller:

"Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, in 1927, Staller witnessed the invasion and occupation of his country by the Nazi Army in 1939 and the Soviet-backed seizure of power by the Communists in 1948. Under cover of darkness, on Christmas Eve 1949, Staller fled communist Czechoslovakia and crossed through the Russian-occupied zone of Austria before reaching Vienna. He found his way to a displaced persons camp in Salzburg, Austria, run by the U.S. military.

He attended Hastings College in Hastings, Neb., a college that prided itself on providing opportunities to Czech political refugees. After earning his B.A. from Hastings, Staller earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell.

Dr. George Staller joined the faculty of Cornell's economics department in 1960 and taught for 49 years.  His research included studies that compared planned and free market economies, and analyses of industrial growth and industrial output within Soviet Eastern Europe. However, Staller was perhaps best known for -- and derived his greatest professional satisfaction from -- teaching popular undergraduate economics courses. He taught courses on the economies of the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc and comparative economic systems as well as introductory macroeconomics courses." Read the full Cornell Chronicle article about Dr. Staller's career here.

In addition to numerous teaching awards, the first annual George J. Staller Lectureship in Economics was delivered in 2009 by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen in honor of Staller’s teaching at Cornell. To view an official Cornell memorial statement about Staller's life and achievements, click here.  

Past Staller Lecturers:

Dr. Ariel Rubinstein 
New York University
"Economics With Norms and Without Prices"
Monday, October 28 2019 

Update: View Rubinstein's full lecture here.


Dr. Alberto Alesina
Harvard University
"Immigration and Redistribution: Perceptions Versus Reality"
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
View  Alesina's full lecture here.

Dr. Robert Gordon
Northwestern University
"The Past and Future of American Economic Growth"
May 24, 2017 

Dr. Caroline Hoxby
Stanford University
"Expanding College Opportunities and American Meritocracy"
March 8, 2016

Dr. Susan Athey
Stanford Graduate School of Business
"The Economics of the Bitcoin Network: Theory and Evidence"
April 14, 2015

Dr. Alan Krueger '83
Princeton University
"Lessons from Serving as the President's Chief Economist"
March 6, 2014

Dr. Daron Acemoglu
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Why Nation Fail"
March 28, 2013

Dr. Richard Thaler
University of Chicago
2017 Recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
"Studying Behavioral Economics in Strange Place: From the National Football League to Deal or No Deal"
September 21, 2011

Dr. Esther Duflo
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Poor Economics" A Radical Rethinking of the Fight Against Global Poverty"
April 20, 2010

Dr. Amartya Sen
Harvard University
1998 Recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
"Capitalism and Confusion"
April 13, 2009
View Dr. Sen's lecture video here.