The James C. Kautz Lecture Series

The James C. Kautz Lecture Series welcomes internationally-recognized economists for a full day of engagement at the University of Cincinnati. The series began in 1993; please see below for a list of speakers since 2001.


Are American Companies Badly Managed?, Professor Nicholas Bloom, PhD, Stanford University.

US companies have recently been under attack. On the political left many claim that aggressive management practices are driving rising inequality, and on the right President Trump recently tweeted that “bad management” is hurting US companies (rather than his tariffs). But is this true? Professor Bloom will overview 20 years of results from a large Cambridge-Cornell-Harvard-LSE-McKinsey-MIT-Oxford-Stanford-World Bank research group measuring and evaluating management practices. Using data from over 1 million firms across almost 40 countries he will argue that US firms in the private sector are actually fantastically well managed. And these world-class US management practices have helped to drive US growth over the last 100 years, improved the lives of workers, and even helped to reduce carbon emissions. In short, we should all be thanking our great American managers.


Our changing lives: Work, family, and policy in a time of rising gender equality, Professor Betsey Stevenson, PhD, University of Michigan.

This talk explores how economics can help us understand how the motivation for families and the behavior within families has changed over the past several decades, how our jobs and work life have changed, and the interactions between changes in the family and the workplace. Public policy has helped to facilitate those changes by reducing workplace discrimination, increasing educational opportunities for women, and changing the laws surrounding divorce. However, other public policy decisions—such as a lack of paid parental leave—have limited those changes.


Inequality, Life Chances, and Public Policy: How to Slide Down the Great Gatsby Curve, Professor Miles Corak, PhD, University of Ottawa.

We should care about inequality because it has the potential to shape opportunities for the next generation. This presentation offers a framework for thinking about this relationship, and for understanding why the adult outcomes of children are more closely tied to their family background—with the poor raising the next generation of poor adults, and the rich more likely to see their children to be rich in adulthood—in countries with greater inequality. Differences in families, labor markets, and public policy all play a role in understanding why the United States has relatively less social mobility than many other countries.


Global Sustainable Development, Paul Polman, MBA '79, MA '79, Hon Doc '09, CEO, Unilever.

Paul Polman actively seeks cooperation with other companies to implement sustainable business strategies and drive systemic change. He is Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, a member of the B Team and sits on the Board of the UN Global Compact and the Consumer Goods Forum, where he co-chairs the Sustainability Committee.

Paul has been closely involved in global discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and action to tackle climate change. In 2016, Paul was asked by the UN Secretary-General to be a member of the SDG Advocacy Group, tasked with promoting action on the 2030 Agenda.


Income and Happiness, Justin Wolfers, PhD, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Professor Wolfers provided an economist's perspective on happiness, bringing together data from millions of surveys conducted in dozens of years, over several decades. While earlier researchers had suggested that income and happiness were not closely linked, Professor Wolfers showed that economic factors exerted a powerful force on happiness, both here and around the world.


Triumph of the City, Ed Glaeser, PhD, The Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University.

Ed Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard, where he also serves as Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. He studies the economics of cities, and has written about urban issues, including the growth of cities, segregation, crime and housing markets. He has been particularly interested in the role that geographic proximity can play in creating knowledge and innovation. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992 and has been at Harvard ever since.


No lecture.


Clash of Generations, Lawrence Kotlikoff, William Warren Fairfield Professor at Boston University.


The Value of Understanding Maximization, Barry Nalebuff, professor at the Yale School of Management, author, and co-founder of Honest Tea.


Financial Crises and Business Cycles, Edward Prescott, Nobel Laureate, Carey Chair of Economics, Arizona State University.


Policy Consistency and Economic Growth, Finn Erling Kydland, Recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economics, Henley Professor of Economics, University of California, and Richard P. Simmons Distinguished Professor, Carnegie Mellon University.


The Economics and Politics of Health Care Reform, Henry J. Aaron, Senior Fellow, The Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Chair, Brookings Institution.


Economics and Politics of Immigration, George J. Borjas, Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Research Associate, the National Bureau of Economic Research.


Reflecting on Macroeconomic Conditions, Stuart Hoffman, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, PNC Financial Services Group.


The US Trade Deficit: Crisis or Co-dependency?, Catherine L. Mann, Senior Fellow, the Institute for International Economics.


The Economy and the 2004 Elections, Thomas Mann, The W. Averell Harriman Chair and Senior Fellow, Governmental Studies Program at The Brookings Institution.


Can an Effective Global Climate Treaty Be Based on Sound Science, Rational Economics, and Pragmatic Politics?, Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, Chairman, Environment & Natural Resources Faculty Group, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Director, Environmental Economics Program, Harvard University.


Corporate disclosure after the scandal of 2002, Robert Litan, Vice President and Director of the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution.


Bourgeois Virtue, Deirdre McCloskey, UIC Distinguished Professor of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago.