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Daron Acemoglu to Deliver 2015 Guillermo O’Donnell Memorial Lecture

Elizabeth Rankin • January 30, 2015

Daron AcemogluRenowned economist Daron Acemoglu, whose acclaimed, far-reaching research addresses why some countries are rich and others poor, will deliver the second annual Guillermo O’Donnell Memorial Lecture at Notre Dame on September 30, 2015. The lecture will be hosted by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

“Like Guillermo O’Donnell, whom this lecture honors, Acemoglu is known for his creativity in bringing together issues of democracy and human development in new and innovative ways,” said Kellogg Director Paolo Carozza, who made the announcement.

“I am delighted that the Notre Dame community will have the opportunity to engage with such a stimulating thinker on these critical global themes, which lie at the heart of the Kellogg Institute’s work.”

The Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at MIT and one of the most cited economists in the world, Acemoglu combines wide-ranging interests in political economy and macro and microeconomics.

“Daron is one of the most influential economists of our generation,” said Faculty Fellow William Evans, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics. “He has made important contributions to many fields, most notably his work demonstrating how particular economic and political institutions foster economic development.”

In 2005, Acemoglu was the recipient of the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, awarded for significant achievement by an American economist under 40 (and often seen as a precursor to a Nobel Prize).

Acemoglu’s research has reached an audience far beyond academia in his influential book with Harvard political scientist James Robinson: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (2012). A native of Turkey, Acemoglu holds a PhD from the London School of Economics.

The Guillermo O’Donnell Memorial Lecture series was established in 2013 in honor of Guillermo O’Donnell, the Institute’s founding director. Former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos delivered the inaugural lecture in the series at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) International Congress in August 2014.

The annual lecture rotates among host institutions and is designed to carry forward the enduring legacy of O’Donnell’s scholarship by focusing attention on work furthering its core themes, the twin aspirations of political participation and human welfare.

Speakers for the series are chosen from among distinguished scholars, public intellectuals, and policy makers who have made major contributions to understanding or promoting democracy and human development around the world.




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The Kellogg Institute promotes scholarship, learning, and linkages that address issues of critical importance to our world. At the center of our interdisciplinary community’s work are two key themes: democratization and human development. 

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