Academic Acknowledgement to Prof. Mas-Colell Prior to Starting New Role at ERC

Coinciding with the close start of his new post as the General Secretary of the European Research Council (ERC) as well as with his next 65th birthday celebration, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) has organized between June 4-7 three independent but complementary events to academically acknowledge him: an international conference on Prof. Andreu Mas-Colell’s scientific contribution; the XVIII edition of the European Workshop on General Equilibrium Theory in honor of Prof. Mas-Colell; and the award of the Medal of Honor of the UPF for his relevant contributions both to research and to scientific policy.

The first event, on June 4th, was the scientific Andreu Mas-Colell Conference, held at Gaudí’s la Pedrera building, to acknowledge Mas-Colell’s scientific contributions. The event was organized by the Department of Economics and Business of the UPF with the support of the UAB and the IAE-CSIC, and brought together some of Mas-Colell’s co-authors and colleagues from around the world to review and expound on his research contributions.

The conference featured six lectures on economic theory, given by Robert Aumann (The Hebrew University), Werner Hildenbrand (University of Bonn), Peyton Young (Oxford University), Michael Magill (University of Southern California), John Geanakoplos (Yale University), and Sergiu Hart (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem). The scientific direction of the conference was overseen by Aloisio Araujo (IMPA), Jacques Dréze (CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain), John Roberts (Stanford University), Hugo Sonnenschein (University of Chicago), and Roger Guesnerie (Paris School of Economics and Collège de France, Paris).

A second tribute was paid with the XVIII edition of the European Workshop on General Equilibrium Theory, held in honor of Prof. Mas-Colell on June 5-7 at the Ciutadella campus of the UPF. The event was organized also by the UPF with the support of the UAB and IAE-CSIC, and brought together more than 100 economists to present and be informed of the latest developments in general equilibrium theory. Plenary lectures were given by Roy Radner (New York University) and Egbert Dierker (Insitut für Höhere Studien, Wien, and University of Vienna).

As a follow-up to the workshop, the Journal of Mathematical Economics will publish a special issue in honor of Andreu Mas-Colell, featuring both papers presented at the workshop as well as other papers from people working in the field of interest of Mas-Colell who did not attend.

From left: Lluís Torner (Director of ICFO), Núria Basi (Chairman of UPF Social Council), Josep Joan Moreso (Rector, UPF), Josep Huguet (Minister of Innovation, Universities, and Enterprise of Catalonia), Salvador Barberà GSE Vice-Chairman), and Óscar Marín (ERC Scientific Council member)

These two events took place in addition to the bestowal of the Medal of Honor of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra on Prof. Mas-Colell during a ceremony at the UPF Ciutadella auditorium on June 5th. It consisted in three speeches about his contributions to the Economics community in Barcelona and to the Scientific Policy in Catalonia, and about his challenge for the European Research system. The speakers were, respectively, Salvador Barberà (GSE Vice-Chairman and Professor at UAB); Lluís Torner (Director of the Institute of Photonic Sciences - ICFO); and Óscar Marín (Member of the Scientific Council of the ERC and Group Leader of the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante).

The ceremony, chaired by the UPF Rector, was attended by the Catalan Minister for Innovation, Universities and Enterprise and the Spanish Secretary of State for Research, as well as several directors of research centers and an extensive range of academic and institutional representatives.

Beginning in July 2009, Prof. Mas-Colell will serve a two-year post as the General Secretary of the European Research Council, though he will continue being the Chairman of the BSE. Prof. Mas-Colell is going to take over the position from Prof. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, who began in January 2007. The ERC, launched in 2007, is the first pan-European funding agency for frontier scientific research. It endeavors to encourage the highest quality of research in Europe by ensuring that the most talented researchers have access to the resources and tools necessary to carry out their research. Between 2007-2014, the Council will allocate 7.5 billion euros to various programs in research and development, with a focus on promoting the careers of young and promising researchers.

From left: Prof. David Levine (Washington University), Prof. Suzanne Scotchmer (UC Berkeley), Prof. Sergiu Hart (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), and Prof. John Roberts (Stanford GSB) during the surprise scientific Andreu Mas-Colell conference  on June 4

About Prof. Mas-Colell

Prof. Mas-Colell (center); Rt Hon. Jordi Pujol, former President of Catalonia (left); and Prof. Blanca Palmada, Commissioner for Universities and Research of the Government of Catalonia (right) 

Andreu Mas-Colell is Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Chairman of the Barcelona School of Economics. Formerly he was Professor of Economics at Harvard University (1981-96) and Professor of Economics and Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley (1972-80). He has been a Sloan Fellow and Guggenheim Fellow. He holds Honoris Causa Doctorates from the universities of Alacant, Toulouse, HEC (Paris) and Universidad Nacional del Sur (Argentina). He has served as main Editor of the Journal of Mathematical Economics (1985-88), and of Econometrica (1988-92). In the year 2006 he served as President of the European Economic Association. From 2000 to 2003 he was Minister for Universities and Research of the Government of Catalonia.

Prof. Mas-Colell has written over 100 research papers on subjects ranging from abstract general equilibrium theory and the structure of financial markets to pricing policy for public firms. He is the author of The Theory of General Economic Equilibrium: A Differentiable Approach (Cambridge University Press, 1985) and co-author with M. Whinston and J. Green, of the graduate textbook Microeconomic Theory (Oxford University Press, 1994).

Attendees pose for a photo at la Pedrera, where the conference was held

Beginning in July, Prof. Mas-Colell will be the Secretary General of the European Research Council in Brussels


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