Academic conference, Krugman lecture celebrate Alan Deardorff's career

October 9, 2009

In early October, the Ford School and the Department of Economics hosted an academic conference honoring the career contributions of Alan V. Deardorff. The conference, which brought many of the world's leading trade economists to Ann Arbor, was called 'Comparative Advantage, Economic Growth, and the Gains from Trade and Globalization: A Festschrift in Honor of Alan V. Deardorff.' The event was co-organized by two of Deardorff's former students, Drusilla Brown of Tufts University and Bob Staiger of Stanford University, together with Bob Stern representing the U-M.

A 'Festschrift' is typically a volume of scholarly papers produced in honor of a distinguished academic. A Festschrift book contains original contributions by the scholar's close colleagues and former students and is usually published on the occasion of the honoree's retirement or a milestone birthday (Alan turned 65 on June 6, 2009). Often the papers are presented at a conference prior to publication.

The first day of Alan's Festschrift involved a series of panels in which invited participants reflected on his contributions, including his writings on comparative advantage, trade and growth, the gains from trade and globalization, and computational modeling and trade policy analysis.

Panelists prepared written comments of 5-10 pages, setting out their evaluation of Professor Deardorff's contributions combined with their own thoughts on the current state of knowledge and analysis of the particular topic.

At the end of the first day, Paul Krugman of Princeton University and the New York Times delivered a Citigroup Foundation Lecture to a packed house at Hill Auditorium.

The second day of the Festschrift "showcased" the fruits of Deardorff's mentoring as an advisor. A number of his former students were asked to present whatever paper they are currently working on and were most excited about presenting at the Festschrift.

Alan Deardorff is the John W. Sweetland Professor of International Economics and Professor of Economics and Public Policy in the Department of Economics and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He is currently Associate Dean of the Ford School. He received his Ph.D. In economics from Cornell University in 1971 and has been on the faculty at the University of Michigan since 1970. He served as Chair of the Department of Economics from 1991 to 1995. More about Alan.