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Paul Romer

2018 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

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A globally recognized, revolutionary economist and policy entrepreneur, Paul Romer, is a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences and University Professor in Economics at NYU. He has spent his unparalleled career at the intersection of economics, innovation, technology, and urbanization, working to understand and analyze the world through an economist’s lens in order to accelerate human progress.

Paul’s compelling presentations will weave together his work as an economist, including the work on technological innovation that earned him his Nobel Prize, to address the most important macro trends and challenges facing globally minded leaders today. Audiences will receive an enthralling and sobering, yet optimistic case for why the best is yet to come and how the trends that have enabled the current challenges can be harnessed to create future opportunities.

Featured Videos

Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech: Possibility of Progress

TED: Why the world needs charter cities

Bloomberg: Endogenous Growth Theory


Paul Romer, economist and policy entrepreneur is a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences and University Professor in Economics at NYU. He has spent his career at the intersection of economics, innovation, technology, and urbanization, working to understand and accelerate human progress.

Paul received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work "integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis," which integrated ideas and innovation into economic models for the first time, making clear the societal benefits possible when people join together and collaborate in new ways.

Paul previously served as the Chief Economist at the World Bank. He is the Founding Director of NYU's Marron Institute of Urban Management, which works to help cities plan for their futures and improve the health, safety, and mobility of their citizens, as well as the founder of the Charter Cities initiative, which introduced a framework designed to help traditionally disenfranchised populations share in the benefits of rapid urbanization.

Paul has made numerous contributions to public policy, including writing an opinion for the United States Justice Department on the Microsoft Antitrust ruling, serving on Singapore's Independent Academic Advisory Panel on university policy, and consulting for a host of other governments and legislators on policy initiatives tied to education, urbanization, science, technology, and innovation.

Prior to coming to NYU, Paul taught at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and in the Economics departments of the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester. While teaching at Stanford, Paul founded Aplia, an education technology company dedicated to increasing student effort and classroom engagement. To date, students have submitted more than 2.4 billion answers to homework problems on the Aplia website. Aplia was sold to Cengage Learning in 2007.

He is currently a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a non-resident scholar at Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa, Ontario. In 2002, he received the Recktenwald Prize for his work on the role of ideas in sustainable economic growth.

Paul earned a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago after completing graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Queens University. In addition to scholarly journals, his writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the Harvard Business Review, and is a regular speaker at events ranging from TED and Aspen Ideas Festival to editorial boards and industry conferences worldwide.

Speech Topics

A Historical Perspective on the Economics and Geo-Politics of Our World Today and Tomorrow

Why is populism rising? Why are we facing a new era of trade friction? How is the erosion of integrity impacting politics? How can countries cooperate in the face of intense nationalism? How can governments improve the lives of their citizens despite these challenges? The speech will weave together Paul’s work as an economist, including the work on technological innovation that earned him his Nobel Prize, to address the most important macro trends and challenges facing globally minded leaders today, and provide a compelling and sobering, yet optimistic case for why the best is yet to come and how the trends that have enabled the current challenges can be harnessed to create future opportunities.

In an era of rising division, mistrust, and rhetoric, this speech will rise above politics to offer an economist’s macro perspective on what the US can and should do to compete with other nations, recognizing that the most successful outcomes can be beneficial for all parties. The speech will focus on opportunities for growth and innovation across the country. Paul will address how updating our thinking on competition can unlock new progress in everything from innovation and business to economic development and education, how redefining our nation’s relationship to its innovators and scientists is critical to solving big problems, and how we can leverage the things we can all agree on to continue the grand experiment that is America, no matter the challenges posed from outside or within.

Why this century is a once in a species opportunity and why cities are the key to progress.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said that states are the laboratories of democracy. In this speech, Paul will lay out the case for why cities are the laboratories of progress in an era of rapid urbanization. Paul will focus on how cities can and attract new residents, how city scale real estate development can redefine what’s possible for the future of humanity, and what we can do now to unlock untold progress in the future in the hundreds of soon to be mega cities rapidly growing now. The speech will address key areas of progress cities are uniquely poised to unlock, timely issues like migration, technological innovation, and identity.

How both Domestic and International Markets along with monetary policy shape the Economy

The temporary recessions of the global economy seem to be inevitable, but unlimited growth is possible in a world with finite resources. In this compelling presentation, Nobel Prize Recipient, Paul Romer, shares the current state of the global economy, what has led us to the status quo, and how both the United States and the rest of world can select a path of economic growth long into the future.

China and the United States will share the world’s stage for generations to come. China’s path to progress and growth in the 20th century was a remarkable turnaround and the current era’s trade frictions are a sign of deeper misunderstandings in this relationship. In this speech, Paul Romer will share a clear eyed understanding of the innovations that enabled China’s return to global prominence, and how these two superpowers can shape their interactions and share insights into the ways this competition can be structured to benefit everyone involved.


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    ‘Better the Russian trolls help fund education’: Maryland looks to pioneer taxes on digital advertising

    (The Washington Post) – Two powerful Maryland politicians want that ad chasing you around the Internet to pay the state for the privilege of collecting your data.

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    Governance makes a difference Nobel laureate

    (CGTN) – Professor Paul Romer of New York University, a Nobel laureate in economics, who said, although the pursuit of proper governance might be “a constant battle,” we can make it happen.

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    A Nobelist on government’s role, the power of ideas, and how to measure progress: An interview with Paul Romer

    (McKinsey & Company) – Inequality is rising within developed economies, and net incomes are flat or falling as well. But GDP per capita is steadily rising in these countries at the same time. Are we measuring the wrong metric when it comes to progress?

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    A Nobel Economist Cites Growth as Innovation

    (Scientific American) – Paul Romer, an expert in what’s known as endogenous growth theory and winner of the 2018 Nobel prize in economics, speaks to Scientific American about seeing economic growth as increased value, akin to when ingredients in a recipe are used to create a dish worth more than the original raw materials. His research concludes that investment in people, knowledge and innovation are primary growth factors.

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    A Nobel-Winning Economist Goes to Burning Man

    (The New York Times) – Amid the desert orgies, Paul Romer investigates a provocative question: Is this bacchanal a model of urban planning?

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    Romer: Entered New Phase of Contention in Trade

    (Bloomberg) – Nobel Laureate and NYU Stern School of Business Professor of Economics, Paul Romer discusses the impact of trade on the global economy and if slow trade will continue.

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    Nobel Laureate Romer Sees Effects of Uncertainty Dampening Investment

    (Bloomberg) – NYU Stern Professor of Economics and 2018 Nobel Laureate in Economics Paul Romer discusses the impact of uncertainty from trade, tariffs, and politics on markets and investing.

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    Economist Romer’s Tech Industry Proposal: Taxation Over Regulation

    (Bloomberg) – Paul Romer, NYU Stern Professor of Economics and recipient of the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, discusses his proposal to tax digital advertising revenue of technology companies in lieu of regulation.

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    A Tax That Could Fix Big Tech

    (The New York Times) – Putting a levy on targeted ad revenue would give Facebook and Google a real incentive to change their dangerous business models.

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    Nobel Laureate Romer on the Economics of Higher Wealth Taxes

    (Bloomberg) – NYU Stern School Professor of Economics Paul Romer, recipient of the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, discusses the economic impact of proposals to increase taxes on the wealthy in the United States.

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    Recommendations for World Bank

    (Financial Times) – As the World Bank’s board considers nominations for the institution’s next president (Donald Trump is expected to nominate David Malpass, the US Treasury department’s top official on international affairs), there are two critical ways he or she can make the bank more effective.

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    Arts Meets Science and Chemistry Wins the Day

    (The New York Times) – Forgive Paul M. Romer for turning two of the greatest days of his life into a one-day event. He was just being economical.

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    A Nobel Prize in Honor of Economic Growth

    (Bloomberg) – This year’s Nobel Prize in Economics went to William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, both very deserving and indeed anticipated picks. Nordhaus is best known for his models of the cost of climate change, and Romer for his work on the dynamics of ideas and economic growth.

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    Q&A: Paul Romer on ‘Mathiness’ and the State of Economics

    (The Wall Street Journal) – A Democratic U.S. presidential candidate has pledged to grow the economy by spending hundreds of billions of dollars on college education and eliminating tax deductions for the wealthy. A Republican promises to bring the growth rate to 4% a year by cutting taxes and reducing government regulations. How do we know what might work?

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    Who Wants to Buy Honduras?

    (New York Times) – Shortly after the 2009 coup that overthrew Manuel Zelaya, Honduras’s newly elected president, Porfirio Lobo, asked his aides to think big, really big. How could Honduras, the original banana republic, reform a political and economic system that kept nearly two-thirds of its people in grim poverty?

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    A Terrible Thing to Waste

    (New York Times) – Just after Barack Obama’s election in November, Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, made this memorable statement to an interviewer: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

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    (TIME) – How do you weigh the economic benefit of the thoughts in Bill Gates’ head? The sand on a beach can be measured, but how do you calibrate the value of the idea that turned those silica grains into silicon microchips? Though they sound like questions from a Mensa parlor game, they’re actually from the work of economist Paul Romer, and his answers may just revolutionize the study of economics.

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  • "It was fantastic. It was the best panel discussion we have done, and the audience feedback was fantastic. So many people stopped me (including other panelists) to say how fascinated they were by the discussion."

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