Esmée Fairbairn Lecture Series

The Esmée Fairbairn Lecture Series has been run by Lancaster's Department of Economics since 1981. It has attracted many eminent speakers from business, politics, think tanks, the media and academia.

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation was one of the earliest supporters of Lancaster University. The support of the Foundation was a vote of confidence by a respected charitable foundation, itself in its early days, to our new institution, and is remembered with great appreciation by a university now rated in the Top 10 of UK universities in all league tables.

The annual lecture has become a major date in the Lancaster University calendar, attracting large audiences with strong student representation.

Esmée Fairbairn lectures, 1981 – present

Many of our more recent lectures are available for viewing in our Video Gallery.


Date Speaker Topic
November 2016 Professor Stefan Dercon
Oxford University and UK Department for International Development
The Politics and Behavioural Economics of Expert Advice in Development Policy Making
November 2015 Professor Carol Propper
Imperial College Business School
Competition in Healthcare: And what we can learn from the UK? 
November 2014 Professor John Hey
University of York
What Experiments can tell us about Human Economic Behaviour
November 2013 Professor Martin Ravallion
Georgetown University, USA
The Idea of Antipoverty Policy
October 2012 Professor Ken Binmore CBE
University College London
An evolutionary theory of fairness
November 2011 Professor John Van Reenen
London School of Economcs
'Boss-onomics': does Management really matter?
November 2010 Professor Dieter Helm
University of Oxford
Climate change policy after Copenhagen
January 2009 Professor Tim Besley
London School of Economics
Policy Making in the Crisis
October 2008 Professor Steve Machin
University College London
Education and Inequality
October 2007 Professor David Blanchflower
Dartmouth College, USA
Fear, Unemployment and Migration
November 2006 Professor Andrew Oswald
University of Warwick
December 2005 Professor Julian Le Grand
London School of Economics
Choice, Competition and Public Services
November 2004 Professor Nicholas Crafts
London School of Economics
The Economic Impact of ICT: a Perspective from the Age of Steam
November 2003 John Elkington
Chairman, SustainAbility
Sustainable Business: Useful or Dangerously Misleading Oxymoron?
November 2002  Professor Alison Wolf
Institute of Education, University of London
Education and Economic Growth: Some Modern Myths 
January 2002  Frances Cairncross, CBE
Chair, Economic and Social Research Council
The Economics of Drugs 
November 2000 Dr Derek Morris
Chairman, Competition Commission
Competition Policy and Regulation in the UK: a New Era
November 1999 Professor David Cannadine
Institute of Historical Research
Empire and Hierarchy in Modern Britain 
November 1998 Sir Alan Walters
Vice-Chairman, AIG Trading Group;
former Chief Economic Adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
UK Interest Rate Policy: in Pounds and Euros 
January 1998 Professor Ivor Crewe
Vice-Chancellor, University of Essex
How Bribable is the British Voter? 
January 1997 Professor CAE Goodhart
London School of Economics
The Nature of Money, and Fiscal Problems in the EU Monetary Union 
December 1995 Professor David Greenaway
University of Nottingham
EU + ERM ≠ EMU: So Why Have a Single Currency in Europe? 
December 1994 Professor the Lord Skidelsky
University of Warwick
The Legacy of Keynes 
January 1994 Professor the Lord Peston
Queen Mary and Westfield College, London
Problems of the Finance of Higher Education
November 1992 Dr Walter Eltis
Chief Economic Adviser, Board of Trade
The Financial Foundations of Industrial Success 
November 1991 Professor John Kay
London Business School
The Economics of Business
November 1990 Professor David Pearce
University College London
The Economic Challenge of Global Environmental Problems 
November 1989 The Rt. Hon. Lord Jenkins of Hillhead
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer
The 1929 Wall Street Crash and its Effects on British Politics 
January 1989 Samuel Brittan
The Financial Times
The Government’s Economic Policy
December 1987 Sir Alan Peacock
Heriot-Watt University
Cultural Economics and the Finance of the Arts 
November 1985 Professor Jagdish Bhagwati
Columbia University, New York
Investing Abroad 
December 1984 Mary Goldring
Economist, writer and broadcaster
Post-Recession Britain 
December 1983 Alistair McIntyre
Deputy Secretary General, UN Conference on Trade and Development
Foreign Direct Investment in Developing Countries 
January 1983 Sir Arthur Knight
Former Chairman, National Enterprise Board
Ideas and Action in Industrial Strategy 
February 1982 Christopher Tugendhat
Vice-President, Commission of the European Communities
The Common Market and the National Economy 
February 1981 Dick Taverne, QC
Director-General of the Institute for Fiscal Studies
Tax Savings and Incentives