Atkinson Memorial Lecture 2019: Presented by Professor Marc Fleurbaey

Thursday, 18 April 2019

The Atkinson Memorial Lecture is an annual distinguished lecture series established in 2018 in memory of Professor Sir Tony Atkinson, jointly by the Global Priorities Institute (GPI) and the Department of Economics. The aim is to encourage research among academic economists on topics related to global prioritisation - using evidence and reason to figure out the most effective ways to improve the world. This year, we are delighted to have Professor Marc Fleurbaey deliver the Atkinson Memorial Lecture, on Tuesday 11 June.

When: Tuesday 11 June, 3pm - 4:30pm
Where: Manor Road Building Lecture Theatre

Valuing (far) future generations


Presented by Professor Mark Fleurbaey, Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies, and Professor of Public Affairs at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University.


The usual economic evaluation of future costs and benefits gives very little importance to what happens in one century and after. This does not square well with our collective concern for the long-term future of humanity at a time of mounting environmental, social and political crises. Is the economic approach fundamentally flawed? Do "dismal theorems" justify throwing away standard cost-benefit analysis? This lecture will revisit the underpinning normative concepts of evaluation of growth paths and long-term uncertainty.

There are a limited number of spaces available to meet with the speaker and to attend a dinner on the evening of Tuesday 11 June. If you are interested in meeting Prof Fleurbaey or attending the dinner, please email

Biography of the Speaker:

Marc Fleurbaey is Robert E. Kuenne Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies, and Professor of Public Affairs and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He has been an economist at INSEE (Paris), a professor of economics at the Universities of Cergy-Pontoise and Pau (France), and a research director at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. He has also been a Lachmann Fellow and a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, a research associate at the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE, Louvain-la-Neuve) and the Institute for Public Economics (IDEP, Marseilles), and a visiting researcher at Nuffield College, Oxford.

Selected Publications: 

  • "Optimal income taxation theory and principles of fairness", Journal of Economic Literature 56 (3): 1029-79, 2018  (with F. Maniquet)
  • "Fair management of social risk" Journal of Economic Theory 169: 666–706, 2017 (with S. Zuber)
  • "Discounting, risk, inequality: A general approach", Journal of Public Economics 128: 34-49, 2015. (with S. Zuber)
  • “Universal social orderings”, Review of Economic Studies 81: 1071-1101, 2014 (with K. Tadenuma).
  • "Assessing risky social situations", Journal of Political Economy 118: 649-680, 2010.
  • “Beyond the GDP: The quest for a measure of social welfare”, Journal of Economic Literature 47: 1029-1075, 2009.
  • "Do irrelevant commodities matter?", Econometrica 75: 1143–1174, 2007 (with K. Tadenuma)
  • "Fair income tax", Review of Economic Studies 73: 55-83, 2006. (with F. Maniquet)
  • "Implementability and Horizontal Equity Require No-Envy'', Econometrica 65: 1215-1219, 1997. (with F. Maniquet)

Full list available at