Professor David Cutler was invited by Professor Patti Ritter to speak to the students of the Department of Economics on October 18th about his book The Survival of the City.
Approximately 120 students and faculty from the Department of Economics attended the talk in person at the Dodd Center in Storrs, and 20 students streamed the talk at the Stamford Campus in a watch party.
David Cutler is the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. His work in health economics and public economics have earned him significant academic and public acclaim. He also has served on the Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council during the Clinton Administration, and has advised the Presidential campaigns of Bill Bradley, John Kerry, and Barack Obama. He also served as Senior Health Care Advisor for the Obama Presidential Campaign.
In his talk, Professor Cutler discussed the importance and contribution of cities, the history of epidemics and how they have affected urban areas, how the particular problems of American cities make them vulnerable to epidemics and, finally, ways of minimizing the impact of future epidemics.
Students and faculty participated during the talk and had the opportunity to meet Professor Cutler in a small reception afterwards. It was a great opportunity for them to reflect about the consequences of the pandemic and lessons to be learned. A great opportunity also, to witness how a brilliant economist applies economics to the analysis of problems and derives policy recommendations. Finally, the talk was based on the book written by Professor Cutler and his colleague Professor Edward Glaeser, two thinkers with different political orientations. Thus, the talk provided an example of how good economics should not be politically biased, and will hopefully inspire students to put the welfare of our society above our political differences.