Named for economist and sixth Beloit College President Miller Upton, the Upton Forum on the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations is Beloit’s premier residency program in economics, featuring panel discussions and a keynote address by the Upton Scholar. Though the forum events last for only one week, students are immersed in the theories and work of the Upton Scholar well before the slated campus visit. Seniors in the department of economics and management participate in a seminar course built around the ideas and research of that year’s Upton Scholar, so that they will be able to engage the scholar on a deeper level.
Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, is this year’s Miller Upton Scholar. He previously served as the chief economist for President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, and currently serves on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board. He directs the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and the Energy & Environment Lab at the University of Chicago Urban Labs.
Deirdre Nansen McCloskey2016
Deirdre Nansen McCloskey is known as a “conservative” economist, Chicago-School style economist, though she describes herself as "a literary, quantitative, postmodern, free-market, progressive-Episcopalian, Midwestern woman from Boston who was once a man. Not ‘conservative’! I’m a Christian libertarian.”
McCloskey taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2000 to 2015 in economics, history, English, and communication. A well-known economist and historian and rhetorician, she has written 17 books and around 400 scholarly pieces on topics ranging from technical economics and statistical theory to transgender advocacy and the ethics of the bourgeois virtues.
Yasheng Huang, the 2015 Miller Upton Scholar, is the International Program Professor in Chinese Economy and Business, Professor of Global Economics and Management, and Associate Dean for International Programs and Action Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Robert N. Stavins2014
Robert N. Stavins is one of the world’s leading thinkers on climate change policy. His research focuses on diverse areas of environmental economics and policy, including examinations of market-based policy instruments, regulatory impact analysis, innovation and diffusion of pollution-control technologies, environmental benefit valuation, policy instrument choice under uncertainty, competitiveness effects of regulation, depletion of forested wetlands, political economy of policy instrument choice, and costs of carbon sequestration.
James D. Gwartney2013
James D. Gwartney holds the Gus A. Stavros Eminent Scholar Chair at Florida State University, where he directs the Stavros Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Economic Education. His research has focused on the measurement and determination of factors that influence cross-country differences in income levels and growth rates. In this regard, he is the co-author of the annual report, Economic Freedom of the World, which provides information on the consistency of institutions and policies with economic freedom for 144 countries. This data set is widely used by scholars investigating topics ranging from economic growth to peaceful relations among nations. Gwartney is also well known for his work as an economic educator and his co-authorship of the popular textbook Economics: Private and Public Choice, now in its 14th edition. His Ph.D. in economics is from the University of Washington, where he studied under 2008 Upton Scholar Douglass North.
Timur Kuran is a professor of economics and political science and the Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. His research focuses on social change, including the evolution of preferences and institutions, as well as the economic history and thought of the Middle East. His current projects include a study of the role that the Middle East’s traditional institutions played in its poor political performance, as measured by democratization and human liberties.
Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012) became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in economics when she received the honor along with Oliver Williamson from University of California-Berkeley for their work analyzing the rules by which people exercise authority in companies and economic systems. Ostrom was a longtime faculty member at Indiana University-Bloomington and most recently served as the Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science. Ostrom's research investigated the ways in which communities have successfully managed "common pool" resources, such as water, fisheries, and forests through self-governance within civil society.
Due to an illness, Joel Mokyr presented the keynote address in Ostrom’s place. Mokyr, who specializes in economic history and the economics of technological change and population change, is the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History at Northwestern University. By special appointment, he also serves as the Sackler Professor at the Eitan Berglas School of Economics at the University of Tel Aviv.
Israel Kirzner is an Emeritus Professor of Economics at New York University and a leading figure in the Austrian school of economics. Kirzner has devoted much of his career to clarifying the central role entrepreneurship plays as a driving force in the market process, and he has examined this role in numerous publications.
Hernando de Soto2009
World-renowned economist Hernando de Soto is president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Lima, Peru. According to The Economist magazine, the institute is one of the two most important research and policy organizations in the world, and de Soto himself is among the leading influential intellectuals of our time. He and his colleagues at the ILD primarily focus on designing and implementing legal and economic reforms that will encourage capital formation among the poor in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and the former Soviet bloc.
Economist Douglass North won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences along with Robert W. Fogel for their pioneering work in cliometrics, which is the application of economic theory and statistical methods to the study of history. North taught economics at the University of Washington and Washington University, and he served as director of the Institute for Economic Research and the director of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He also acted as economic consultant to the governments of Russia, Argentina, Peru, and the Czech Republic.