Royal Economic Society (RES) and Scottish Economic Society (SES) Annual Conference

Published: 17 April 2023

Royal Economic Society and Scottish Economic Society Annual Conference

Two people standing together in a lecture theatre where behind them are the presentation slides on white board. Source: University of Glasgow

The Royal Economic Society and the Scottish Economic Society came together in April to hold a joint conference hosted by the University of Glasgow. This was part of the University commemorating Adam Smith’s tercentenary, which the University is marking with global partners.

This is the first in-person RES conference since 2019 as a collaboration with the Scottish Economic Society. More than 550 delegates from across the world gathered in Glasgow for the three-day conference and presented their latest research in all areas of economics.

Professor Charles Nolan, President of the Scottish Economic Society, opened the conference and chaired the SES plenary sessions with prominent speakers from Harvard, Chicago Booth, Oxford and the Bank of England.

Charles Nolan, President of the Scottish Economic Society, said:

“This proved to be a memorable conference and, we think, a fitting recognition by today’s economists of their undoubted intellectual heritage in Adam Smith’s great writings. It was befittingly hosted by the University of Glasgow, where Smith was both a student and a professor.”

As the hosting institution, Economics colleagues organised two special sessions. On Monday, 3 April, well-known Smith expert, Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, the Minister of State for the Americas and the author of ‘Adam Smith: What He Thought, and Why It Matters’ had a conversation with the University of Glasgow Principal and respected economist, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, and the RES President-Elect, Professor Mary Morgan on the contribution of Smith to economics, how his ideas have changed the world today and his ongoing impact on society. This session was chaired by Professor Graeme Roy, Dean of External Engagement and was well attended.

On Wednesday, 5 April, economics colleagues organised a special session titled ‘Productivity under global uncertainty’ and invited well-known experts, including Professor Chad Syverson from Chicago Booth, Professor John Van Reenen from London School of Economics and Professor Miaojie Yu from Liaoning University in China, to discuss how global economic and political uncertainty affects productivity and shed light on ways to stay productive in uncertain times for three major economies - the US, UK and China. This session was organised by Professor Sai Ding and chaired by Professor Rebecca Riley from King’s College London and the Productivity Institute.

Some conference guests visited archives and special collections allowing them to examine the University of Glasgow’s world-class collection of Adam Smith-related books and manuscripts.


  • Hahn Lecture; Prof. Leah P. Boustan, Princeton University
  • Sargan Lecture; Prof. Francis X. Diebold, University of Pennsylvania
  • RES Presidential Address; Prof. Dame Carol Propper, Imperial College, London
  • Tercentenary Adam Smith Lecture; Prof. Raghuram Rajan, Chicago Booth
  • Economic Journal Lecture; Prof. Valerie Ramey, University of California
  • SES President’s Lecture; Prof. Dani Rodrik, Harvard University 
  • The SES Economic Policy Lecture; Prof. Silvana Tenreyro, LSE, Bank of England     
  • Adam Smith Lecture; Prof. Sir John Vickers, All Souls College, University of Oxford

Thanks to the 27 volunteers from MRes and PhD students in Economics who provided tremendous support to the conference.


A man speaking at a podium with microphones with presentation slides behind him. Source: University of Glasgow

A speaker in front of an audience in a lecture hall, turning and gesticulating as he talks: Source: University of Glasgow

A woman speaking at a podium with microphones. Source: University of Glasgow

Three people, seated, interacting with an audience. Source: University of Glasgow

A line-up of eight speakers at the RES conference. Source: University of Glasgow

The next RES conference will be held in Belfast in April 2024. See the conference website for more details:


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First published: 17 April 2023