Winter Institute - Innovative Economics

Speakers and Presenters

Feb. 7-8, 2019

Immigration Explored

We have several keynotes scheduled - check back soon for more information.

Keynote Speaker

George Borjas

George Borjas

George J. Borjas is the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He was awarded the IZA Prize in Labor Economics in 2011.

Professor Borjas is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Research Fellow at IZA. Professor Borjas is the author of several books, including "Immigration Economics" (Harvard University Press, 2014), "Heaven's Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy" (Princeton University Press, 1999), and the widely used textbook "Labor Economics" (McGraw-Hill, 2016), now in its seventh edition.

His latest book is "We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative", published by W. W. Norton in Fall 2016. He has also published over 150 articles in books and scholarly journals. His professional honors include citations in "Who's Who in the World" and "Who's Who in America".

Professor Borjas was elected a fellow of the Econometric Society in 1998 and a fellow of the Society of Labor Economists in 2004. In 2016, "Politico" listed Professor Borjas No. 17 in the list of the 50 "thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics ... For telling it like it really is on immigration." He received his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University in 1975.

Bryan Caplan

Bryan Caplan

Bryan Caplan is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and blogger for EconLog. He is the author of The Myth of the Rational Voter, named "the best political book of the year" by the New York Times, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, and The Case Against Education. Caplan is currently collaborating with Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal’s Zach Weinersmith on Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration, a non-fiction graphic novel on the philosophy and social science of immigration, and writing a new book, Poverty: Who To Blame.

Kao Kalia Yang

Kao Kalia Yang

"Yang powerfully demonstrates that much of what society doesn’t hold valuable— talents that don’t translate into monetary or educational success—still carry immense value." — Library Journal

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American author, film-maker, and teacher; she is also a cofounder of ‘Words Wanted,’ a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. Her writing and speaking is passionate and eloquent as she seeks to deepen the understanding of the human condition in order to garner more compassion in the world. 

Kalia was born in Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in 1980; she and her family came to Minnesota as refugees in the summer of 1987, and her first book, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, reflects upon this move. It is a first-hand account of the journey that many Hmong people had to make from place to place in order to find ‘home. A review by Publishers Weekly praises Kalia, “Yang tells her family's story with grace; she narrates their struggles, beautifully weaving in Hmong folklore and culture.” It is the first Hmong-authored book to gain national distribution from a literary press, the only book to have ever garnered two Minnesota Book Awards, the best selling book in Coffee House Press History, and earned a NEA Big Read title. 

Her latest, The Song Poet: A Memoir of my Father, is the first Hmong book to ever receive national recognition and representation. Jane Hamilton-Merritt proclaims that Kalia’s writing “allows us to hear the whispered sorrows and hopes of those transplanted onto foreign soil among strangers.” 

When she’s not in front of an audience inspiring social change and awareness, Kalia raises twin sons that keep her and her husband busy at their home in Minneapolis.