icon 2022.11.15 【Speech】

Nobel Laureate in Economics Lecture at the College of Technology Management NTHU was held on October 27, 2022

On October 27, 2022, the College of Technology Management, NTHU, hosted the forum sponsored by the Yu Kuo-Hwa Cultural and Educational Foundation at TSMC Building. Professor Paul Romer, the 2018 Nobel Laureate in Economics gave an online lecture to nearly 300 on-site and online attendees including students, faculty, staff, alumni, as well as audiences from industry or academia.

The forum was opened by the Dean of the College of Technology Management, NTHU, Dr. Che-Chun Lin, who introduced Professor Romer and expressed his gratitude on behalf of NTHU.

After Professor Romer’s lecture, Professor Po-Hsuan Hsu from the Department of Quantitative, Yushan Scholar, led a panel discussion between Prof. Romer and the panelists, Dr. Burn-Jeng Lin, Dean of the College of Semiconductor Research, and Dr. Tain-Jy Chen, Dean of Taipei School of Economics and Political Science. The discussion focused on the lecture topic “The Impact of Technological Development (or High-Tech Firms) on Economic Growth and Social Welfare, Especially from the Perspective of Emerging Countries” exploring the issues and how to address the current global challenges with an international perspective and viewpoint.

This hybrid event combining physical and online participation, and involving a prestigious Nobel laureate to have in-depth, cross-disciplinary dialogues with leading experts and scholars, has not only performed as a great opportunity for promoting relevant domestic research but also contributed significantly to the internationalization of local academics.

The following is the takeaway from Paul Romer’s talk:
In the beginning of his speech, Prof. Romer emphasized how technologies change our ways of thinking about social development. In the past, Thomas R. Malthus pessimistically predicted that the global population would stop growing soon due to the limited productivity of land. However, history has proved that he is wrong because we have new technologies to let the population continue to grow. Prof. Romer continued making his points for the lecture: when we look back at the accelerating technological development in the most recent decades, we also learned that some innovations are socially beneficial and some are socially harmful; moreover, some are unprofitable but some are profitable. In particular, countries and governments need to take an active role in promoting innovations that are unprofitable but socially beneficial and deterring innovations that are profitable but socially harmful. Thus, the public needs to decide whether they want to pursue growth and development; if this is the case, they need strong leadership in doing the right things. Some Asian countries have been successful in promoting high-tech industries in the past, but now the problem is whether they can continue in the right direction. Taking the inflation that has been bothering us nowadays, Paul Volcker set up a good example for us by having the courage to take immediate action that is not popular/welcome. Another example is chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were a great innovation but were later proven to deplete Earth's atmospheric ozone layer. George Shultz, Secretary of State at that time, helped negotiate the Montreal Protocol, which phased out the use of CFC. We are in desperate need of such leadership for climate issues, addictive drug abuse, and unemployment, all are urgent issues that need the world’s attention. This is a critical time for all populations to rethink the right governments and leaders we need to solve these pressing issues.

(Professor Paul Romer, the 2018 Nobel Laureate in Economics gave an online lecture)

(The forum was opened by the Dean of the College of Technology Management, NTHU, Dr. Che-Chun Lin)