Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy

Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro Lecture Series

Professor Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro was born in La Habana, Cuba in 1937 and did his undergraduate studies there. He went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1961. He became a Professor of Economics at Yale University (1961–65) and then at the University of Minnesota (1965-69). In 1969 he returned to Yale and in 1984 was appointed Professor of Economics at Columbia University, a position he held until his untimely death in 1985.

As part of his distinguished career, Díaz-Alejandro served as a consultant to many organizations, among them the Commission on United States-Latin American Studies (Linowitz Commission), the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America (Kissinger Commission) and the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity. He published more that 70 articles and four books, including Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: Colombia and Essays on Economic History of the Argentine Republic, and was Editor of Política Económica en Centro y Periferia. Throughout his career he won the admiration and friendship of both colleagues and students. His exceptional ability to combine theory with historical knowledge and policy application in his writings and teaching, and his love for Cuba, should serve as an inspiration to future generation of economists and social scientists alike.

Several of the early members of ASCE had been students or colleagues of Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro and the Executive Board decided to invite distinguished speakers to deliver a lecture in memoriam of Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro as part of the occasional lecture series.

The first Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro Lecture was delivered by Dr. Felipe Pazos at the Salon de las Americas in the Inter-American Development Bank Washington, DC on December 28, 1990. Dr. Pazos dissertation was on "Problemas Económicos de Cuba en el Período de Transición" ("The Economic Problems of Cuba in the Period of Transition".) His presentation was included in Volume I of Cuba in Transition, the publication that presents the papers presented at ASCEs Annual Conferences. Felipe Pazos, a distinguished Cuban economist and former teacher of Carlos F. Díaz- Alejandro, was the first President of the Banco Nacional de Cuba (Cubas Central Bank); he was president of the bank from its establishment in 1948 until 1952, and again in 1959). Professor Pazos was Research Director for the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericano)(1954–57), Member of the Committee of Nine of the Alliance for Progress (1961–66), Senior Economist at the Inter-American Development Bank (1966-75), and Economic Advisor to the Central Bank of Venezuela until his death.

Professor Guillermo Calvo delivered the second Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro Lecture at the American Economic Associations Annual Meeting in January 1993. Professor Calvos lecture was on "Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation", a topic on which Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro had written. At the time, Professor Calvo was Senior Research Advisor at the International Monetary Fund and was in the process of being appointed Professor at the University of Maryland. He is currently Chief Economist of the Inter-American Development Bank.

The third Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro Lecture was delivered by Professor Anne Krueger at the American Economic Association Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, on January 1995. Professor Kruegers lecture was on "Regional and Multilateral Pacts in the World Economy". Professor Krueger is a distinguished US economist who taught at Duke and Minnesota Universities and was Vice-President of Research at the World Bank. She has written extensively in the fields of development economics and public choice. At the time Professor Krueger was a member of the faculty of Stanford University and President-Elect of the American Economic Association. Currently she is Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

Professor Ronald Findlay delivered the fourth Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro Lecture at the Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association in New Orleans in January 1997. Professor Findlays lecture was on "The Political Economy of Trade and Development". Professor Findlay was at the time the Chairman of the Economics Department at Columbia University.

The fifth Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro Lecture was delivered by Professor Jagdish Bhagwati, Arthur Lehman Professor of Economics at Columbia University, at the Annual Meetings of the American Economic Association in Chicago, Illinois, on January 1999. His lecture was on "Free Trade and Social Programs: Complements or Substitutes". Professor Bhagwati is also André Meter Senior Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations and Special Advisor to the United Nations on Globalization.

The sixth Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro Lecture took place at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC on March 7th, 2005. Dr. José Antonio Ocampo, the Under-Secretary General of the United Nations for Economic and Social Affairs (ECOSOC), and former Secretary General of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and Finance Minister of Colombia, was the lecturer. Dr. Ocampo's recent work included an excellent essay on Latin America's Growth and Equity during the 1990's in the Spring 2004 Journal of Economic Perspectives. Mr. Ocampo was introduced by IDB President Enrique Iglesias.

The seventh Carlos F. Díaz-Alejandro Lecture took place at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC on May 12, 2009. Dr. Carmelo Mesa Lago, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburg and Recipient of the First International Labor Organization Prize on Decent Work presented "The Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on Social Security and Other Social Spending in Latin America" based on his research on Social Protection in the World.

The event was jointly sponsored by the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy and the Inter-American Development Bank and was held on May 12, 2009, at the Enrique V. Iglesias Conference Center (Cr-2), Inter-American Development Bank, 1330 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC.

The eighth Carlos Díaz-Alejandro lecture "Why Reading Díaz-Alejandro is Essential for Understanding Financial Crises" was offered on April 28, 2011 by Professor Carmen M. Reinhart in Washington, DC at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, 1750 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC. In her lecture she mapped the lessons expounded in three of Díaz-Alejandro's landmark publications into the ongoing financial crisis. She tightly weaved the writings of Díaz-Alejandro in which he describes the lessons of the Latin American 1980s debt crisis (and its aftermath) into the crises in advanced economies today. The event went very well, and the Board thanks Prof. Reinhart for her formidable presentation, as well as the Peterson Institute for their generous hospitality.

Prof. Carmen M. Reinhart is one of the most distinguished international economists of today and co-author of the 2009 bestseller book about financial crises This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly. Prof. Carmen M. Reinhart recently joined the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC, and was until recently Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for International Economics at the University of Maryland. Professor Reinhart held positions as Chief Economist and Vice President at the investment bank Bear Stearns in the 1980s, where she became interested in financial crises, international contagion and commodity price cycles. Subsequently, she spent several years at the International Monetary Fund including serving as Deputy Director of the Research Department. She is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Research Fellow at Centre for Economic Policy Research and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.

Professor Reinhart has written and published on a variety of topics in macroeconomics and international finance and trade including: international capital flows, exchange rates, inflation and commodity prices, banking and sovereign debt crises, currency crashes, and contagion.

Princeton University scholar Alejandro Portes will deliver ASCE's prestigious ninth Carlos Díaz-Alejandro Lecture in New York City on Monday, May 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the New School University. This year's lecture promises to be particularly timely given recent changes to Cuba's migration legislation, the rising electoral importance of Latinos in the United States, and demographic changes in the Cuban-American community, all subjects which Portes has addressed before. See below for more information on his lecture and on how to register.

"Latin American Institutions and Development: A Comparative Analysis"
by Prof. Alejandro Portes, Princeton University

Monday, May 6, 2013 6:00-7:30 p.m.
The New School, Arnhold Hall, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
Admission is free, but space is limited. Register at

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