Discussions with students: Creativity in economic research

May 24, 2019

In May 2019, PhD students of Helsinki Graduate School of Economics had an opportunity to meet Bengt Holmström and Seppo Honkapohja and discuss creativity in economic research.

Holmström and Honkapohja described how they come up with research ideas and how they recognize the most important questions. They also talked about the future of economic theory and its role in empirical work.

Bengt Holmström is Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is best known for his research on the theory of contracting and incentives especially as applied to the theory of the firm, to corporate governance and to liquidity problems in financial crises. In 2016, Holmström was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel together with Oliver Hart for their contributions to contract theory.

Seppo Honkapohja is former Professor of International Macroeconomics of the University of Cambridge. His research has primarily focused on several topics in macro and monetary economics, especially on the role and significance of expectations formation and learning in macroeconomic analysis. Honkapohja served ten years as a member of the board and Deputy Governor of the Bank of Finland.