RUTTAN LECTURE on Science and Development Policy is held in honor of Vernon W. Ruttan who served on the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors prior to joining the University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics in 1965. Vernon served as Department Head from 1965 to 1970 and was named a Regents' Professor in 1986. His seminal research on induced innovation, science policy and economic development is of international renown. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Decentralization, Empowerment and Rural Development

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Keynote Speaker(s): 
Professor Hans P Binswanger-Mkhize

Visiting professor at the University of Pretoria and at the School of Economics and Management at China Agricultural University. Previously a Senior Advisor at the World Bank and the Principal Economist for the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

Development of a Science-Based, Advanced Tropical Agriculture in Brazil

Monday, May 5, 2014 - 11:00am

Keynote Speaker(s): 
Dr. Maurício Antônio Lopes

Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation - Embrapa

Vernon W. Ruttan Remembrance Reception

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 - 3:00pm


McNamara Alumni Center
Memorial Hall, University of Minnesota

Our dear friend and colleague Vernon Ruttan died on August 18, 2008. In honor of his extraordinary lifetime contributions in Development and Growth Economics the Vernon Ruttan Memorial Lecture was presented by Professor Ann Krueger on December 3, 2008. The lecture was followed by a remembrance reception where almost two hundred of Vernon's colleagues, friends and family took part in an afternoon of reflection on Vernon's remarkable contributions to issues of world growth and economic development.

What the Industrial Countries Can Do to Support Developing Countries' Development Goals

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 - 2:00pm

Keynote Speaker(s): 
Anne O. Krueger

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
Johns Hopkins University


"What the Industrial Countries Can Do to Support Developing Countries' Development Goals"

Institutions and Economic Growth: Making Sense of the Relationship

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 12:00am

Keynote Speaker(s): 
Richard R. Nelson
Columbia University

There now is widespread agreement among economists that having the right institutions is the key to a nation's economic productivity and progressiveness. However, if one looks behind this apparent consonance of understandings, one can see that there is far from unanimity regarding just what the term “institutions” is supposed to mean, or about the way that institutions relate to economic growth, or about how a nation can get the right set of institutions. In short, the term “institutions” presently seems to be serving as a “placeholder” in the evolving theory of economic growth, much as the term “total factor productivity” did a number of years ago. The objective of this essay is to propose a way of conceptualizing what institutions are, how they relate to economic activity, and how they change over time, that in my view has the promise of making sense out of a growth theory in which institutions play the key role.

About Richard R. Nelson

Richard R. Nelson is George Blumenthal Professor of International and Public Affairs, Business, and Law (Emeritus) and, presently, Director of the Center for Science Technology and Global Development at The Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, New York.

His research has concentrated on the processes of long-run economic change, with particular emphasis on technological advances and on the evolution of economic institutions. Some of his publications include The Sources of Economic Growth, (Harvard University Press, 2000), The Sources of Industrial Leadership (Cambridge University Press, 1999), National Innovation Systems: A Comparative Analysis (Oxford University Press, 1993), and An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, (Harvard University Press; Reprint edition, 1985).

Professor Nelson holds a BA from Oberlin College. He obtained his PhD in 1956 from Yale University. From 1956 to 1957 he was an Assistant Professor at Oberlin College, and from 1968 to 1986 a Professor at Yale University. He has also served as an Economist at The Rand Corporation (1957-1960, 1963-1968), a Senior Member at the Council of Economic Advisers (1961-1963). Between 1981 and 1986 he was appointed the Director of the Institute for Social and Policy Studies.


"What Makes an Economy Productive and Progressive? What Are the Needed Institutions?"