Inaugural lecture by Aurélien Baillon, Friday 22 May 2015

On Friday May 22, 2015 Prof. Aurélien Baillon will publicly accept his appointment as professor in behavioral economics at Erasmus School of Economics with an inaugural lecture entitled “Subjective truths”.

Time and location

The inaugural lecture starts at 4 PM in the Senate room, situated on the first floor in the Erasmus building (A-building). For a map of campus Woudestein click here:

About the lecture

On the one hand, economists heavily rely on hard numbers: GDP, growth rate, exchange rates. On the other hand, their explanations often rely on soft factors: executive confidence in the economy, consumer sentiment, and investor expectations. The hard numbers are objective but the soft factors are subjective and depend on each individual. Economists increasingly recognize the need to study subjective factors. The first part of the lecture will illustrate the key role of subjective truths in modern economics. For instance, measures of subjective well-being are nowadays proposed to replace or at least complement GDP; economic policies often rely on subjective forecasting by experts. In his lecture, Baillon will then show that even though they are subjective, the soft factors can still be objectively studied. He will especially explain how to incentivize people to reveal their expectations about future events but also their confidence in their expectations. Finally he will show how to make people reveal truths that are completely unverifiable.

About Aurélien Baillon

Aurélien Baillon (1980) joined Erasmus School of Economics in 2007, after obtaining a research master at the University of Toulouse and a Ph.D. at the Paris Institute of Technology. Since his arrival Prof. Baillon has become an important asset in the Behavioral Economics group, one of the strongest research groups of Erasmus University Rotterdam. In the past years he received other important recognition for his research contributions, including a Veni and a Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). Earlier this year Aurélien Baillon obtained a Starting Grant of € 1.5 million from the European Research Council (ERC). His research has been published in leading journals, including the American Economic Review.

More information

For more information please contact Ronald de Groot, Communication Officer Erasmus School of Economics +31 6 53 641 846 or

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