14 January 2016

CUHK Hosts Distinguished Public Lecture by Professor Peter A. Diamond on ‘Good Pension Design’



Professor Peter A. Diamond, 2010 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, delivered a lecture entitled ‘Good Pension Design’ today (14 January) at Yasumoto International Academic Park of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). The lecture attracted 300 CUHK staff, students, alumni and members of the public. 

Populations around the world are rapidly ageing. Pensions and retirement protection are widely debated. The primary objective of pensions is economic security in old age, achieved through consumption smoothing, insurance and poverty relief. It involves risk-sharing and wealth redistribution. Different factors in labour markets and asset markets also complicate pension design. In the lecture, Professor Diamond shared his insights into good design and discussed the pension systems in several countries which are generally regarded as good systems. These systems have different combinations of pension plans in order to address the multiple aspects of providing economic security in old age. 

Professor Joseph J.Y. Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, delivered the welcoming address. He remarked, 'While our ageing society and its possible consequences are very well-known, how to properly deal with the upcoming challenges remains controversial. The debate on implementing a universal pension plan has recently resurfaced. There can not be a better time than now to have the world’s most renowned expert on retirement protection, Professor Peter A. Diamond, here at CUHK sharing with us his knowledge and insights into the design of a public pension.'

Professor Diamond is an Institute Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he taught from 1966 and was head of the MIT economics department from 1985 to 1986. He has written on Social Security, Labour Economics and Public Finance. His journal articles including ‘Proposals to Restructure Social Security’ (Journal of Economic Perspectives), ‘Social Security’ (American Economic Review), ‘Saving Social Security’ (with Peter R. Orszag, Journal of Economic Perspectives) and ‘Reforming Public Pensions in the US and the UK’ (Economic Journal) are widely cited in the discussion on pension systems in the world. He has also co-authored a number of books on social security, including ‘Saving Social Security: A Balanced Approach’ (with Peter R. Orszag), ‘Reforming Pensions: Principles and Policy Choices’ and ‘Pension Reform: A Short Guide’ (both with Nicholas Barr). 

Professor Diamond has also advised on the public pension systems in many countries including Australia, Chile, China, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

Professor Diamond was the President of the American Economic Association and of the Econometric Society. He is a founding member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He also received numerous honours for his outstanding contribution to economics including inaugural winner of the ‘Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics’, winner of the ‘Robert M. Bell Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance’ and winner of the ‘2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences’.

Prof. Peter A. Diamond, 2010 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences delivers a lecture at CUHK.
Prof. Peter A. Diamond, 2010 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences delivers a lecture at CUHK.

Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung (right), Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK presents a souvenir to Prof. Peter A. Diamond.
Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung (right), Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK presents a souvenir to Prof. Peter A. Diamond.

(From right) Prof. Sir James A. Mirrlees, 1996 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and Master of Morningside College, CUHK;  Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President, CUHK; Prof. Peter A. Diamond, 2010 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences; Prof. Chiu Chi-yue, Dean of Social Science, CUHK; and Prof. Zhang Junsen, Wei Lun Professor of Economics and Chairman, Department of Economics, CUHK.
(From right) Prof. Sir James A. Mirrlees, 1996 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and Master of Morningside College, CUHK; Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President, CUHK; Prof. Peter A. Diamond, 2010 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences; Prof. Chiu Chi-yue, Dean of Social Science, CUHK; and Prof. Zhang Junsen, Wei Lun Professor of Economics and Chairman, Department of Economics, CUHK.

The lecture is well received by an audience of 300.
The lecture is well received by an audience of 300.