Economist James Heckman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics and a professor at the University of Chicago, gave a speech on May 13 at the opening session of the 35th annual congress of the Association des économistes québécois (ASDEQ). Dr. Heckman was in Québec City at the invitation of François Turenne, chair of the ASDEQ congress and Québec’s Deputy Minister of International Relations.
Dr. Heckman’s speech revolved around the theme of “Human Capital: Challenges for a Prosperous Québec.” He spoke about economic issues related to the labour market and manpower, especially training and skills acquisition. The University of Chicago professor’s research focuses primarily on the labour market economy, evaluating social programs and unequal distribution of wealth.
During his visit to Québec, from May 11 to 13, Dr. Heckman met with Clément Gignac, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade. Among other things, they discussed the challenges created by shortages of specialized manpower and issues related to training and productivity. Dr. Heckman then met with the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, Sam Hamad, and took part in meetings with representatives of various government departments and agencies (Ministère des Relations internationales; Emploi-Québec; Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport; Ministère de la Famille et des Aînés; Ministère des Finances).
At the end of his visit he met with professors and executives from Université Laval, the École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP) and HEC Montréal.
The visit was carried out within the framework of the Government of Québec’s program for inviting and welcoming foreign personalities, which enables Québec to build privileged relations and position itself as a strategic partner for influential players in the fields of the economy, politics, education and culture.
James Heckman – University of Chicago
Association des économistes québécois (in French)