The UEP awarded W. A. Niskanen

29 Apr

The University of Economics, Prague awarded Mr. William A. Niskanen the honorary title of “doctor oeconomiae honoris causa“. The ceremony was held on 7 May at 14:30 in the New Aula of the UEP with the presence of some very important guests. A lecture by W. A. Niskanen called “Autocratic, Democratic, and Optimal Government” was also part of the ceremony.

William A. Niskanen is one of the most important current American economists. He started his academic career at Harvard, and received his doctorate at the University of Chicago. He is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley and Los Angeles. His academic work has always been connected with the private sphere. He was employed in top positions in multinational companies, e.g. as an economic director at Ford Motor Company. In the 1980s, he was the head of President Ronald Reagan\’s Council of Economic Advisors, which substantially influenced the direction of economic policy of the United States of America. Since 1985, he has been the head of the well-known Cato Institute in Washington.

Among his significant contributions to the field of economic theory is above all the theory of bureaucracy which belongs among the realm of public choice theory. He has published dozens of books and research articles. His text "Bureaucracy and Representative Governments" published in 1971 belongs nowadays among the classical texts of public choice theory, and the conclusions he reached remain a challenge to the reform of state administration. That his works have always reflected public demand proves also his last publication called "After Enron: The Lessons for Public Policy" which reacts to the Enron company\’s case.

Since 1991, the UEP has awarded very important representatives of Czech and international economic science and practice the honorary title of "doctor oeconomiae honoris causa". The title is awarded by the university president on behalf of the Council for Science of the UEP. In past years, some Nobel Prize laureates, e.g. Prof. Robert A. Mundell, Prof. Milton Friedman or Prof. Dr. Douglas North, were awarded. A detailed list of laureates of the honorary title is available at