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The late Leo Hurwicz was a longtime professor of economics at the University of Minnesota and a co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in economics.

U of M Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute convenes premier event, "Addressing Climate Change: Economic Perspectives on Pricing Environmental Risk"

Climate change is main issue confronting the world in the 21st century, economic experts say

Contacts: Jeff Falk, University News Service,, (612) 626-1720
Tessa Eagan, College of Liberal Arts,, (612) 625-3781

January 19, 2011

Two prominent University of Minnesota Department of Economics Ph.D. alumni, Robert Litterman and Richard Sandor, are the featured speakers at the new U of M Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute’s (HHEI) premier event, “Addressing Climate Change: Economic Perspectives on Pricing Environmental Risk.”

The event takes place 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, at the McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. S.E., Minneapolis.

Litterman, retired managing director of Goldman Sachs, is the co-developer of the Black-Litterman Global Asset Allocation Model. In addition to his advisory role with HHEI, Litterman is on the boards of the World Wildlife Fund, the Sloan Foundation and Commonfund.

Sandor is chairman and CEO of Environmental Financial Products LLC which specializes in inventing, designing and developing new financial markets with a special emphasis on investment advisory services. Known as the “father of financial futures” and the founder of the Climate Exchange family, Sandor has been at the epicenter of environmental and financial markets for more than four decades. He is also an environmental finance professor at Guanghua School of Management, Peking University and a research professor at Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.

“Climate change is perhaps the seminal issue that will confront the world in the 21st century,” says V. V. Chari, University of Minnesota economics professor and HHEI founding director. “Solving this problem effectively and efficiently will require us to harness the power of markets in channeling private incentives towards socially beneficial ends. Litterman and Sandor bring knowledge and experience in helping us think through these issues.”

The discussion will be moderated by Jon Foley, director of the university’s Institute on the Environment. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required at

Promotional partners for the event include the Institute on the Environment, the World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservancy.

About the U of M Department of Economics and HHEI

Launched in late 2010, HHEI is a new global initiative in the U of M College of Liberal Arts’ Department of Economics, created to inform and influence public policy by supporting and promoting frontier economic research and by communicating its findings to leading academics, policymakers and business executives around the world.  

The institute is named after Walter Heller and Leo Hurwicz, world-leading economics scholars who were faculty members at the University of Minnesota from the early 1950s through the 1980s.

The U of M Department of Economics consistently ranks among the nation’s top economics programs. A recent survey showed that Ph.D. graduates of the department hold faculty positions at over 110 colleges and universities, including eight of the top ten rated departments of economics, eight Big Ten universities and a number of selective liberal arts colleges. They also hold faculty positions at fifteen Canadian universities and forty-five other foreign universities. They serve on the staffs of seven Federal Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors; six United States cabinet departments; a large number of ministries and agencies of foreign governments; and major international economic agencies, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

For more information about HHEI, Heller and Hurwicz, visit

Tags: College of Liberal Arts

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