August 16-19 2009, Ratio and the Mont Pelerin Society arranged an international conference entitled ”The Market Economy in the Welfare State”. About 330 participants, operating at highly ranked universities and other academic organizations in more than 30 countries worldwide, visited Stockholm and this meeting.
Among the speakers were James Buchanan, Richard Epstein and Deirdre McCloskey. Among the other guests a group of young researchers were especially invited as Fellows.
During Monday and Wednesday a total of four regular sessions were held, where leading scientists gave lectures on their research in the area and presented yet unpublished papers. After each main session the participants were able to engage in a deeper discussion of one of the three papers presented during the session. At these break-up sessions, young researchers acted as opponents and the other conference attendees had the opportunity to participate more actively as well.
Monday ended with a special session in which Professor Assar Lindbeck told of the Swedish welfare state model and its historical and future challenges. This was followed by an open reception at Ratio, where about 200 of the guests came.
Tuesday morning, a trip to Drottningholm Palace was on the program. It offered guidance and a walk in the park before lunch was served on the boat back. This evening, specially selected conference participants and sponsors were invited to a dinner at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.
Wednesday’s regular sessions followed by another special session, where Dr. Karen Horn announced her forthcoming book of ten Nobel Prize winners and spoke of her meetings with them.
The entire program and all the speakers and opponents are in the Program, which was distributed to all participants along with Ratios newly released book ”Eight Prizes that Changed the World”. The book contains the Nobel lectures of the (so far) eight Mont Pelerin Society members assigned to the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
The conference closed with a gala dinner in the Golden Hall in Stockholm City Hall, where Stockholm’s Mayor Sten Nordin welcomed.
This conference was the largest event ever organized by Ratio. Several of the participants were interviewed in connection with the conference and also the otherwise academic and socially relevant arrangement has recently been highlighted in the media.