The BMO Public Lecture series is an annual event that is hosted by SFU's Department of Economics in partnership with SFU Public Square and SFU Alumni Relations, and the generous sponsorship of BMO Bank of Montreal. Lectures are presented by some of the top minds and scholars in Economics, with the aim of engaging the general public on issues that pertain to economics but have a direct impact on their daily lives.


Child Mental Health as Human Capital

October 23, 2020 
3:00 — 4:30 pm PDT


Child health is increasingly understood to be a critical form of human capital. Research has demonstrated both how valuable it is and how better to support its development. 

This lecture provides an overview of research demonstrating the key role of public programs in supporting longer-term human capital development, and pointing to improvements in child mental health as an especially important mechanism.

For a summary of Dr. Janet Currie's lecture, check out the reflection piece by economics graduate student Jesse Tremblay on SFU Public Square's Voices in the Square: "Highlights from the 2020 BMO Public Lecture: Child Mental Health as Human Capital". 

Janet Currie is the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the Co-director of Princeton's Center for Health and Wellbeing. She also co-directs the Program on Families and Children at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is the President of the American Society of Health Economics, has served as the Vice President of the American Economics Association, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and of the American Academy of Art and Sciences. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the Society of Labor Economists, and of the Econometric Society, and has honorary degrees from the University of Lyon and the University of Zurich. She was named a Nomis Distinguished Scientist in 2018. She has served on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science, as the Editor of the Journal of Economic Literature, and on the editorial boards of many other journals. Currie is a pioneer in the economic analysis of child development. Her current research focuses on socioeconomic differences in health and access to health care, environmental threats to health, and the important role of mental health.

Past Lectures

2019    Nava Ashraf (LSE)

2018    Susan Athey (Stanford)

2017    Nathan Nunn (Harvard)

2016    Raj Chetty (Harvard)

2015    Alvin Roth (Harvard, Nobel Prize recipient 2012)

2014    Vernon Smith (Chapman University, Nobel Prize recipient 2002)

2013    Richard Blundell (University College London)

2013    Ross Levine (Berkeley Haas)

2012    Jim Bullard (President, St Louis Federal Reserve Bank)

2010    Esther Duflo (MIT, Nobel Prize recipient 2019)

2009    Daron Acemoglu (MIT)

2008    David Levine (Washington University, St Louis)