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Albert Breton of the University of Toronto, the leading Canadian economist of his generation, will deliver the first of this year’s John M. Olin Lectures in Political Economy at Lafayette on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Breton will speak on “Public Sector Decentralization as an Automatic Mechanism” at 8 p.m. in the auditorium of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights. The talk is free and open to the public.

Lafayette’s next Olin Lecture will be Nov. 9, with Dan Rubinfeld of the University of California, Berkeley, and New York University discussing the recently completed Microsoft anti-trust litigation, in which he played a central role while on temporary assignment at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Breton has gained worldwide recognition for his seminal writings on economic theory and economic policy. His many books and papers have ranged across many topics, with federalism and bureaucracy being the most prominent. His academic writings include The Economic Theory of Representative Government; The Economic Constitution of Federal States (with Anthony Scott); The Logic of Bureaucratic Conduct: An Economic Analysis of Competition, Exchange, and Efficiency in Private and Public Organizations (with Ronald Wintrobe); and Competitive Governments: An Economic Theory of Politics and Public Finance.

Breton holds a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University and a B.A. from College de St. Boniface, University of Manitoba. He taught for more than 30 years at the University of Toronto. He also has taught at the Université de Montreal, Carleton University, The Catholic University of Louvain, the London School of Economics, Harvard University, the University de Perugia, and the Université de Paris (Pantheon-Sorbonne).

Breton’s life in public affairs has included roles as vice chairman of the Applebaum-Hebert Federal Cultural Policy Review Committee and as commissioner with the Macdonald Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada. He served on the board of governors for the National Theater School of Canada, and on the Canadian Economic Policy Committee of the C.D. Howe Research Institute. Since 1992, he has been president of the multi-national Villa Colombella Group. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Breton also is a past president of the Canadian Economics Association.

The John M. Olin Foundation has sponsored more than 20 lectures given by prominent speakers at Lafayette.

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