Religion and the Rise of Capitalism

Benjamin M. Friedman (Harvard University)


February 4, 2021 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM EST
Virtual Event

Event Summary

Benjamin M. Friedman of Harvard University presents the sixth annual O. John Olcay Lecture on Ethics and Economics at a Peterson Institute for International Economics virtual event held on February 4, 2021. He discusses his new book, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, which fundamentally reassesses the foundations of current-day economics, showing how religious thinking has shaped economic thinking since the beginnings of modern Western economics and how this influence continues to be relevant today, especially in the United States. PIIE president Adam S. Posen moderates the subsequent discussion and Q&A session.

Friedman is the William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy and former chairman of the department of economics at Harvard University. Friedman’s two previous general interest books are Day of Reckoning: The Consequences of American Economic Policy Under Reagan and After and The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth

About this series

This is the sixth annual O. John Olcay Lecture on Ethics and Economics, held in memory of John Olcay, a longtime friend and intellectual supporter of the Institute, particularly of our work on monetary and financial policy. Olcay had a distinguished career in global finance, notably as an adviser to several of the world’s central banks on reserve management and policy. We are pleased to honor him with such a series endowed by his many friends and colleagues from around the world. Previous Olcay lecturers at the Peterson Institute were George Akerlof, Sheila Bair, Alan S. Blinder, Stephen G. Cecchetti, and Eric Rosengren.  The next Olcay Lecture, originally scheduled for 2020, will be given by Thomas J. Jordan of the Swiss National Bank.