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Open Lecture: The Contribution of Ancient Greeks to Shaping Modern Economic Thinking
Open Lecture: The Contribution of Ancient Greeks to Shaping Modern Economic Thinking
07.08.2014 19.00 h
The Ithacan Philanthropic Society - Melbourne


Presenter: Dr Vasilis Sarafidis, Monash University
Entry: Free


The contribution of the ancient Greeks in the development of major ideas in philosophy, mathematics, physics, astronomy, engineering, medicine, culture and theater, as well as in many other areas, is enormous and universally recognized.

At the same time, one can find relatively very few ancient texts concerning what we nowadays call “economics”. Hence, one might conclude that the ancient Greeks had little interest in economic matters, or in achieving economic growth and prosperity.

This presentation will demonstrate this is not true; in particular, it will be shown that the ancient Greeks, pioneered by Aristotle - whom the Austrian School of Economics considers the "Father of Economics" - have contributed substantially to the development of modern economic theory.

The level of depth of Aristotle’s analysis on economic issues that have puzzled economists until modern times is indeed amazing.

Short Biography

Dr Vasilis Sarafidis is currently a Senior Lecturer in Econometrics at Monash University. He holds a BA (Hons) degree in Economics with Computing and Quantitative Methods (Sussex), an MPhil in Economics (Cambridge) and a PhD in Economics and Econometrics (Cambridge).

Vasilis has worked in the past as an economist in a private consultancy in the City of London. During that time he led projects involving econometric analysis and modelling for the electricity, water and telecommunications sectors. 

Vasilis' main area of research lies in panel data analysis. In particular, he is interested in estimation and statistical inference in models with unobserved heterogeneity, with current focus on models characterised by cross-sectional dependence and parameter heterogeneity. His research has been published in leading scientific journals in econometrics and statistics.

Vasilis has been a regular speaker at international conferences such as the World Congress of the Econometric Society, the International Conference on Panel Data, and the Far Eastern and South Asia Meeting of the Econometric Society. He is a founding member of MEAFA, a cross-disciplinary research network that promotes methodological advances in financial analysis.

In 2009 he received the Dean's Citation award for his contribution to learning and teaching in the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Sydney. In 2011 he was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award by the Discipline of Operations Management and Econometrics at the University of Sydney.


We would like to thank Diane Bone for sponsoring tonight’s lecture. Such initiatives assist us in providing these lectures free to the public. If you would like to participate as a sponsor from as little as $100 please send us an email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We would also like to thank our corporate sponsor:

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The Ithacan Philanthropic Society   -   Website
Level 2, 329 Elizabeth Street
Country: au

In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.

Over the years, however, the Society has been much more than just a philanthropic institution. It has been a constant in the lives of the early Ithacan migrants replacing the homeland which they had left.

The Society takes an active role in the cultural, social, educational and quality of life interests of the Ithacan Community. The Society, as part of its philanthropic role, also makes many monetary contributions to worthy causes, including those outside the immediate Ithacan community. The Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006.

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