Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

The La Follette School Seminar Series engages participants in discussion of a range of public policy issues and showcases the research of faculty from the La Follette School, other UW-Madison departments, and outside the UW-Madison community. Faculty, students, and visitors take part in lively dialogue about topics such as poverty and welfare, health, education, international affairs, trade and finance, and the environment. For more information, email Associate Professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

Unless otherwise noted, all presentations are from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, 1225 Observatory Drive, and there is no cost to attend. Please check back periodically for the most current information.

Spring 2020

Wednesday, Feb. 26
The Effect of Carbon Emissions Pricing on Low-Carbon Investment
Professor Greg Nemet, La Follette School of Public Affairs

Greg Nemet will discuss the potential impact of a floor price in emissions trading schemes (ETS), which theoretically could stabilize expectations on future carbon prices and thereby foster investment.

However, knowledge about the impact of a floor price on investment decisions remains largely theoretical, and in policy discussions, the relevance of carbon pricing for investment decisions is often contested.

Nemet and colleagues addressed this empirical shortcoming by surveying managers of 141 German electricity and energy-intensive companies on the way in which a price floor in the European Union (EU) ETS would affect their investment decisions.

They found that whether companies increase their investment volumes depends on the level of the floor price trajectories. A low floor price trajectory of $23 (EUR 20) in 2020 and $46 (40 EUR) in 2030 would leave investment largely unchanged. Those decreasing their investment are mainly EU ETS companies receiving an electricity price compensation. 

By contrast, a high floor price trajectory that rises from $46 in 2020 to $94 in 2030 would trigger increasing investment for almost 50 percent of companies. Green companies and companies with more uncertain EU allowance price expectations are particularly responsive to the high floor price.

Wednesday, March 25
Putting Government In Its Place: The Case for a New Deal 3.0
David Riemer, Founding Director and Senior Fellow for the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, Milwaukee
Pyle Center, AT&T Lounge, 702 Langdon Street

What is the role of the federal government in today’s economy and society? David Riemer, a longtime political advisor and candidate in Wisconsin, believes we need to look back 80 years to the creation of the New Deal for answers.

Riemer’s new book, Putting Government in Its Place: The Case for a New Deal 3.0, tells the story of how President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal team created four clusters of domestic policy (New Deal 1.0). In the decades since, those policy clusters — (1) broad-based economic security guarantees, (2) means-tested welfare programs, (3) market regulation, and (4) market manipulation — underwent extensive revision, shaping today’s New Deal writ large (Version 2.0).

The La Follette School welcomes Riemer for its Spring 2020 Seminar Series. In the March 25 seminar, Riemer will explain the major gaps, flaws, and mistakes during the 80-year expansion of the original New Deal. He will also spell out the profound and sweeping changes needed to rebuild a modern version of the promise and intent of FDR’s New Deal.

The hour-long seminar, including time for audience questions, begins at 12:30 p.m. in the AT&T Lounge of the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street.

Riemer, a senior fellow with Community Advocates Public Policy Institute in Milwaukee, has spent his career working across party lines to create path-breaking public policy at the local, state, and federal levels. A graduate of Harvard College and Law School, and active in politics as advisor and candidate, he has held legal, budget, and policymaking positions with a former Milwaukee mayor, two former Wisconsin governors, and the late US Senator Edward Kennedy.

Wednesday, April 1
Youth Violence: Parents, Peers, and Efficacy
Assistant Professor Alvin Thomas, UW-Madison School of Human Ecology, Human Development and Family Studies Department

Wednesday, April 22
Assistant Professor Steven Brooke, UW-Madison Department of Political Science

Past Seminars