​Professor Jonathan Gruber to deliver the 2018 Razin Lecture

Jonathan Gruber, the Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will deliver the 2018 Razin Policy Lecture. The lecture will take place on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Copley Formal Lounge on Georgetown University's campus. A reception will follow. Dr. Gruber is an expert on the economics of health care and public policy. He is currently the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and President of the American Society of Health Economists. He was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health insurance reform.

Dr. Gruber has authored more than 160 research articles, a leading college textbook (Public Finance and Public Policy), and a graphic novel about health care reform. Slate Magazine named Dr. Gruber “one of the Top 25 Most Innovative and Practical Thinkers of Our Time.” Modern Healthcare magazine twice rated him "one of the top 100 most powerful people in health care in the United States." And in 2006, Dr. Gruber received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation under age 40. He is a frequent contributor to the NY Times, Fortune, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post. His most recent article, “Trump Says Obamacare is broken. He’s the one who broke it,” was published in the Washington Post on May 6, 2017. A short biographical statement and links to Dr. Gruber's website can be found here.   

The Razin Lecture is to be accompanied by the awarding of the Razin Prize for best research paper by an advanced graduate student. Click here for more on the Razin Prize and Policy Lecture, its background, and history.

The Georgetown Center for Economic Research is pleased to announce the biennial Alumni Conference will be held on June 1-2, 2017. The conference, organized primarily by former GU PhD students who have graduated and moved on to successful careers as scholars, researchers, and teachers at various institutions. Held on the GU campus, the alumni conference aims to bring together recent Ph.Ds, faculty and current graduate students as well as other researchers in the greater DC area. The conference will include sessions in different areas of economics; at least one session will be reserved for current graduate students intending to go on the job market. For information about the conference including registration and the conference program can be accessed by clicking here

The Georgetown Center for Economic Research is pleased to announce that Atif Mian, Princeton University will join this year's GCER Distinguished Visitor Series. Professor Mian joins the other three GCER Distinguished Visitors:  Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde (UPenn), Douglas Gale (NYU) and Whitney Newey (MIT). For more information, please click here

The Georgetown Center for Economic Research is pleased to announce the inaugural Applied Microeconomics Conference will be held on May 11-12, 2017. The conference, co-sponsored with the Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, a joint venture by the Department of Economics University College London and the Institute for Fiscal Studies, will take place at the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. The conference program can be accessed by clicking here

The Georgetown Center for Economic Research is pleased to announce the inaugural Human Capital and Financial Frictions Conference will be held on April 20-21, 2017. The conference, co-sponsored with the McCourt School, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, will take place at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. The conference agenda can be accessed by clicking on the following link.  

The sixth year of the Georgetown Center for Economic Research Distinguished Visitor Series features a number of prominent economists who will spend time in the Department during the 2016-17 academic year. This year's Distinguished Visitors include: Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde (UPenn), Douglas Gale (NYU) and Whitney Newey (MIT). For more information, please click here

Georgetown University is pleased to announce that the Economics Department has partnered with the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management of the Université Libre de Bruxelles to launch a Masters of Political Economy program starting in the Fall of 2017. The degree will be jointly awarded by both institutions. Program participants will take classes in Brussels in the Fall and Spring terms and in Washington, DC in the Summer term. Click here to explore the new Masters in Political Economy Program. 

Georgetown University is pleased to announce that the Department of Economics has launched a two-year Masters of Science (M.S.) Degree Program in Economics starting in the Fall of 2017. The M.S. in Economics is an innovative two-year program, recognized as a STEM degree, emphasizing frontier training in econometrics and quantitative economics. Click here to explore the new Masters of Science in Economics Program. 

Professor Billy Jack's recently published article in Science shares the analysis of data collected over a six year period in Kenya that has revealed that the country's mobile money platform, M-PESA, has lifted nearly 200,000 households out of poverty. The effects of this form of digital financial inclusion are particularly strong for female headed households, with an estimated 185,000 women moving from agriculture to business as their primary occupation as a result of the expansion of mobile money. The study, conducted by Tavneet Suri at MIT Sloan with Billy Jack from Georgetown's Department of Economics, appears in the current issue of Science Magazine. For the full article that was posted on Georgetown University's website, please click here.

Alan Krueger will deliver the 2017 Razin Economics Policy Lecture on April 24 at 4pm. Professor Krueger’s research has included: a study showing that minimum wage hikes can be associated with increased low-skill employment; predictions about who becomes a terrorist; proposals to create national “well-being” accounts to complement measured GDP; a demonstration that graduates of selective colleges (Georgetown?) do not earn higher incomes than similar graduates of less-selective colleges; evidence that computers have contributed to growing income inequality; evidence that economic growth does not necessarily degrade the environment; a paper about the music industry called “Rockonomics”; and much, much more.

While not at Princeton, Professor Krueger has served as Chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, Chief Economist at the U.S. Treasury during the financial crisis, and Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Labor. While at Princeton, he is the Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs.

Examples of Professor Krueger’s popular writing can be found at the New York Times “Economix” Blogs or the older “Economic Scene” columns.

The 2017 Razin Prize has been awarded to Ammar Farooq, Ph. D. candidate. 

Justin Pierce, a former PhD graduate student  published an article in the July American Economic Review.  His article is titled, “The Surprisingly Swift Decline of Manufacturing Employment” with Peter K. Schott.  (please read more)

Research by Professor Pedro Gete and graduate students Ammar Farooq and Franco Zecchetto is highlighted in David Wessel's blog at the Brookings Institution:

Martin Ravallion receives BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award – It is with great pride that the Economics Department announces that Martin Ravallion, the Edmond D.Villani Professor of Economics, has been awarded a BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for his research on global poverty.

Department Chair Frank Vella said "Martin is a remarkable scholar and his dedication to scholarship and research is an inspiration for all those who encounter him or his work. While his work reflects the academic goals of measuring the extent and understanding the causes of poverty, it is motivated by his greater personal commitment to help those who suffer the consequences of such living conditions. This award is further recognition of the importance and impact of Martin's work."

Georgetown University will expand its presence in East Africa to include research on mobile money and financial inclusion in Kenya and Uganda with a $3.5 million, two-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The project, created by the Georgetown University Initiative on Innovation, Development and Evaluation (gui2de) will bring together mobile operators, financial institutions, IT developers and academics to develop and assess the social and economic impact of mobile money innovations.

The initiative is jointly convened by the economics department and the McCourt School of Public Policy and co-directed by Georgetown faculty members Billy Jack and James Habyarimana.  (please read more)

We are pleased to announce that Francis Vella, the Edmond V Villani Professor of Economics, has been elected Fellow of the Econometric Society. (please read more)

Martin Ravallion, Edmond Villani Chair of Economics, Georgetown University, has written a new book  "The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement and Policy." Professor Ravallion’s main research interests over the last 30 years have concerned poverty and policies for fighting it. He has advised numerous governments and international agencies on this topic, and he has written extensively on this and other subjects in economics, including five books and 200 papers in scholarly journals and edited volumes. His new book will be published by Oxford University Press in January 2016. You can learn more about the book here:

George Akerlof Joins Department of Economics  We are delighted to announce that George Akerlof is now a member of the Georgetown University Economics Department in addition to his continuing role at the McCourt School of Public Policy, which he joined last year.  Frank Vella, Chair of the Department and Edmond V. Villani Professor, commented: “We are all thrilled to have George join the department. We are all great admirers of his path-breaking work, and many of us already consider him a friend. To have him as our colleague represents both a remarkable outcome and an extraordinary opportunity for the department and our students.” (please read more)

Professor Billy Jack, Georgetown College and Associate Professor Jame Habyarimana, McCourt School of Public Policy have received a $3 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  The grant will be used to expand a road safety intervention project in East Africa, where traffic accidents are a leading cause of death.  “We are extremely grateful to our partners at USAID for their continued support of our research,” said Habyarimana. “We hope this inexpensive and effective intervention has a continued significant impact on road safety in East Africa.”  And according to Billy Jack, "This grant will allow us to reach every public service bus passenger in Kenya. Working with our local partners and stakeholders, we will motivate passengers to speak up when their safety is compromised.” (please read more)

Professor Mark Huggett and Alejandro Badel (recent Phd graduate from the department of economics, Georgetown University) were featured in an article from the Texas Advance Computer Center.  The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin is one of the leading centers of computational excellence in the United States.  The article features the research of Huggett and Badel on taxing top earners using the Stampede supercomputer.  


Story highlights:

  • Peter Diamond, MIT and Emmanuel Saez, UC Berkely recently proposed raising the marginal tax rate on the top 1 percent of earners from 42.5% to 73%.
  • To take a deeper look at this issue, researchers Badel and Huggett developed their own model economy to assess the consequences of increasing the tax rates on top earners in the U.S.
  • Using Stampede through an XSEDE allocation, the researchers initially found that the optimal tax rate is actually much lower than proposed and that increasing tax rates would negatively impact potential top earners.
  • The research is informing conversations among economists and policymakers on the best way to tax the wealthiest in our society.

To read more please click here.