GEORGETOWN ECONOMICS IN THE NEWS
January 29, 2018
Professor Laurent Bouton named Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor
Laurent Bouton has been named a Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor by Georgetown University. The Distinguished Associate Professorship is awarded annually to a select group of faculty members who are "pushing the envelope of knowledge in their field and transmitting their passion for such work to their students."
Laurent received his PhD from the European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2009. He then took a position as Assistant Professor at Boston University. Prof. Bouton joined the faculty at Georgetown in 2013.
In addition to his appointments at BU and Georgetown, Prof. Bouton has been a visiting faculty member at MIT and Harvard, a FNRS Research Associate at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and a Research Affiliate of the Centre for Economic Policy Research. Prof. Bouton is also a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Prof. Bouton’s work focuses primarily on incentives faced by voters under various electoral systems. Much of his work concerns the information aggregation properties of electoral systems; i.e., the way in which voters use their information and how their use of information determines electoral outcomes. Particular emphasis is put on elections in which there are more than two alternatives (candidates, parties or policies) on the ballot.
Political economists have long recognized the critical importance of information aggregation in an age of increasingly decentralized and fragmented media coverage of the political process. Individual voters may bring a diffuse set of beliefs to the voting booth. These beliefs are shaped by ideology and are modified by the receipt of new information. The question that Prof. Bouton addresses is whether, given the fragmentation of information sources, modern elections can produce the “right” outcome when voters would agree on the outcome in principle if they had the objectively correct data.
September 13, 2017
GCER Fellow Toshihiko Mukoyama receives the 2018 Nakahara Prize
We are pleased to announce that one of our own, GCER Fellow Toshihiko Mukoyama, has been awarded the prestigious Nakahara Prize for 2018. The Nakahara prize is awarded annually by the Japanese Economic Association to the best Japanese economist under the age of 45.
Professor Mukoyama received the prize for his research on aggregate risks in labor markets. Incorporating frictions in both labor and asset markets, his model is able to disentangle labor market reactions in response to policy changes from individuals’ incentives to self-insure. The innovative methods developed by Professor Mukoyama can be used to evaluate more effectively the welfare consequences of unemployment insurance and other labor market policies.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakahara_Prize for more information about the Nakahara Prize and the list of past recipients.
August 22, 2017
Tim Besley, London School of Economics Joins GCER Distinguished Visitor Series
The Georgetown Center for Economic Research is pleased to announce that Tim Besley of the London School of Economics (LSE) will visit the Economics Department as one of this year's GCER Distinguished Visitors. Timothy Besley is School Professor of Economics and Political Science and the W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics at the LSE. From September 2006 to August 2009, he served as an external member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee. Since 2015, he served as a member of the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission. He is also the Gluskin Granovsky Fellow in the Institutions, Organizations and Growth Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).
Professor Besley was educated at Oxford University where he became a prize fellow of All Souls College. He subsequently taught at Princeton before being appointed Professor at the London School of Economics in 1995. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the British Academy, and the European Economic Association. He is also a foreign honorary member of the American Economic Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the current President of the International Economic Association and served as the President of the European Economic Association in 2010. In 2018, he will serve as the President of the Econometric Society. His research is focused in the areas of Development Economics, Public Economics, and Political Economy.
Professor Besley will visit the Department of Economics at Georgetown University from November 6 - 10, 2017.
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, D.C. 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.
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: https://blogs.commons.georgetown.edu/economicsofpoverty/
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.
- 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.