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Past Distinguished Lectures

Submitted by srtariqu on Mon, 03/31/2014 - 9:51am

Undergraduate Econometrics Instruction: Through Our Classes, Darkly

08 Mar 2019

Dr. Angrist's research focuses on Angrist's research interests include the economics of education and school reform; social programs and the labor market; the effects of immigration, labor market regulation and institutions; and econometric methods for program and policy evaluation.

Joshua Angrist is the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, a director of MIT's School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative,  and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.He received an honorary doctorate from the University of St Gallen (Switzerland) in 2007 and is the author (with Steve Pischke) of Mostly Harmless Economics: An Empiricist's Companion and Mastering 'Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect, both published by Princeton University Press. Angrist and Pischke hope to bring undergraduate econometrics instruction out of the Stones Age.

View his lecture here.

Download his slides here.

Is Multilateralism Dead?: Trade in the Era of Trump

09 Mar 2018

Dr. Robert Staiger, Dartmouth College

Dr. Staiger’s research focuses on international trade policy rules and institutions, with particular emphasis on the economics of the GATT/WTO. His research has been published in numerous academic journals, and in a book, The Economics of the World Trading System, co-authored with Kyle Bagwell (2002, MIT Press). Staiger recently served as Editor, with Kyle Bagwell, of The Handbook of Commercial Policy (2016, Elsevier/North Holland).

Robert W. Staiger is the Roth Family Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Economics, at Dartmouth College. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Staiger received his A.B. from Williams College in 1980 and his Ph.D. from Michigan in 1985. He has taught at numerous institutions, such as Assistant Professor of Economics at Stanford, as well as the University of Wisconsin and Dartmouth College. He was the editor for The Journal of International Economics as well as part of the selection panel for the WTO's Essay Award for Young Economists.

View his lecture here.

Download his slides here.

The Economics of Immigration

10 Mar 2017

Dr. David Card, UC Berkeley

Dr. Card has made fundamental contributions to research on immigration, education, job training, the minimum wage, and inequality. On immigration, Card's research has shown that the economic impact of new immigrants is minimal. Card has done several case studies on the rapid assimilation of immigrant groups in the US and Canada, finding that they have little or no impact on wages. In an interview with the New York Times Card said, “I honestly think the economic arguments [against immigration] are second order. They are almost irrelevant.” This does not imply, however, that Card believes immigration should be increased, merely that immigrants do not pose a threat to the labor market.

David Card is the Class of 1950 Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley and Director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research interests include immigration, wages, education, and health insurance. He has published over 90 journal articles and book chapters. In 1995 he received the American Economic Association's John Bates Clark Prize, which is awarded every other year to the economist under 40 whose work is judged to have made the most significant contribution to the field. He was a co-recipient of the IZA Labor Economics Award in 2006, and was awarded the Frisch Medal by the Econometric Society in 2007.

View his lecture here.

The Evolution of Culture and Institutions: Evidence from the Kuba Kingdom

04 Mar 2016

Dr. Nathan Nunn, Harvard University

Using variation in historical state centralization, Dr. Nunn uses his paper studying the Kuba Kingdom to examine the long-term impact of institutions on cultural norms. Beginning with a short history on the Kuba Kingdom, establishing in Central Africa in the early 17th century by King Shayaam, Dr. Nunn goes into detail on its developed state institutions in comparison to other independent villages and chieftaincies in the region. As the effectiveness of centralized formal institutions increases, there is a clear association with weaker norms of rule following and a greater propensity to cheat for material gain.

Nathan Nunn is is Frederic E. Abbe Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Professor Nunn was born in Canada, where he received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 2005. Professor Nunn’s primary research interests are in economic history, economic development, cultural economics, political economy and international trade. He is an NBER Faculty Research Fellow, a Research Fellow at BREAD, and a Faculty Associate at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA). He is currently a co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics.

View his lecture here.

Download his paper here.

Using Field Experiments to Make the World a Better Place

06 Mar 2015

Dr. John A. List, University of Chicago

Life is a lab. That is the view of John List, this year’s distinguished lecturer. In his lecture, List showcases some of his recent field experiments that shed insights on why women earn less money than men, why inner city schools continue to fail, why people discriminate, and how we can use field experiments to make the world a better place.  His experiences range from conducting large-scale governmental field experiments in the UK and the US to experiments on Craigslist that are essentially free.

John A. List received his PhD from the University of Wyoming and is currently the Homer J. Livingston Professor of Economics and the Chairman of the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. List has been at the forefront of environmental economics and has served as senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers for Environmental and Resource Economics. He is best known as one of the world’s leading experts on experimental economics. List has pioneered work using field experiments in which he developed scientific methods for testing economic theory directly in the marketplace.  Partnering with co-author Uri Gneezy, List recently wrote international best seller, The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life (2013, Harper Collins).

View his lecture here.

Confronting Climate Change: Economics, Fairness, And Political Feasibility

14 Mar 2014

Dr. Lawrence H. Goulder, Stanford University

How can climate change policies be designed to be not only environmentally effective but also cost-effective and fair? And how can they be made more acceptable politically? Lawrence Goulder's talk will explore how these different and often competing goals can be approached. While acknowledging that no perfect approach exists, he will suggest some potentially promising directions, drawing from academic research and recent climate-policy experience at the national and international levels. In considering these issues he will explore the potential roles for carbon taxes, cap and trade, performance standards, and direct technology promotion.

Lawrence H. Goulder is the Shuzo Nishihara Professor in Environmental and Resource Economics at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Center for Environmental and Energy Policy Analysis. He is also the Kennedy-Grossman Fellow in Human Biology at Stanford, a Senior Fellow at Stanford's Institute for Economic Policy Research, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a University Fellow of Resources for the Future. Goulder's research covers a range of environmental issues, including green tax reform, the design of cap-and-trade systems, climate change policy, and comprehensive wealth measurement ("green" accounting). He has served as co-editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management and on several advisory committees to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board and the California Air Resources Board. 

View his lecture here.

The slides of this lecture can be downloaded here.

Causes And Consequences Of Early Life Health

21 Mar 2013

Dr. Janet M. Currie, Princeton University

Professor Currie’s research focuses on the health and well-being of children. She has written about early intervention programs, programs to expand health insurance and improve health care, public housing, and food and nutrition programs. Much of this research is summarized in The Invisible Safety Net: Protecting the Nation’s Poor Children and Families (2006, Princeton University Press). Her current research focuses on socioeconomic differences in child health, and on environmental threats to children’s health from sources such as toxic pollutants.

Janet Currie is the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the Director of Princeton’s Center for Health and Well Being. She also directs the Program on Families and Children at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Since receiving her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1988, she has taught at University of California, MIT, and Columbia University.

Monetary Policy Strategy: Lessons From The Crisis

15 Mar 2012

Dr. Frederic S. Mishkin, Columbia University

This lecture examines what we have learned and how we should change our thinking about monetary policy strategy in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Beginning with a discussion of where the science of monetary policy was before the crisis and how central banks viewed monetary policy strategy, Dr. Mishkin examines how the crisis has changed the thinking of both macro/monetary economists and central bankers. Finally, he looks at how much of the science of monetary policy needs to be altered and draws implications for monetary policy strategy.

Frederic S. Mishkin is the Alfred Lerner Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions at the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, co-director of the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum, and a member of the Squam Lake Working Group on Financial Reform. Since receiving his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976, he has taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Princeton University, and Columbia.

The slides of this lecture can be downloaded here.

Information, Beliefs, And Common Learning

18 Mar 2011

Dr. Larry Samuelson, Yale University

Information is central to our economy - a relationship enshrined in the oft-heard phrase “information economy.” However, an effectively functioning economy requires not just information, but common information. This talk will examine the difference between information and beliefs about information, and common information or common beliefs. We will see that the coordinated activity that provides the foundation for a healthy economy requires the full strength of common information, while any shortfall can be crippling.

Lawrence (Larry) Samuelson is the A. Douglas Melamed Professor of Economics at Yale University. He is currently co-editor of the American Economic Review and former co-editor of Econometrica. Larry is an economic theorist who has written on an incredibly broad range of topics from the theory of multinationals, through contributions to growth theory to—perhaps most importantly—information economics and game theory.

Policy Making In The Global Financial Crisis

25 Mar 2010

Dr. Tim Besley, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

The financial crisis of 2007–2010 has been called the worst crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It contributed to the failure of key businesses, declines in consumer wealth estimated in the trillions of U.S. dollars, substantial financial commitments incurred by governments, and a significant decline in economic activity. Governments and central banks responded with unprecedented fiscal stimulus, monetary policy expansion, and institutional bailouts.

Tim Besley is the Kuwait Professor of Economics and Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). From September 2006 to August 2009, Professor Besley was an external member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee. In this lecture he talked about his experiences as a policy maker during this turbulent time, what he believes we can take away from the global meltdown, and how governments and central banks responded to it.

The slides of this lecture can be downloaded here.

Trading Tasks: Globalization In The Information Age

13 Mar 2009

Dr. Gene M. Grossman, Princeton University

It is difficult to overestimate the impact of Professor Grossman’s work on our understanding of the global economy.  Professor Grossman will discuss globalization in the information age. Most international trade is not in goods, but instead in intermediates, components, or pieces of the production chain that we may call “tasks.” While many would fear the idea of competing with India or China in a global marketplace for tasks, low skilled workers may instead gain from this new form of trade as it brings new productivity gains and can alter how international trade affects the distribution of income both within and across countries.  How do international trade and the globalization of tasks affect the incomes of workers?

Gene M. Grossman is the Jacob Viner Professor of International Economics at Princeton University, Chair of Princeton’s Economics Department, and the Director of the International Economics Section.  He received his B.A. in Economics from Yale University in 1976 and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980.  Professor Grossman joined the faculty of Princeton University in 1980 and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Economics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

The slides of this lecture can be downloaded here.

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