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Rob Townsend to Lead Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory
Rob Townsend to Lead Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory
On January 1, Robert M. Townsend, the Elizabeth & James Killian Professor of Economics, began his tenure as President of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET). Founded in 1990 and dedicated to advancing knowledge in theoretical economics, SAET publishes the journals Economic Theory and Economic Theory Bulletin, names Economic Theory Fellows, and bestows the Aliprantis Prize for Excellence to a young researcher. SAET also facilitates communication among researchers in economics, mathematics, game theory, and other fields that have the potential to inform and shape economic theory.
Featured Research: Better wisdom from crowds
Featured Research: Better wisdom from crowds
The notion that the average judgment of a large group is more accurate than that of any individual, including experts, is widely accepted and influential. This "wisdom of the crowd" principle, however, has serious limitations, as it is biased against the latest knowledge that is not widely shared. A new study, co-authored by joint Economics-Sloan Professor, Drazen Prelec, proposes an alternative principle - the "surprisingly popular" principle - that requires people to answer a question and also predict how others will answer it. By selecting the answer that is more popular than people predict, the "surprisingly popular" algorithm outperforms the wisdom of crowds.
Bengt Holmstrom awarded 2016 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
Bengt Holmstrom awarded 2016 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
Bengt Holmstrom, the Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics, has been awarded the 2016 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. He shares this honor with Oliver Hart of Harvard, for their deeply influential work on contract theory, including the optimal design of contracts between employers and employees. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in granting the award, notes that contracts "are essential to the functioning of modern societies," and states that the work of the two economists had been "invaluable in helping us understand real-life contracts and institutions, as well as the potential pitfalls when designing new contracts."
John Van Reenen awarded OBE for services to Economics and Public Policy
John Van Reenen awarded OBE for services to Economics and Public Policy
John Van Reenen, Professor in MIT Department of Economics and Sloan was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in Queen Elizabeth II's New Year's Honors for services to Economics and Public Policy Making. The Order of the British Empire is an honor conferred by the Queen to those who have made significant achievements in public life and committed themselves to serving and helping the United Kingdom.
Esther Duflo to deliver the Richard T. Ely Lecture at 2017 AEA Annual Meeting
Esther Duflo to deliver the Richard T. Ely Lecture at 2017 AEA Annual Meeting
Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, Esther Duflo, has been chosen to deliver the Richard T. Ely lecture at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Economic Association. The title of her talk will be "The Economist as Plumber: Large Scale Experiments to Inform the Details of Policy Making." Richard T. Ely was an American economist who advocated for more government intervention to reform the perceived social injustices of capitalism.
MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) Announced
MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) Announced
J-PAL and MIT's Department of Economics has announced an innovative online MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP), as well as a unique blended MIT Master's program in DEDP, which combines online learning with one semester in residence at MIT. The DEDP MicroMasters program equips learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to address challenges that the poor face in both developing and developed countries. Through a series of five online courses taught by J-PAL affiliated professors and MIT professors of economics, learners will gain a strong foundation in microeconomics, development economics, probability and statistics, and engage with cutting-edge research in the field. The DEDP MicroMasters is also unique in its focus on the practicalities of running randomized evaluations to assess the effectiveness of social programs and its emphasis on hands-on skills in data analysis. While the MITx DEDP MicroMasters is open to all learners, the highly selective MIT blended Master's program will consider only students who have earned-and excelled in-the MicroMasters by successfully completing all courses and corresponding in-person exams. If accepted, students will earn MIT credit for the MicroMasters courses and will be able to pursue an accelerated on-campus Master's degree at MIT. The DEPD MicroMasters is now open for enrollment for courses beginning in February 2017. (Photo credit: Francisca de Irruarrizaga)
Alberto Abadie elected Fellow of the Econometric Society
Alberto Abadie elected Fellow of the Econometric Society
Professor Alberto Abadie, along with colleagues Jon Gruber and Parag Pathak, is one of the 16 new Fellows of the Econometric Society elected in 2016.
Jonathan Gruber elected Fellow of the Econometric Society
Jonathan Gruber elected Fellow of the Econometric Society
Ford Professor Jonathan Gruber, along with colleagues Alberto Abadie and Parag Pathak, is one of the 16 new Fellows of the Econometric Society elected in 2016.
Parag Pathak elected Fellow of the Econometric Society
Parag Pathak elected Fellow of the Econometric Society
Jane Berkowitz Carlton and Dennis William Carlton Professor Parag Pathak, along with colleagues Alberto Abadie and Jon Gruber, is one of the 16 new Fellows of the Econometric Society elected in 2016.
Featured Research: Decoding the medical cost mystery
Featured Research: Decoding the medical cost mystery
A unique study co-authored by Amy Finkelstein, the John and Jennie S. MacDonald Professor of Economics, and Heidi Williams, the Class of 1957 Career Development Associate Professor of Economics, provides a new answer to the medical cost mystery: By scrutinizing millions of Medicare patients who have moved from one place to another, the researchers have found that patients and providers account for virtually equal shares of the differences in regional spending. Specifically, the study finds that nearly 50 percent of the spending differences across geographic areas stems from the characteristics of patients, meaning both their basic health and their varying preferences concerning the intensiveness of medical care. The rest of the spending differences derive from place-specific factors, potentially due to disparities in provider practices and incentives. The finding could help analysts and policymakers better understand the components of medical costs, and could add nuance to the debate about possible inefficiencies in health care spending.
Featured Research: Making a splash in health care economics
Featured Research: Making a splash in health care economics
Class of 1957 Career Development Associate Professor of Economics, Heidi Williams, builds all-new data sets to answer questions about innovation and biomedical research. Do gene patents restrict or enhance medical advances? What is the effect of patent law on cancer research? To what extent does the use of medical technology drive health care cost growth?
Featured Research: Provider, improve thyself
Featured Research: Provider, improve thyself
In the developing world, a large portion of health care providers have no formal medical training. Now a new study of rural India, co-authored by Abhijit Banerjee, the Ford International Professor of Economics, shows that modest levels of medical training can improve the quality of health care furnished by those informal providers. More specifically, the study, in the form of a novel field experiment conducted in the state of West Bengal, India, shows that informal care providers are more likely to handle cases correctly and compile basic checklists of patient information after undergoing about 150 hours of training over a period of months.
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  • FEB 21
    Microeconomic Applications
    Ban the Box, Criminal Records, and Statistical Discrimination: A Field Experiment
    Amanda Agan (Rutgers University)  

  • FEB 22
    Development Economics Seminar
    Access to Migration for Rural Households
    Shing-Yi Wang (Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)  

  • FEB 22
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    The Volcker Rule and Market-making in Times of Stress
    Maureen O'Hara (Cornell)  

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    Takuo Sugaya (Stanford)  

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