Department of Economics

The White House has released a report on the long-term benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that includes citations of two research contributions of Brown economicsts. Both work by Justine Hastings and work by Jesse Shapiro are cited in the report, which can be viewed here.

The Department of Economics joined the Watson Institute and Brown’s Population Studies and Training Center in sponsoring the Northeast Universities Development Consortium (NEUDC) conference on November 7 – 8. The meeting of scholars in the field of economic development, a regular event for over forty years, involved numerous Economics graduate students and faculty. 

An article in the New York Times cites work by Brown economist Anna Aizer forthcoming in the American Economic Review. The research shows that children whose mothers received welfare (cash transfers to low income families) had better long term outcomes: they stayed in school longer, earned more in adulthood and lived longer.

Professors Justine Hastings and Jesse Shapiro found that Americans use the windfall from falling gas prices to buy more expensive grades of gas, evidence of what behavioral economists call “mental accounting.” A new study by J.P. Morgan confirms their finding and gets attention in the N Y Times.

Anna Aizer will join Janet Currie of Princeton University as co-director of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)  program on children.

Economist Justine Hastings and co-authors partnered with the Chilean Federal Government to improve federal student loans in light of student protests over rising debt and rising default rates. 

A Wall Street Journal commentary on U.S. immigration policy quotes Brown’s Rachel Friedberg, whose research shows immigration does not generally harm the wages or job opportunities of native-born workers. Friedberg, known to thousands of Brown undergraduates for her teaching of the popular gateway course Principles of Economics, has done influential research on the economics of immigration. See WSJ piece here.

Kareen Rozen is joining Brown from Yale University, where she has been Associate Professor since 2013. Her specialization is in economic theory, with an emphasis on behavioral economics but spanning other approaches and topics as well. More recently, she has also been working in the field of experimental economics.

Lint Barrage is joining Brown  from the University of Maryland, where she had been an Assistant Professor after receiving her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2013. Her specialization is in environmental and public economics, with a research focus on the economics of climate change and the intersection of environmental and macroeconomic considerations in policy design. At Brown she looks forward to teaching a course on environmental economics and policy in the fall semester.

NPR's Morning Edition featured a discussion of recent research by Assistant Professor Daniel Björkegren. Studying the problem that banks face in developing countries, where many people have no formal credit history, Björkegren and his co-author found that information in cell phone records can be a good predictor of creditworthiness. Listen to the full story.

Professor Oded Galor will deliver the Berglas Lecture in Tel-Aviv University. Previous Berglas lectures have included Professor Bengt Holmstrom, Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics, MIT, Professor Jean Tirole, Toulouse School of Economics, Professor David Card, University of California Berkley, Professor Daniel Kahneman, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.

Professor of Economics Glenn Loury participated in a Congressional briefing on The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences, a recent report released by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Watch webcast. 

At Brown’s 247th Commencement, which takes place Sunday, May 24, Brown’s Economics Department will by marking the awarding of degrees to what is coincidentally the same number of undergraduate concentrators in Economics and its joint concentrations with Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. 185 will earn the AB in Economics, 46 will earn AB or BSc in Applied Math – Economics, 10 in Computer Science – Economics and 6 in Mathematics – Economics, for a grand total of exactly 247!

Six students who defended their Ph.D. dissertations in recent months will receive their Ph.D.’s from Brown at this year’s commencement, while a record number of students have accepted offers to enter the Economics graduate program in September 2015. Graduating students are launching their careers with positions at U.S. and foreign universities and in government and industry.

One can almost hear a whole generation of Brown Economics Ph.D. students cheering as the announcement is made that Angelica Vargas, the long-time Academic Programs Manager and unofficial den mother of every incoming graduate class in the program for almost fifteen years, was selected by the Graduate Student Council (representing Brown’s graduate student population across all departments) to receive this year’s Wilson-DeBlois Award.

In an op-ed piece in the Providence Journal, professors Neil Mehrotra and Matthew Turner argue that the proposed line will require large subsidies and is unlikely to stimulate much economic activity. Better to spend the money on snow removal, pothole repair, and subsidizing conventional buses.

Harvard’s Drew Fudenberg and University of Zurich’s Ernst Fehr will be featured speakers at a conference hosted by Brown’s Economics Department on May 15 – 16 of this year.

On May 2-3, the Economics Department will host the 3rd annual conference about the persistence of historical factors in comparative economic development. 

On Monday, April 27th, Daniel Trefler will present the Fredrik B. Garonzik '64 lecture, " The Rise of the One Per Cent: From the Rialto to Wall Street".

Glenn Loury is featured in the cover story of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis newsletter. 

Brown Economics in conjunction with Brown Applied Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science departments are pleased to be involved in "The Next 250 Years Symposium" to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Brown University. The theme of this symposium is the figure of John Von Nuemann.

Stelios Michalopoulos is a winner of a 2015 Excellence Award in Global Economic Affairs from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. The Excellence Awards are given to four scholars with the goal of building "a community of the brightest young researchers in the area of global economic affairs."

Daniel Mejia, who completed his Ph.D. at Brown in 2006, was awarded the 2015 Juan Luis Londono prize, which is awarded every other year for the best Colombian economist under the age of 40.  Mejia is a professor at Universidad de los Andes.

Announcing recent appointments and reappointments of Brown economics faculty to editorial boards.

On Tuesday, March 31st, Robert Stavins will present the Bernard I. Fain Lecture, “What Can an Economist Possibly Have to Say about Climate Change?”

This spring’s Economics in the Real World Day event will take place on March 2. There will be a talk and panel featuring Harvard’s Raj Chetty, a principal investigator of the joint Harvard-UC Berkeley Equality of Opportunity Project. The panel of discussants will include Brown economists John Friedman, Justine Hastings, and Glenn Loury. 

The Brown Economics Department is excited to announce the addition of three new faculty this semester. Emily Oster and Jesse Shapiro, previously of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, have been visitors of the Department for the past few months and join our regular faculty in January, 2015. John Friedman joins our faculty for the first time this same month, moving to Brown from Harvard.

The Brown Department of Economics welcomed four new faculty members at the beginning of the 2014 – 15 academic year.