2010 Futures Seminar

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April 21 (Thursday), 3:30-6:00 (Mason Hall, Homewood Campus)

Introductory Remarks: Joe Harrington (JHU)

Chair: Jon Faust (JHU)

Speaker: Markus Brunnermeier (Princeton)
Markus K. Brunnermeier is the Edwards S. Sanford Professor at Princeton University. He is a member of the Department of Economics and is affiliated with Princeton’s Bendheim Center for Finance. He was awarded his Ph.D. by the London School of Economics. Prof. Brunnermeier is a Sloan Research Fellow and the recipient of the Bernácer Prize granted for outstanding contributions in the fields of macroeconomics and finance. He recently received a Guggenheim Fellowship for studying the impact of financial frictions on the macroeconomy.

Chair: Elena Krasnokutskaya (JHU)

Speaker: Jonathan Levin (Stanford)
Jonathan Levin is Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T. and an M.Phil. in Economics from Oxford. He has made important contributions in the design of market institutions and the economics of contracting and organizations. In recent years he has worked on subprime lending, health insurance, and the economics of internet markets. Prof. Levin is the 2011 recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal which is given to the best American economist under the age of 40. He is an elected Fellow of the Econometric Society and has been a Hoover National Fellow, a Sloan Research Fellow, and a National Science Foundation Career Award recipient.

Chair: Hülya Eraslan (JHU)

Speaker: Glenn Ellison (MIT)
Glenn Ellison is the Gregory K. Palm Professor of Economics at M.I.T. where he received his Ph.D. His current research interests include theoretical and empirical topics in game theory and industrial organization; in particular, learning, large population and spatial models, e-commerce, mutual funds, pharmaceuticals, network externalities, industry agglomeration, and academic publishing. Prof. Ellison has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences Fellowship and Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society.

Chair: Robert Moffitt (JHU)

Speaker: Kenneth Wolpin (Penn)
Kenneth Wolpin is the Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania with his appointment in the Department of Economics. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. He has served as Chair of the Department of Economics at Penn, has served on the editorial boards of several economics journals, and has also been active in household survey collection and administration, having directed the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and served on the advisory committees of several major national surveys.

April 22 (Friday), 9:00-12:30 (Charles Common – Salon C, Homewood Campus) 

9-10, Session I: Macroeconomics in the Shadow of the Financial Crisis

Speaker: Markus Brunnermeier (Princeton), Olivier Jeanne (JHU Economics)
Leading macroeconomic models of advanced economies largely ignore the financial system, assuming that payments and short-term and long-term credit all flow smoothly with the needs of the economy. The recent financial crisis dramatically illustrates that this need not be the case. The crisis both raises and provides important evidence regarding many questions: What is the source of crises? Do asset-price bubbles play a role? How do disruptions in the financial system serve to propagate crises? How could macro and regulatory policy be changed to prevent financial crises or dampen their effects? More generally, what does the pronounced upheaval in many typically smooth real variables teach us about underlying dynamic mechanisms? Finally, can we and should we integrate crisis mechanisms into standard models or should we continue to treat fluctuations near the steady-state as being different from crises?

10:00 – 11:00, Session II: Applied Microeconomic Policy Evaluation

Speaker: Kenneth Wolpin (Penn), Robert Moffitt (JHU Economics), Andrew Cherlin (JHU Sociology)
Direct evaluation of the effects of government policies is a major area of research in many subfields in economics. This is particularly the case in applied microeconomics, including labor economics, public economics, and health economics, where policy evaluation constitutes a significant and growing fraction of work. There are many issues that arise in applied micro policy evaluation including the relative strengths of reduced form and structural work, experimental and nonexperimental evaluation, and internal versus external validity. These and other issues of relevance to the economic evaluation of public policies will be explored.

11:15 – 12:30, Session III: Developing Connections between Theory, Empirics, and Practice

Speaker: Glenn Ellison (MIT), Jonathan Levin (Stanford), Edi Karni (JHU Economics)
Empirical analysis can measure what has happened in the past but to promote understanding it is incomplete without an economic model through which the data is interpreted. More generally, well-founded empirical analysis needs a basis in theory, whether it is to produce the hypotheses to be tested, suggest how to design an experiment to test a hypothesis, or provide a theoretical structure to be estimated. In this session, recent advances and possible future lines of inquiry will be covered that connect theory with empirical analysis and practice including structural estimation in industrial organization, new modeling directions such as market design and behavioral economics, and alternative methods for testing theories such as neuroeconomics and experimental economics.