Category: Event

Economics Colloquium in STEITZ 102 and Econ Tea, October 3 at 4:30

UPDATE: The talk is in Steitz 102.

The first Economics Colloquium of the year is our own Professor Marty Finkler talking about some of his recent work on the U.S. employment situation.     He will give a 30-40 minute talk, after which we will adjourn for Econ Tea in Briggs 217 at 5:15.

Please join us for Professor Finkler’s talk, and to meet our visiting faculty, Satis Devkota and M. Taylor Rhodes.

The abstract is below:

________________________________________________

Employment and Monetary Policy: The Role of Relative Price Distortions

Merton D. Finkler
Professor of Economics
Lawrence University

The economic recovery from the recession of December 2007 to June 2009 featured real GDP returning to its pre-recession level while employment continues to lag behind to its pre-recession level.  One possible reason is that employment patterns contain both cyclical and structural components.  In this paper, changes in the price of labor, unit labor costs, and the cost of equipment and software are studied as key structural components. Separate regressions with changes in employment as the dependent variable are performed for goods producing, service producing, and manufacturing sectors.  In each case, explanatory power is increased with the inclusion of a representation of the cost of labor; thus, macroeconomic policy that seeks to stimulate employment growth should consider the effects of the chosen policy on the relative cost of labor and not just on aggregate demand.

Econ Dept Picnic, Friday at 4 p.m., Hiett Patio

The Department Picnic is an annual ritual at Lawrence, but one where we in the Economics Department haven’t quite mastered.  This is partly because many of the faculty are relatively new, and partly because we just aren’t that into rituals.

That said, we will be communing as a Department this Friday, May 31, from 4:00 to 5:30ish on and around the Hiett first floor patio (Location subject to change).

If you plan to attend, please indicate your intention here

Your affirmation on the Doodle poll will allow us to procure appropriate levels of pizza and SuperChill® (the empirically validated cola choice of the Economics Department), and will also help us to ration in the event that supplies run short.

We  look forward to seeing you there.

Economics Colloquium, Tuesday at 4:30

On the Desirability of Unemployment Accounts

Christian Zimmerman

Assistant Vice President

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Unemployment insurance programs are often criticized because they encourage various forms of shirking: the unemployed may not try hard enough to look for a new job or may turn down reasonable job offers. Also, the taxes that finance such programs are thought to decrease the labor supply.  This talk will look at an alternative way of insuring against unemployment events through personalized unemployment accounts. We will discuss their advantages but also warn against potential pitfalls. The discussion will be backed up by simulations performed on the labor markets of Oregon, Austria and France.

Tuesday May 14

Steitz Hall 102

4:30 p.m.

TEDx Lawrence

Professor Ádám Galambos spearheaded bringing a TEDx event to the Lawrence University campus this Friday, and I have been along for the ride.   The theme is Reimagining the Liberal Education, and we have some impressive people from around the country coming in to re-imagine things with us.  The university’s TEDx Lawrence site will contain the live web feed.  The Appleton Post Crescent posted a story Wednesday, and here’s what Ádám had to say:

Liberal education has a great deal to contribute to society. It’s up to us to figure out how we’re going to be a part of creating our future.

I hope this will result not just in intellectual exchange, although that’s really important, but also action, taking those new ideas to change in the world.

Professor Scott Corry will be featured on a Post-Crescent webcast tomorrow as well! (Link here)

Incoming Randolph College President, Bradley W. Bateman, will be on hand talk about the role of advising at liberal arts colleges.   This is a timely piece given that advising at large universities came under fire earlier this week.  Also, coincidentally enough, President Bateman was my undergraduate advisor once upon a time, though I don’t recall him ever suggesting that I should go to graduate school and become a professor (?).

One of the marquee speakers is Jeff Selingo of the Chronicle of Higher Education and author of the about-to-be-released College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What it Means for Students.  That talk is set for 9:35 a.m. Friday.  We are also very excited to have Andy Chan from Wake Forest coming in to talk about links between education and career development.  And, one of the co-founders of Coursera, Daphne Koller from Stanford, will join us via video feed to tell us about the MOOCs.

Wow!

LU has a strong presence as well, with President Beck and Dean Pertl sharing their visions of the future. The tireless Bob Perille (’80), founder and champion of of the Lawrence Scholars programs, will be on hand to talk about (you guessed it) the Lawrence Scholars programs. Rick Davis (’90) from George Mason will invoke the role of the liberal arts in fomenting collaboration and Jennifer Herek (’90) will be on hand to talk about spreading the liberal arts to technical education in Europe.

In addition, Jenny Kehl from UW-Milwaukee will be on hand to talk about how central collaboration and interdisciplinary work will be to tackling some of our toughest environmental issues.

All TEDx events showcase videos from TED events, and as part of that we will be watching the Erik Brynjolfsson video that Professor Finkler discussed in a previous post.

The full schedule is here. 

It should be a good one.  Professor Brandenberger and I were co-organizers, and fortunately John handled some of the more delicate interpersonal matters.  We’re interested in seeing how this goes over.  If you have a few minutes, tune in to the webcast and let us know what you think.  Here is that link.  

  

 

Colorado College Economics

Prof. Dan Johnson sans Safari Hat

We’ve received late notice that the Colorado College is hosting its 2nd Annual Research Symposium, and we are invited.

Can’t get out to CC in an expeditious fashion?  Well, come join me in Briggs 223 where I will stream a few of the presentations LIVE.    There are a couple of presentations on innovation, capped off with the big kahuna himself, Dan Johnson, talking about some sort of esoteric bidding system.

All times are CDT.

  • 3:40 p.m. Bryce Daniels.  “Drilling for innovation:  examining induced innovation in the oil and gas industry.”
  • 4:00 p.m.  Rafael A. Arenas.  “The value of social networks on innovation.”
  • 4:20 p.m. Dan Johnson.  “Bidding for Classes: Course Allocation using the Colorado College Auction System”

Economics Colloquium

Mark Montgomery and Irene “Tinker” Powell will be on campus this week to deliver the next Economics Colloquium address, “Baby Markets: Thinking the Unthinkable in International Adoption.” The talk is Thursday at 4:30 in Steitz 102.  This is quite a topic, where the rules of the game have pretty significant distributional consequences, and it will be interesting to see how this sorts out.

Montgomery and Powell are professors at Grinnell College, and are well known for lighter work, including “Should Economists Marry Economists?” and their economics murder mystery, Theoretically Dead.*

 

Baby Markets: Thinking the Unthinkable in International Adoption

Mark Montgomery and Irene Powell

Grinnell College

Adoption laws, national and international, outlaw payments to families for relinquishing their children. This does not stop “baby selling,” but rather moves it into the hands of criminals. History suggests that restricting mutually beneficial exchanges can make worse the problems it is supposed to solve. Is it time to think the unthinkable in international adoption?

The talk examines how current adoption laws create incentives for fraud and other forms of abuse, identifies “moral hazards” abuse created by the legal structure of adoption, and explores how relaxing restrictions on compensating birth mothers would change incentives and behavior of birth parents, adoptive parents and adoption facilitators.

 

 

*As far as I know, they are both economics professors, though the Publisher’s blurb says one is a philosophy professor.  I suppose teaching labor economics long enough can turn anyone somewhat philosophical.

Economics Open House and Tea, Monday at 4:30

The now annual Economics Open House for prospective majors is coming Monday, April 8, at 4:30 in Briggs 217.  The economics faculty will be on hand to discuss the once and future of the economics department, answer questions, and just generally provide a pleasant ambiance.

We encourage current majors and minors to stop by and feast both on the complementary snacks and the delicious conversations that will undoubtedly spontaneously emerge.  Tell your friends and see you there. 

Mark (and Tinker) Your Calendars

Our next Economics Colloquium is April 18 and will feature Mark Montgomery and Irene “Tinker” Powell, Professors of Economics at Grinnell College.   We had originally scheduled this one for May 30, but we just can’t wait.

 

Baby Markets: Thinking the Unthinkable in International Adoption

Mark Montgomery and Irene Powell

Grinnell College 

Adoption laws, national and international, outlaw payments to families for relinquishing their children. This does not stop “baby selling,” but rather moves it into the hands of criminals. History suggests that restricting mutually beneficial exchanges can make worse the problems it is supposed to solve. Is it time to think the unthinkable in international adoption?

The talk examines how current adoption laws create incentives for fraud and other forms of abuse, identifies “moral hazards” abuse created by the legal structure of adoption, and explores how relaxing restrictions on compensating birth mothers would change incentives and behavior of birth parents, adoptive parents and adoption facilitators.

 

Rainy Days and Mondays and 8 a.m. Finals

The big events seem to be steady rain and the onset of finals, so my guess is that you are busy being busy, doing things like studying and writing papers. Or, possibly even taking a break and surfing the internet.  Why else would you be reading this? 

How much is that internet worth to you, anyway?  Probably a lot.  

The Economist surveys the evidence.

See you in the Spring.