Past Events

Category: Past Events

First Economics TeaBA of the New Term

Welcome back to campus.   With the new term comes an all new and improved Economics TeaBA.   This term promises to offer more beverages, more insight, more excitement than all of the prior terms of economics TeaBA combined.

For those of you who are new to this, the economics faculty and students began meeting Mondays for cookies and discussion last term.  The faculty turnout has been outstanding, including all of the regular faculty and emeritus professor Corry Azzi, and we have had occasional visitors from mathematics and other disciplines.   Generally, it is a time for informal discussion, but we will occasionally have a formal presentation or another matter to discuss.  It certainly lets you know where you can find at least one of us if you need some help.

Things (like the water and coffee) get heated up every Monday at 4:15 in Briggs 217.

See you there.

Economics Tea, Today at 4

Today marks the last regular season Economics TeaBA before the start of our playoffs — the finals’ week TBA.   We will discuss what happened at the investment summit (including the performance of the triumphant winning team of Molly Ingram, Rana Marks, and two people who are not in my Econ 300 class), and find out if there are any takeaway messages.

We can also tell you about courses for next term and for next year, who will be on leave, the I&E reading group, what it means to be an entrepreneur, and ideas for improving the quality of the chocolate chip cookies (pay more?).

See you in the Fishbowl around 4.

Alternative Investments Summit

Join us this Saturday, 3:30, the Hurvis room, to learn about private equity and other kinds of alternative investments. The session will be led by Bob Perille ’80, Managing Director at Shamrock Capital, the private equity firm started by Roy Disney, Walt Disney’s nephew. Alan Allweiss ’77, Managing Director at LBC Credit Partners, Dan Howell ’74, Senior Managing Director, Mesirow Financial, and Bryan Torcivia ’81, mergers and acquisitions consultant (BAT Consulting) will join Mr. Perille in explaining alternative investments and what’s wrong with hedge funds.

Mr. Perille will bring offering memoranda (an offering memorandum is a document explaining the details of an investment to potential investors), and student teams will have to decide whether to buy the firm or not, and for how much.

Last year there was a substantial prize!

Sign up in the career center or at

Zornow wins Lawrence Economics evolutionary game tournament

Many of us just returned from Björklunden, where we spent the weekend talking about game theory, outsourcing at Lawrence and elsewhere, and the economies of Monterrey, Bangalore, Seattle, and Johannesburg. And we enjoyed late (?) winter in Door county, as well as Georgi’s guitar playing and Sunghun’s piano music.

We also held the first Lawrence Economics evolutionary game tournament. This competition follows in the tradition started by Robert Axelrod, who organized a computer tournament in the 1970’s to see what kind of behavior will be most successful in an evolutionary game. Participants entered strategies (described as algorithms), and each such entry became an agent in Axelrod’s world. These agents met randomly and played the prisoners’ dilemma game. Our competition also featured random encounters and the prisoners’ dilemma game.

Though many were betting on strategies such as “sneaky” and “defector,” in the end Oliver Zornow’s “foolfor7” took the $25 prize, to be awarded at Monday’s Econ TeaBA. “Foolfor7” started alone but reproduced faster than any other strategy, and avoided being exploited with its trademark “fool me 7 times, shame on you, fool me 8 times, shame on me” approach to life in a squareful of pixels. We used the fun, convenient and easy to learn Netlogo software to run the simulation. If you’d like to play with the parameters and check out how the various strategies would fare in different populations, download the free netlogo software and open this Netlogo file (download the zip file and double click on it to unpack it).

Free and fun agent based model simulator

Checking Your Financial Plumbing

At the recent Lawrence Scholars in Business banking summit, alumnus Rob Bearman suggested that a young person interested in a career in banking would do well to learn all s/he could about the recent financial crisis.   He suggested Andrew Sorkin’s Too Big to Fail as a good start.   Another place for a more academic flavor is the recent Journal of Economic Perspectives Symposium on Financial Plumbing.

The list looks like a good place to start an independent study project.  I can’t speak for the quality of the articles, except to say that the JEP authors are generally recognized area experts, and the pieces tend to be very readable and heavily documented.


The Cartoon Introduction to Economics

Well, the future of pedagogy has arrived in the form of The Cartoon Introduction to Economics. If you’ve ever wondered what economics would be like if someone with a sense of humor was teaching you, this might be the book for you. I have a copy if you are interested in coming by and taking a look at it.

Professor Bauman will be on campus April 26 to promote his book and maybe to help us to understand economics a little better.

Here’s a bit of his stand-up act. I find it laugh-out-loud funny in parts, but worry that he’s right about the Snickers bar.

Careers in Advertising, Marketing and Branding

Marketing America’s first carbon neutral beer; Creating a winning Superbowl ad; Apple: Shattering expectations, exploding orthodoxies, making nice; Branding the tallest building in the world; Creating a highly profitable, award-winning, new restaurant which helps to change the way people eat … for the better. Does any of this sound interesting to you? See some great, multimedia presentations on these topics from Lawrentians who are at the top of the marketing world, and find out more about careers in marketing, advertising, and branding. Whatever your background, you may find marketing interesting and profitable, but these careers fit especially well for students from Arts, Music, Psychology, Anthropology, English, Economics, and social science generally.

Join us Sunday, February 21st at 3:00pm. Sign up in the Career Center or by email at If you’d like to join the group for dinner in Andrew Commons afterwards, sign up for that, too–we’ll pay for dinner! Here’s a poster for the event!

Management Consulting Summit

Twelve students and four professors just finished lunch with five Lawrentians who have become successful consultants. During the three hours before lunch, we learned a lot about consulting, about careers in the consulting world, and about how Lawrence students can get their foot in the door. Students who came got invaluable advice and made connections with Lawrence alumni. If you weren’t there, you missed out–make sure you come to the next event on the banking industry on February 13th (Saturday of reading period). And you might want to take a look at the Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto.

Management Consulting Summit

The Lawrence Scholars in Business program is hosting a Management Consulting Summit on Saturday, January 23rd from 9:00 to 12:00, with lunch following. All students who are interested in learning more about management consulting from successful Lawrence alumni are encouraged to attend. Lawrentians from major consulting firms will talk about their careers, about the field, and what you can do if you are interested in becoming a consultant. There will also be an interactive case study. Students interested in lunch afterward should go through the line in Andrew Commons and join us in the Parrish/Perille room. Please sign up in the Career Center for the summit as well as for the lunch. We hope to see you there!


This year the Department of Economics is holding a symposium at Björklunden involving three courses: Urban Economics, Economics of the Firm, and Social Choice Theory. Students in these courses will be presenting their work to other students and to economics faculty. We will also have a session on presentation skills and writing in economics. Students in aforementioned courses will be coming along as part of their coursework, but we may have a few spaces for others (not enrolled in these courses) to join us. If you are interested in joining us, please let Adam Galambos know.

Lecture and Q&A on Business Ethics

The next LSB event will be on November 7th at 4:30pm in Science 102:
Harry Kraemer
(Executive Partner, Madison Dearborn Partners; Clinical Professor of Management and Strategy at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; Former CEO of Baxter International; Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Lawrence University) will be speaking on Values-Based Leadership. Some preliminary readings are outside Briggs 212, or online here, here, and here. If you are a Lawrence student or faculty member interested in joining Mr. Kraemer and others for dinner afterwards, please let Adam Galambos know.

Lawrence’s First Annual Pick the Nobel Contest

The Nobel Prize in economics will be awarded next week, and this kicks off the Official Lawrence University Pick the Economics Nobel Winner competition.* You should e-mail your picks to me. One entry per person.

So you might be asking yourself who is even in the running. Well, you can find the latest odds here.

At this point, you might be saying to yourself, “hold the phone, you can bet on stuff like that?” Indeed, you can bet on just about anything now, though in the polite academic ease we call these “prediction markets.” There is very much a burgeoning field of study here, and these markets generally do a better job than polls or pundits at forecasting the future. One point that I find particularly interesting is that these tend to work pretty well even if people are just playing for fun and not real money.

Outside of the wagering angle, it might be interesting to take a look up and down that list and see who you recognize and why. Most of these guys have advanced the field in some way, and understanding their contributions might help you to understand different areas of economics exploration. The odds-on favorite, Eugene Fama, is the man behind the “efficient markets hypothesis,” which arouses passions of all sorts. Can you beat the market? Do prices really convey useful information? What exactly is an “efficient market.” The irony here is that if you believe in efficient markets, you should go ahead and enter Fama in the contest.

Second on the list is Paul Romer, who is a pioneer of endogenous growth theory and the hero of the excellent Knowledge and the Growth of Nations, but he might be better-known to you as the guy who developed Aplia.

There are many others that have made their mark on my thinking. If you take an environmental course, you will learn about Marty Weitzman (prices v. quantities) and Bill Nordhaus (climate change). Paul Milgrom and Oliver Williamson are both central figures in the theory of the firm. The list goes on.

So, email your picks to me. The prize will be awarded at the next Economics Club meeting.

*First prize will be a large sack of pears. Multiple winners will be sorted out by who chose the candidate first. My pick is Ben Bernanke, but I would be happy to cede my pears to anyone else who selects the Fed chair.

Graduate school in economics

The Department of Economics is presenting a Graduate School In Economics advising session on Monday, October 12th at 4:00pm in Briggs 217. We strongly encourage all students (especially sophomores, juniors and seniors) who are considering doing graduate work in Economics to attend. Professors Finkler, Karagyozova, Gerard and Galambos will be answering your questions about applying to graduate school. Please let any one of them know in advance if you plan to attend.

Trip to Wells Fargo

The Career Center has organized a trip to Wells Fargo Wealth Management on Thursday, October 22 (Thursday of reading period). Vans will leave from the Career Center driveway at 8 a.m. and return at approximately 2:30 p.m. The tour of Wells Fargo will take place between 10 and noon at the Menomonee Falls site.

If you’d like to go, stop by the Career Center to sign up.

Kathi Seifert to speak

Former Kimberly-Clark Executive Vice President Kathi Seifert will speak on Thursday, March 5th at 4:30 in Briggs 223 about NEW North, a north-east Wisconsin organization whose mission is “to harness and promote the region’s resources, talents and creativity for the purposes of sustaining and growing our regional economy.” Ms. Seifert was recently named to Fortune magazine’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, and was also named to’s annual list of “America’s Top Businesswomen.”

All are welcome–snacks will be served.

LSB Investment Management Workshop

Is there a future in Investment Management for you? Come find out more about it at the LSB Investment Management workshop on Sunday, February 22nd at 1:45 in Briggs 223. Four very successful Lawrence alumni will share their experience: Chuck Saunders ’84 (Partner and Senior Portfolio Manager, NorthRoad Capital Management, LLC), Bruce Loder ’82 (V.P. Investments/Branch Manager, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc.), Larry Domash ’81 (Partner/Member, Ronin Capital), and Markus Specks ’06 (Financial Analyst, Goldsmith, Agio, Helms & Lynner). This event will be part of the “Shine Light, More Light on Your Future!” conference.