Economics Colloquium

Tag: Economics Colloquium

Economics Senior Experience Series Talk, Tuesday, March 10th at 4:30pm

Event: Economics Senior Experience Series Talk

Date: Tuesday, March 10th, at 4:30pm

Location: Wriston Auditorium

Speaker: Dean Yang. Professor of Economics & Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Title: Abundance from Abroad: International Migration and the Developing World.

Description: What impact does international migration have on development of migrants’ home areas? Does migration promote economic growth at home? Or does it instead suppress growth and entrepreneurship in origin areas by increasing reliance on migrant remittances? We will explore what the latest research says about how international migration affects development in the world’s poor countries, and discuss some surprising new findings about new development paths that are opened up by international migration.

Economics Colloquia, Winter 2017: Mark Your Calendars

We have a number of excellent talks scheduled for this term that should be of interest to our majors.   Indiana University appears to be well represented.   Each of these talks is at 4:30 in Wriston Auditorium.

Thursday, February 16, 4:30 p.m., Wriston Auditorium

Deal (with) the Burn:  The Political Economy of U.S. Wildfire Management.
Dean Lueck
Ostrom Workshop and Department of Economics
Indiana University

Friday, February 17, 4:30 p.m.    Wriston Auditorium  (Senior Experience speaker)

Seven Secrets of Germany: Economic Resilience in an Era of Global Turbulence
David Audretsch
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Indiana University

Thursday, March 2, 4:30 p.m.    Wriston Auditorium (Cancelled)

The Brazil Economy in Transition:  Beliefs, Leadership, and Institutional Change
Lee Alston
Ostrom Workshop and Department of Economics
Indiana University

Alston’s NBER paper is here, accessible on LU campus.

Economics / Science Hall Colloquium, Monday at 4:30, Wriston Auditorium

Professor Elizabeth J. Wilson from the Humphrey School of Public Policy at the University of Minnesota will be here Monday to talk about the (potential) future of electricity systems.

Professor Wilson is a rather extraordinary interdisciplinary scholar, with a background in environmental science and a Ph.D. in Engineering & Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.  She is the recipient of one of the inaugural (2016) Andrew Carnegie Fellowships for her project “Nuclear Futures in a Windy World: A Comparative Analysis Balancing Energy Security, Climate Change, and Economic Development.”  She will spend the 2016-17 academic year in Denmark working on that.

Here is a blurb of her talking about sustainability and interdisciplinary research.

We will see you there.




Data Science for Humans

The last Economics Colloquium of the year, at 4:30 on Wednesday, May 27th, Steitz 102:

Data Science for Humans
Shilad W. Sen Macalester College,Associate Professor, Mathematics and Computer Science

Data scientists mine massive datasets to help software understand our tShilad Senastes, needs, and routines. Want to become a data scientist? Many new data science degrees incorporate coursework in statistics and computation. However, most programs focus shallowly on data, without deeply connecting to existing domain knowledge in the fields in the social science, humanities, marketing, etc.  Continue reading Data Science for Humans

Econ Colloquium — Big Data Monday at 4:30

UPDATE:  Schafer tapped to lead Large Synoptic Survey Telescope(LSST) Informatics and Statistics Science Collaboration.


Big Science + Big Data = Big Opportunities: An Overview of Statistics in Astronomy

Chad Schafer

Department of Statistics

Carnegie Mellon University

Progress in disciplines such as astronomy is increasingly being made through large-scale, multi-institution projects, often referred to as “Big Science.” It is only through careful statistical analysis that the massive amount of information (the “Big Data”) produced by these endeavors will be translated into answers to the questions of interest. This talk will make a connection between fundamental statistical concepts and the challenges facing astronomers and cosmologists as they seek to make use of the flood of data that result from modern experiments.

Monday, May 18, 4:30 p.m.

Steitz Hall 102

Playing the Market

For those of you interested in financial markets, we have an upcoming talk and a fall seminar that may be of interest.   First up, this Monday, Grinnell College professor, Mark Montgomery, will give a lecture about the ins and outs of “The Notorious Efficient Market Hypothesis,” as he calls it.

The efficient market hypothesis is essentially in two parts:  First, that all publicly available information is immediately internalized into the extant stock price.  Immediately is pretty fast, so it’s tough to beat the market.  So, secondly, it is not possible to earn above average returns without taking above average risks — a disheartening message for any would-be financiers.   I’m certain that Professor Montgomery will give us a lively talk.

The talk is Monday at 4:30 p.m. in Seitz 102.

For those of you interested in learning about how economists think about investments should consider the Investments directed study that we will offer in the fall of 2015.  In the next few weeks we will roll out our 2015-16 schedule, so watch this space for details.

Upcoming Talks (Two from Professor Finkler!)

Monday, February 16, 4:30 p.m., Steitz 102

Mark Montgomery, Grinnell College, “The Notorious Efficient Market Hypothesis,” Economics Colloquium


Wednesday February 18, 4:30 p.m.,  Steitz 102 

Merton Finkler, Lawrence University, “Health Policy – A Comparison of UK and US Approaches,”  London Week Special


Thursday, February 19, 7:30 p.m., Wriston Auditorium

Merton Finkler, Lawrence University, “China Ranks #1 or Does It? Should We Care?” Povolny Lecture, Wriston Auditorium


Tuesday, March 3, 4:30 p.m.,  Wriston Auditorium

Werner Troesken, University of Pittsburgh, “The Pox of Liberty: How the Constitution Left Americans Rich, Free, and Prone to Infection,”  Economics Colloquium sponsored by the Mellon Senior Experience Grant




Economics / Gender Studies Talk

Claudena Skran
Professor of Government
Lawrence University

UNHCR’s Gender Policy for Refugees in Sierra Leone: Economic vs. Political Agency​

 ABSTRACT: The challenge of integrating refugee women into societies recovering from warfare is a difficult one.  Although numerous programs by the UN and other actors exist to promote women’s economic agency and political participation, few studies have examined their impact.  This project tries  to close that gap by examining the gender policy of the Refugee Agency of the UN in Sierra Leone, West Africa.  Based on research in the Kailahun District, the site of the recent Ebola outbreak, this talk will argue that while many projects benefited women and girls by improving economic livelihoods and access to education, similar efforts to improve health care failed.   In addition, the talk will consider how to best promote the participation of women in a democratic political process.

Thursday, October 30
Steitz Hall 202
4:30 p.m.

Econ Colloquium, Wednesday at 4:30

Have you ever wondered if school boards matter?  What the trade-off is between administrative expertise and the public will?   If so, it’s your lucky day…

Knowledge, Vision, and Academic Return on Investment:
Do School Boards Matter?
Arnold Shober, Lawrence University
Michael Hartney, Lake Forest College

What is the trade-off between representation and expertise?  The American school board is an iconic institution of representative, local government, but one that attracts very little attention.  Fewer than 10 percent of voters bother to meander to the polls for school board elections.  Yet school boards are in the center of high-stakes debates about the Common Core, academic achievement, property taxes, school finance, and teacher assessment.  Using a national survey of school board members and our own calculation of district-level student achievement, we describe whether school board members appear to have the capacity to govern — and how that capacity relates to a key policy output, students’ academic performance.

Wednesday, October 1, 4:30 p.m.

Steitz Hall 102

A Great Leap Forward, Thursday at 4:30

Alexander J. Field from Santa Clara University will be on campus Thursday to deliver a public lecture based on his book, A Great Leap Forward: 1930s Depression and U.S. Economic Growth  (Amazon link here).

Professor Field argues that despite the bottoming out of aggregate demand, total factor productivity growth increased faster during the Great Depression than any other decade in U.S.  history.   My read of the book makes the assertion almost uncontroversial, yet the notion of rapid productivity growth disrupts conventional views on the role of World War II in terms of “getting the US out of the depression,” and also in terms of setting the stage for the post-WWII economic boom.  Field makes this case quantitatively, walks through some of the implications, and puts it in historical context, including his thoughts on some recent events.  This is very high quality economics and should play very well with economics students and a general audience.

You can read a brief interview with Field on his work in the New York Times.

The talk is Thursday, May 15 at 4:30 p.m. in Wriston Auditorium.

This is the Phi Beta Kappa lecture as part of the Visiting Scholars Series.  We are fortunate that the Senior Experience is providing funding to bring Professor Field to campus. 

“Big” Economics Colloquium, March 6

Scraping Data and Making “Big” Inferences

Arnold F. Shober
Lawrence University

Abstract: “Big Data” does little to explain the human condition, but it offers unprecedented opportunities to model how people choose.  Professor Shober will describe how Google and Amazon know what you want with uncanny accuracy, and how in his research program he uses similar tools to examine how journalists cover politicians.  He will also discuss some of the practical and statistical difficulties when analyzing billions of data points.

The talk is March 6 at 11:10 a.m. in Steitz Hall 102.


UPDATE:  A very good talk.  Unfortunately, we did not get video for his one.

Next Economics Colloquium, February 20

Health Care:  It Took Years to Build Up this Much Duct Tape

Travis Andersen
President, St. Elizabeth Hospital


Mr. Andersen will provide an overview of the U.S. health care system, including a brief history of the emergence of our current system, and where the system stands in terms of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  He will also discuss the emergent role of integrated-delivery systems, and how these systems shape provider incentives in terms of costs and quality, and the anticipated effects for patient outcomes. 


February 20
4:30 p.m.
Steitz Hall 102

Economics Colloquium, Tuesday 11:10 a.m.

Eva Dziadula, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois-Chicago and an instructor at Lake Forest College, will be on campus on Tuesday for a lunchtime Economics Colloquium.  The talk will be at 11:10 Tuesday in Steitz 102.

You can take a look at the paper and bring your questions.


The Determinants of Citizenship by Naturalization in the United States: A Closer Look at Education

Eva Dziadula

University of Illinois-Chicago, Lake Forest College

Abstract:  This paper builds on a model of the naturalization process in which personal characteristics, characteristics of the country of birth and of the destination region in the United States are shown to be important determinants of acquiring citizenship. While the existing literature has examined the role of education in determining naturalization, I introduce the notion of country specific human capital and suggest that higher education acquired in the United States should have a larger impact on naturalization than education acquired elsewhere. Empirically, I show that the impact of education depends strongly on where the education was acquired, suggesting that years of education is a crude proxy for human capital in this context. By contributing to a better understanding of the mechanism through which education impacts naturalization, this paper helps further the literature on immigrant naturalization as well as the study of human capital more generally.