Look for the next GCER Newsletter in June. Past Newsletters can be found here.

News Archive - Page 18

  • Prominent Development Economist to inaugurate Edmond D. Villani Chair in Economics.

    Martin Ravallion
    The Georgetown Department of Economics and the Georgetown Center for Economic Research are very pleased to announce that Martin Ravallion will be joining the Department and GCER in January 2013 as the inaugural Edmond D. Villani Chaired Professor in Economics. Professor Ravallion will be moving to Georgetown from the World Bank where he currently holds the position of Director of the Development Research Group.

    With nearly 300 publications, Professor Ravallion is one of the most prominent development economists in the world. His work has led to new ways of thinking about economic decisions and empirical regularities in development.

    Professor Ravallion's research is wide-ranging. His early work on the 1974 famine in Bangladesh explained and documented the various economic and political forces that led to sharply increasing rice prices and later to widespread famine. His work would eventually become a companion to the theory of famines developed around the same time by future Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen. Ravallion would later develop usable indicators of poverty, including the now famous "dollar-a-day" poverty line, and explore the role of limited commitment in the ability of informally organized groups to provide their members with insurance. More recently, Ravallion has written extensively on China and India, assessing the links between growth and poverty reduction in the two countries.

    Much of Professor Ravallion's work is now standard reading for students in development economics. Both the empirical measures and the theories he developed form the basis of countless studies over the past two decades.

    Martin Ravallion received his PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1981. He went on to hold positions at Oxford University and the Australian National University, before joining the World Bank in 1988. As current Director of the Development Research Group, he manages and supervises a staff that shapes and executes the Bank's research agenda and provides expertise to policy makers at the highest levels. Professor Ravallion has held visiting positions at numerous institutions including Princeton, Toulouse, Warwick, the Australian National University, the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, and Gadja Mada University in Indonesia.

  • GCER Fellow William Jack shows Georgetown students how to apply their research skills in economics to real world problems in Kenya.

    A recent issue of Georgetown College News reports that Associate Professor and GCER Fellow Billy Jack, sent Yun Ling, Lucie Parker, Alec Villec and Cindy Yang(F'12) to Nairobi to work with him on his current field projects. Professor Jack has conducted extensive research in eastern Africa. Over the summer, he showed the students how their economics knowledge could be applied to a range of topics from road safety and maternal health saving to financial literacy for Kenyan teens. They also learned how their economics skills can effect change from this trip.

    Please see more here.

  • 2012-2013 Three Distinguished Faculty are set to visit GCER.

    During 2012-2013 academic year, there are three distinguished faculty setting to visit GCER and the department of Economics.


    Dirk Krueger  
    Professor of Economics,
    University of Pennsylvania

    Department Administrator

    Arrived date: Dec. 6th, 2012
    Return date: Feb. 11th - 14th, 2013


    Guido Lorenzoni

    Guido Lorenzoni  
    Associate Professor of Economics,
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Arrive date: Apr. 15th - 18th, 2013



    Gianluca Violante  
    Professor of Economics,
    New York University

    Arrive date: March 11th - 15th, 2013

  • Lineup of Speakers set for first IZA-GCER Young Scholar Conference, October 22-26, 2012.

    The Inaugural IZA-GCER Young Scholar Conference is set to take place during the week of October 22-26, 2012. The conference is jointly sponsored by IZA, the GU Department of Economics, and GCER. Its main objective is to expose young scholars to the world's leading labor economists through a week of presentations (for more details on conference objectives, cllck here).

    During the one week program, each of five preeminent scholars will present his/her research, and speak to the Y-S participants about academic work in the field of labor economics. The list of speakers includes Josh Angrist (MIT), Raquel Fernandez (NYU), John Ham (University of Maryland), Jean Marc Robin (UCL, Paris), and Petra Todd (U Penn).

    The morning talks will take place in the Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center (ICC), 37th and O St., N.W., Room ICC550. Afternoon seminars will take place in various locations around campus - please check the Conference Program schedule below.

    Click here for the Complete Program.

  • Spring/Summer, 2012. Featured Research Profile.

    "What a piece of work is a man! How noble in Reason! How infinite in faculties!" ... But how much is he worth?   Huggett and Kaplan provide an answer.

    While markets exist that determine the value of houses, cars and IBM stock, many assets are not marketed. Thus, their value is not precisely known. For example, toll bridges are valuable but their value is not determined on a centralized exchange. GCER Fellow Mark Huggett and co-author Greg Kaplan from the University of Pennsylvania have new research that determines the monetary value of by far the most valuable asset that most people own: themselves.

    Their new paper   "The Money Value of a Man"   proposes a method for evaluating the monetary value of an individual. Far from being an esoteric exercise, knowing one's monetary value is, in fact, quite useful. The most obvious application deals with how one should divide one's financial wealth between stock and bond holding. If one's monetary value can be determined then the return on human wealth is simply the future value plus future earnings divided by the current value. If this human wealth rclick to get Huggett papereturn looks like the return to low-risk bonds, then one should invest heavily in stock since the overall portfolio is already heavily weighted towards bonds. If, however, one's human wealth return looks like the return to stock, then one would be wise not to invest at all in stock. A key part of portfolio allocation advice therefore boils down to answering the question: what is the monetary value of a man?

    To answer this question sensibly, Huggett and Kaplan face two main tasks. First, they determine how male earnings move with the return to stock and bonds. Second, given such a statistical model summarizing how earnings and asset returns move, they measure the value of these future earnings in terms of current dollars.

    Huggett and Kaplan find that the average return on human wealth for high school or college educated U.S. males is several times the mean return to stock early in the working lifetime and that this return declines as males approach retirement. This is driven by the large amount of idiosyncratic earnings risk faced by young males together with the limited ability to share this risk. The authors also find that the stock component of human wealth is smaller on average than the bond component throughout the working lifetime.

    Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act II, scene II