Look for the next GCER Newsletter in June. Past Newsletters can be found here.
News Archive - Page 9
Oct 14, 2014
The Graduate Committee is pleased to announce that Jason Albert is the winner of the eighteenth annual Razin Prize. Jason received the award for his main dissertation paper titled "Strategic Dynamics of Antibiotic Use and the Evolution of Antibiotic-Resistant Infections". Established by the Razin family in 1997 to honor the memory of Ofair Razin (1966 - 1996; PhD, Georgetown University, 1996), the Razin Prize is awarded each year for the best dissertation paper produced by an advanced graduate student in Economics at GU.
Congratulations to Jason and his advisers Luca Anderlini, John Rust, and Roger Lagunoff.
The Razin Economic Policy Lecture and the award ceremony will take place in the Spring 2015. An announcement will follow closer to that time.
Oct 10, 2014
Carbon emissions make the global economy tipsy: Harrison and Lagunoff study a "business-as-usual" scenario in a tipping model.
For better or worse, the global economy runs on carbon. Climate change resulting from dramatically increased fossil fuel combustion and carbon emissions over the last half century has alarmed scientists and policy experts alike. There is widespread agreement that without an effective international agreement to limit carbon emissions, the continuation of the current trend can have catastrophic consequences.
The absence of an international carbon agreement is often described as the "business-as-usual" (or "BAU") setting. New research by Rodrigo Harrison and GCER Fellow Roger Lagunoff considers such as scenario. They study the countries’ incentives to reduce their carbon emissions under BAU. While most economic studies of climate change examine the incentives of consumers and firms, Harrison and Lagunoff focus specifically on the strategic interaction among the largest players --- the countries themselves. Are outcomes under BAU sustainable or is economic collapse inevitable? What determines the transition, if any, from sustainability to collapse?
Departing from standard formulations, Harrison and Lagunoff consider a world in which a country's GDP depends on both its carbon usage and on how well it maintains the ecosystem. Each country therefore faces a tradeoff for purely nationalistic reasons between, on the one hand, extracting and emitting carbon, and on the other, maintaining a "stock" of stored or "unextracted" carbon required to preserve a healthy ecosystem. Countries naturally differ in how they evaluate this trade off, and even the same country can make different tradeoffs if circumstances change.
In a BAU environment, Harrison and Lagunoff lay out scenarios in which consumption and economic output may collapse and shrink if the carbon stock sustaining the ecosystem falls below some critical threshold --- a tipping point.
The results characterize threshold levels of carbon stocks that delineate the safe operating space for humanity --- a notion developed by climate scientists (see Rockstrom, et al. (2009)) --- from carbon stocks from which tipping occurs. In one unsettling result, Harrison and Lagunoff show that if a strong enough relationship exists between carbon extraction and economic output (as measured by the output elasticities of carbon extraction), a tipping point will certainly be breached. The silver lining is that even in this case, there remains a small window in which tipping may be averted if the countries can depart from BAU and sign on to an effective international treaty to limit emissions.
Reference: Rockstrom, J., W. Steffen, K. Noone, A. Persson, F. Chapin, E. Lambin, T. Lenton, M. Scheffer, C. Folke, H. Schellnhuber, B. Nykvist, C. de Wit, T. Hughes, S. van der Leeuw, H. Rodhe, S. Sorlin, P. Snyder, R. Costanza, U. Svedin, M. Falkenmark, L. Karlberg, R. Corell, V. Fabry, J. Hansen, B. Walker, D. Liverman, K. Richardson, P. Crutzen, and J. Foley ~ (2009), `` A Safe Operating Space for Humanity," Nature, 461: 472-75, DOI: 10.1038/461472a
Sep 19, 2014
The third year of the GCER Distinguished Visitor Series features a number of prominent economists who will spend time in the Department during the 2014-15 academic year.Simon Gilchrist, October 14-17, 2014Professor Gilchrist teaches at the Department of Economics in Boston University and is Research Associate at the NBER. He has published extensively on monetary policy. Professor Gilchrist will visit the Georgetown economics department during the week of October 14-17 where he will present his latest research in the Macroeconomics workshop, and will meet with faculty and students.Fernando Alvarez, February 23-27, 2015Fernando Alvarez is professor of economics at the University of Chicago and Fellow of the Econometric Society. He is well known for his work in endogenously incomplete markets. Professor Alvarez will visit the Department during the week of March 2-6 where he will present his latest research in the Macroeconomics workshop, and will meet with faculty and students.Steven Callander, February 23-27, 2015Steven Callander is professor of political economy at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. He will visit the Department during the week of March 16--March 20 where he present his latest research in the Microeconomics workshop, and will meet with faculty and students.Aug 9, 2014
The IZA and the Georgetown Center of Economic Research (GCER) of Georgetown University's Economics Department are pleased to announce the speaker schedule for the the third IZA@DC Young Scholar Program. The program, a joint effort by GCER and the IZA to bring outstanding PhD students to Washington, DC, is set to take place from September 22 -- 26, 2014 at Georgetown University in Washington DC. The speaker schedule is as follows; detailed program of the conference can be found here.Monday, September 22: Justin Wolfers (University of Michigan)Justin Wolfers is a Professor of Public Policy at the Ford School and Professor of Economics. at the University of Michigan. His research interests include labor economics, behavioral economics, and social and legal policy. His latest research focuses on subjective well being. A recent paper by Professor Wolfers (with Betsy Stevenson) analyzes multiple datasets and multiple definitions of "basic needs" documenting the relation between subjective well being and income.Tuesday, September, 23: Kevin Lang (Boston University)Professor Lang is Professor of Economics at Boston University, Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists, and Research Associate of the NBER. Over the years, his research has tackled labor topics ranging from discrimination and unemployment to market returns to education. In recent work, Professor Lang examines the relation between high school exit exams of students on graduation and incarceration rates, employment, and wages.Wednesday, September 24: Giuseppe Moscarini (Yale University)Professor Moscarini is Professor of Economics at Yale University, Research Associate at the NBER, and Co-Director of the Macroeconomics Research Program at the Cowles Foundation. His research is wide ranging and includes diverse topics from social learning and and innovation to occupational choice and job mobility. New research by Professor Moscarini analyzes and documents the breakdown of the "job ladder" after the Great Recession.Thursday, September 25: Professor Caroline Hoxby (Stanford University)As the Bommer Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and Director of Economics of Education Program for the NBER, Caroline Hoxby is well known for her empirical studies of labor markets and tax education policy, including prominent work on the effects of school choice on educational quality. Professor Hoxby's recent research focuses on the effects of education on economic growth, and on the market for college educationFriday, September 26: John Kennan (University of Wisconsin)Professor John Kennan is the Richard Meese Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Fellow of both the Econometric Society and the Society of Labor Economists. Long known for his studies of firm level interactions and worker behavior, Professor Kennan's recent work examines the policy implications of higher education subsidies on labor migration decisions and human capital mobility.Jul 22, 2014
Georgetown Department of Economics and Center for Economic Research welcome its newest member, Mary Ann Bronson who joins the department and GCER in the Fall of 2014. Bronson arrives from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received her PhD. Her most recent work explores the dynamics of gender differences in college attendance and choice of major. She constructs a dynamic structural model of marriage, educational choices, and lifetime labor supply to analyze the contribution of changes in wages and the marriage market to the observed educational investment patterns over time.