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In May 2017, the Economics Department hosted an international conference focusing on the econometric analysis of "big data"; "Big Data in Dynamic Econometric Modeling." The conference attracted leading scholars from around the world. The conference was generously supported by the Warren Center and PIER. Click for details: THEMESPROGRAM, and PHOTOS.

Group Photo of Speakers, Chairs, and Organizers
Reception
 
Talk

Jere R. Behrman, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Economics and Sociology and Research Associate of the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania, received the biennial Irene B. Taeuber 2017 award at the Population Association of America Annual Meetings in Chicago on 28 April. The Irene B. Taeuber award is presented in recognition of an unusually original or important contribution to the scientific study of population, or for an accumulated record of exceptionally sound and innovative research. Behrman’s research is in empirical micro economics, economic development, early childhood development, labor economics, human resources (education, training, health, nutrition), economic demography, household behaviors, life-cycle and intergenerational relations and policy evaluation. His network of collaborators spans the globe, ranges across multiple disciplines, and includes scholars from all career stages. He has published 415 articles in leading demographic, economic, sociology, public health, nutritional and biomedical journals and 35 books, and served on 157 Ph.D dissertation committees.

José Víctor Ríos-RullDean Steven J. Fluharty is pleased to name José-Víctor Ríos-Rull the Lawrence R. Klein Professor of Economics in Penn Arts and Sciences.

Rios-Rull is an influential scholar whose work is shaping the fields of macroeconomics as it informs discourse on economic policy in the U.S. and other high-income economies. His research builds quantitative macroeconomic models with heterogeneous households and applies them to questions about international capital flows, bankruptcy, asset prices, and demand-driven business cycle fluctuations. He is also concerned about the interrelations between demographics and the macroeconomy.

This chair was created in 1991 in honor of Professor Lawrence R. Klein, a Benjamin Franklin Professor Emeritus of Economics and Nobel laureate in economic sciences. His work provided the foundation for econometric forecasting now used as a basic tool by government and industry. The chair is awarded to scholars who will continue the tradition of superlative teaching and research established by Lawrence Klein, who passed away in 2013.

Dean Steven J. Fluharty is pleased to name Hanming Fang the Class of 1965 Term Professor of Economics in Penn Arts and Sciences.

Fang is an expert in public economics, applied microeconomic theory, and empirical microeconomics. His research integrates rigorous modeling with careful data analysis and has focused on the economic analysis of discrimination; insurance markets, particularly life insurance and health insurance; and health care, including Medicare. In 2008, he was awarded the 17th Kenneth Arrow Prize by the International Health Economics Association (iHEA) for his research on the sources of advantageous selection in the Medigap insurance market.

Fang has served as co-editor for the Journal of Public Economics and International Economic Review, and associate editor in numerous journals, including the American Economic Review. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he served as the acting director of the Chinese economy working group from 2014 to 2016. He is also a research associate of the Population Studies Center and Population Aging Research Center, and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Fang is the scientific director for the Australia–China population aging hub located at the Center of Excellence in Population Ageing Research at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

The Class of 1965 Term Chair is one of five created by the class in 1990. This unprecedented 25th Reunion class gift endowed a chair for each of the four undergraduate schools and one in honor of the College for Women.

Sarah Winton is a dual major in Economics and International Relations was awarded the Yardley Award from Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. The award was for her project under the direction of Professor Viden, “The Cost of Kindness: Assessing the Effects of Syrian Refugees on Jordanian Labor Markets.”

The Yardley Award is administered by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, and awards are determined each April on a competitive basis. Seniors graduating in the Spring semester from any undergraduate school are eligible. Applicants must be in good standing in the University of Pennsylvania community. There will be one awardee annually.

Graduating Senior and Economics major Hong Ken Teoh was selected to receive a 2017 Rose Undergraduate Research Award. The award is in recognition of his project under the direction of Professor Jere Behrman, “Racial bias in standardized testing: Evidence from variation in test day temperature."

The Rose Foundation generously funds the Rose Undergraduate Research Award recognizing outstanding undergraduate research projects completed by graduating seniors under the supervision of a Penn faculty member. The Rose Fund is administered by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, and awards are determined each April on a competitive basis. 

Professor Amit Gandhi of the University of Wisconsin, an applied economist specializing in industrial organization and econometrics, will be joining Penn Economics next year.

Aviv NevoProfessor Aviv Nevo (our most recent PIK appointment, joint with Marketing in Wharton) has just been appointed co-editor of Econometrica.  

Published by the Econometric Society, Econometrica is one of the top journals in Economics.

 

2016 First Year Prize WinnersFour second-year graduate students were honored for their first-year work during this year's New Student Reception on September 14, 2016.

Sherwin Lott was the winner of the Lawrence Robbins Prize, awarded to the student judged to be the best in the first year class.

Alejandro Sanchez Becerra received the Certificate of Distinctive Performance in the Preliminary Examination in Econometrics.

Seung-Ryong Shin received the Certificate of Distinctive Performance in the Preliminary Examination in Microeconomics. 

Ruizhi Ma received the Certificate of Distinctive Performance in the Preliminary Examination in Macroeconomics. 

Winners pictured from left to right: Sherwin Lott, Alejandro Sanchez Becerra, Seung-Ryong Shin, and Ruizhi Ma.

The reception was hosted by the Graduate Economics Society.

Rachel Philbin, a 2016 graduate who majored in economics and political science, has been named as a finalist in the International Atlantic Economic Society's 12th Annual Best Undergraduate Paper Competition. Her paper, People Following Goods: Are Refugee Flows Associated with International Trade?, is one of four finalists. She is invited to present her work at the 82nd International Atlantic Economic Conference in Washington, DC, 15 October 2016.

Rachel also won the Economics Department's Lawrence R. Klein Prize for Outstanding Research in Economics by an Undergraduate for the paper.

The International Atlantic Economic Society's mission is to facilitate communication among economists and financial specialists by promoting the field of economics globally; and to foster the intellectual development of professional economists and others interested in economics by sponsoring and publishing articles for international dissemination. 

Jere Behrman

Worldwide, 170 million children 5 or younger are not growing appropriately because they lack proper nutrition, according to the World Health Organization.

“Though undernutrition is not a big problem in the United States or Europe or Japan or Australia—the high-income countries—from a global perspective, it’s a huge problem,” says Jere Behrman, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Economics in the School of Arts & Sciences.

Previous research proved associations between undernourishment during early life, particularly a child’s first 24 months, and areas like cognitive skills, schooling levels, wage rates in adulthood, and next-generation birth weights.

Now, work from Behrman and colleagues from the Universidad de Chile, the University of Houston, and others, verified the importance of protein intake during this period. Analyzing data from more than 3,500 children from Guatemala and the Philippines, they found that upping protein by just one egg per week positively affected growth, which could lead to better outcomes later.

The scientists published their findings in the journal Economics and Human Biology.

For further details, see Penn Current.  

Neil Cholli, a double major in Mathematical Economics and Political Science has been named a Dean's Scholar.

Each year the School of Arts and Sciences hosts the Levin Family Dean's Forum to honor outstanding students for their academic performance and intellectual promise. This year's program, which took place on March 30th, featured a talk from Josh Singer and Neil Huff, producer and co-screenwriter of Spotlight, winner of this year's Academy Awards for best picture and best original screenplay.

 

Jere BehrmanProfessor Behrman, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Economics and of Sociology at Penn, has been selected as one of nine new honorees by the Population Association of America.  He also received the “proverbial gold watch” from School of Arts and Science Dean Steven Fluharty for over half a century of service and contributions to the University of Pennsylvania and to the economic and demographic professions.  Behrman was cited for his service and leadership at Penn and nationally (including chairing Economics), for being an investigator on over 160 research projects including 40 NIH and 14 NSF grants, for his prolific publications with over 400 published articles and 35 monographs, for being a dedicated mentor as reflected in receiving the Irving B. Kravis Award for Distinction in Undergraduate Teaching and serving on over 150 Ph.D. dissertation committees, and for having played basketball “so far in eight decades starting in the 1940s.”

For further details, see PAA Honored Members.  

Aviv NevoPenn President Amy Guttmann and Provost Vincent Price announced the appointment of Aviv Nevo as the University of Pennsylvania's seventeenth Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, effective July 1, 2016.

A pioneer in the use of empirical data to analyze consumer behavior, Nevo will be the George A. Weiss and Lydia Bravo Weiss University Professor and his appointment will be shared between the Department of Economics and the Department of Marketing in the Wharton School.

“Aviv Nevo is one of the world’s leading scholars of industrial organization, whose innovative use of data in analyzing consumer behavior has helped revolutionize economics and marketing,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “Aviv is a superb teacher and path-breaking econometrician whose work in the academy and in government truly exemplifies Penn’s commitment to harnessing the tools and perspectives of multiple disciplines to understand and address pressing real-world questions.”

For more information see Penn News.

 

Hal ColeProfessor Harold Cole is one of 13 new Fellows elected to the Econometric Society in recognition of his work.

The Econometric Society is an international society for the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics. Among its activities, the Society is responsible for the publication of the journals EconometricaQuantitative Economics, and Theoretical Economics, the publication of a research Monograph series, and the organization of scientific meetings in seven regions of the world.

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Winners pictured from left to right: Carlos Segura-Rodriguez, Peng Shao, Youngsoo Heo, and Paolo MartinelliFour second-year graduate students were honored for their first-year work during this year's New Student Reception on September 23, 2015.

Carlos Segura-Rodriguez was the winner of the Lawrence Robbins Prize, awarded to the student judged to be the best in the first year class.

Peng Shao received the Certificate of Distinctive Performance in the Preliminary Examination in Econometrics.

Youngsoo Heo received the Certificate of Distinctive Performance in the Preliminary Examination in Microeconomics. 

Paolo Martellini received the Certificate of Distinctive Performance in the Preliminary Examination in Macroeconomics. 

Winners pictured from left to right: Carlos Segura-Rodriguez, Peng Shao, Youngsoo Heo, and Paolo Martellini.

The reception was hosted by the Graduate Economics Society.

For the academic year 2015/16 we welcome several new faculty members.

José-Víctor Ríos-Rull joins us from the University of Minnesota and will hold the Klein Chair in Economics.

From Princeton University we welcome Benjamin Connault as new Assistant Professor.

Sarah Moshary from MIT will join us in 2016 after a one-year post-doc at eBay.

Finally, Anne Duchene joins us from Drexel University as Lecturer.

For more than three decades, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has hosted the Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Removed from the day-to-day political and market pressures, it is a forum that brings together central bankers, academics, and policymakers from around the world to discuss topics relevant to monetary policy and central banking. The 2015 symposium focused on inflation dynamics and monetary policy.

This year Professor Frank Schorfheide delivered a presentation entitled "Inflation Dynamics During and After the Zero Lower Bound"

Guido MenzioProfessor Guido Menzio has won the Carlo Alberto Medal, a biennial award to one Italian economist under the age of 40 for his/her outstanding research contributions to the field of economics.

For further details see Collegio Carlo Alberto Medal 2015

Neeti SinghalGraduating Senior Neeti Singhal was selected to receive a 2015 Rose Undergraduate Research Award. The award is in recognition of her project under the direction of Professor Jere Behrman, "Cognitive & Socio-Emotional Skills in Urban Bolivia and Colombia:  A Latin American Perspective on the Economic Returns to Skills."

The Rose Foundation generously funds the Rose Undergraduate Research Award recognizing outstanding undergraduate research projects completed by graduating seniors under the supervision of a Penn faculty member. The Rose Fund is administered by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, and awards are determined each April on a competitive basis. 

Lawrence R. Klein

On October 25th, colleagues, family, friends, and admirers of Lawrence R. Klein gathered on campus to attend a colloquium conducted in his honor. Entitled “Macroeconomic Measurement, Theory, Prediction, and Policy,” the event drew more 100 attendees from all over the world, including Economics Nobel Laureate Christopher A. Sims. One of the highlights of the day was the unveiling of the Klein Legacy Display gifted by Kanta Marwah, Klein’s first female Ph. D. student. The display, which features notes in Klein’s own hand, is installed in the Klein Conference Room in the McNeil Building at the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information on the presenters and the program, see Colloquium Honoring Klein.

Winners pictured from left to right: Junyuan Zou, Eugenio Rojas, David Zarruk Valencia, and Irina PimenovFour second-year graduate students were honored for their first-year work during this year's New Student Reception on September 24, 2014.

Junyuan Zou was the winner of the Lawrence Robbins Prize, awarded to the student judged to be the best in the first year class.

Eugenio Rojas received both the Certificate of Distinctive Performance in the Preliminary Examination in Macroeconomics.

David Zarruk Valencia won the Certificate of Distinctive Performance in the Preliminary Examination in Econometrics. 

Irina Pimenova- received the Certificate of Distinctive Performance in the Preliminary Examination in Microeconomics. 

Winners pictured from left to right: Junyuan Zou, Eugenio Rojas, David Zarruk Valencia, and Irina Pimenov.

 

The reception was hosted by the Graduate Economics Society.

Christina Economy, a senior who is a double-major in Economics and International Relations, has been named a 2013-14 Dean's Scholar.

Each year the School of Arts and Sciences hosts the Levin Family Dean's Forum to honor outstanding students for their academic performance and intellectual promise. This year's program features a talk from James Fowler, Professor of Medical Genetics and Political Science at the University of California.

See SAS Events for details on this year's Forum.

 

A team of Penn Econ students organized by the Undergraduate Economics Society won 2nd place in the national College Fed Challenge. The Penn team included Hosun Chung, W'16, Charles Rubenfeld, C'14, Ian Masters, C'17, and Ashok Rao, BSE'17. While undergraduate chair Frank Schorfheide served officially as faculty advisor for the team, all the credit for the excellent performance goes to the students, who worked independently to develop and promote their monetary policy proposal. After winning the regional competition, which took place at Lehigh University in November, the team moved on to the national competition in Washington, DC, where it competed against four other teams from Harvard, James Madison, Northwestern, and Pace. Congratulations on the excellent performance!

More details from The Daily Pennsylvanian.

At right: Marriner S. Eccles Building, home of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC.

Lawrence KleinLawrence R. Klein, who taught here at Penn from 1958 to 1991, and won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1980, passed away on October 20, 2013.

Dr. Klein, a pioneer in the field of econometrics, was an internationally honored and respected economist. His Nobel citation states that "few, if any, research workers in the empirical field of economic science have had so many successors and such a large impact as Lawrence Klein."

For further information about Dr. Klein, see In Memoriam.