Rice Economics Fall 2018 Newsletter - Page 2

Great Course on the Menu! Research in Econometrics (ECON 497) is a relatively new class that is one of our two capstone courses for the MTEC major (the other is ECON 496, Research in Economic Theory). It is taught by Professor Xun Tang, whose research interests include applied econometrics and industrial organization. Xun explains that ECON 497 offers students an opportunity to revisit and further develop the theoretical foundations they learned in their earlier econometrics and applied courses. For example, students will review maximum likelihood and nonlinear least squares estimation methods, developing a deeper understanding of how and why these methods work and learning better how to implement them in a wide variety of empirical settings. The course provides with students with the opportunity to read and understand at a high level the existing econometrics literature as well as develop and implement their own econometrics research project. Professor Tang says that, “I view economics as a fascinating field of science that combines rigorous quantitative methods with substantial policy questions. I find such a combination particularly organic in the field of industrial organization, and this is one of the main concepts I try to get across to the students in the course.” Menu Main Course: ECON 497 Research in Econometrics Appetizers: ECON 203, ECON 310 & ECON 305 Master Chef: Professor Xun Tang Dinner is Served: Spring 2019, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Come enjoy a gastroeconomical delight! RISE Lecture - Nobel Laureate Edward Prescott The seventh event in the RISE (Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics) Nobel Laureate Lecture Series will feature Edward C. Prescott, who is Professor of Economics at Arizona State University where he is also the W. P. Carey Chair in Economics in the W. P. Carey School of Business. Prescott and Professor Finn Kydland of UC Santa Barbara were awarded the 2004 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences “for their contributions to dynamic macroeconomics: the time inconsistency of economic policy and the driving forces behind business cycles.” Prescott is an aggregate economist theorist who develops and applies dynamic economic theory to problems in financial economics, economic fluctuations, growth and development, international economics, and public finance. Indeed, students who have taken ECON 483 will no doubt remember that Prescott has written an important recent paper in which he concludes that the large differences in labor supply between workers in the US and in the EU are largely attributable to differences in tax structure, especially the effects on labor supply of the value-added tax that is prevalent throughout Europe. Prescott will present his RISE Lecture on “Money in the Production Function: Some of the Policy Implications” on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. The event will be held in the BRC (BioScience Research Collaborative) Auditorium, with a reception following in the BRC Event Hall. We hope to see you there! Baker Center for Public Finance to Host Conference on Economic Growth As part of the Baker Institute’s 25th anniversary celebration, the Center for Public Finance is hosting a conference on the prospects for future economic growth in the United States, which will be held at the Institute on December 6-7, 2018. The keynote speaker will be Professor Martin Feldstein of Harvard University, president emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan. The program, which will include nine original papers and a concluding panel discussion, features an impressive slate of renowned economists, including Robert Barro, George Borjas, and Jason Furman (all also from Harvard), Alan Auerbach and Ross Levine from UC-Berkeley, Michael Boskin and Timothy Bresnahan of Stanford, Glenn Hubbard of the Columbia Business School, Steven Turnovsky of the University of Washington, Richard Evans from the University of Chicago, William Gale of the Brookings Institution, Robert Gordon of the Northwestern University, Kenneth Hendricks and Christopher Taber from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum, and Laurence Kotlikoff from Boston University, as well as our own Flávio Cunha, John Diamond, Peter Hartley, and George Zodrow. The Center for Public Finance, which was established in 2017, is directed by John Diamond, the Institute’s Kelly Fellow in Public Finance, who received a Rice Economics Ph.D. in 2000. The members of the Center are George Zodrow, Cline Professor of Economics, and Center Fellows Joyce Beebe (also a Rice Economics Ph.D.), Jorge Barro, and Thomas Hogan. Thomas is teaching Financial Markets (ECON 355) and Jorge will teach Economic Modeling and Public Policy (ECON 479) in the spring. 2