Spring 2020

Pat Bayer, Duke

Paper: Speculative Fever: Investor Contagion in the Housing Bubble
Thursday, March 5 | 3:30-5:00 p.m. | HLH032

Heather Royer, UCSB

Paper: Is Parental Leave Costly for Firms and Coworkers?
Cancelled – Rescheduled for Fall 2020

Conrad Miller, Berkeley

Paper: Profiling in Motor Vehicle Searches: Is There An Equity-Efficiency Tradeoff?
Cancelled – Rescheduled for Fall 2020

Jonathan Davis, U Oregon

Paper: TBA
Cancelled – Rescheduled for Fall 2020

Fall 2019

Peter Blair, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Paper: Is Spending on Schools Efficient? A National Study of the Capitalization of School Spending and Local Taxes
Thursday, September 26 | 3:30-5 p.m. | HLH 032

Maya Rossin-Slater, Stanford

Paper: When Dad Can Stay Home: Fathers' Workplace Flexibility and Maternal Health
Thursday, October 10 | 3:30-5 p.m. | HLH 032

Julie Cullen, UCSD

Paper: Performance Information and Personnel Decisions in the Public Sector: The Case of School Principals
Friday, November 1 | 10:30 a.m.-noon | HLH 032

Lisa Kahn, Rochester

Paper: Dropouts Need Not Apply? The Minimum Wage and Skill Upgrading
Friday, November 8 | 10:30 a.m.-noon | HLH 032

Mike Belsky, UChicago Harris

Paper: An Overview of the Municipal Bond Market and Some Contemporary Issues
Friday, November 15 | 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | HLH 032

Spring 2019

Philip I. Levy, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

Paper: Pressing Trade Questions and the Research Disconnect
Wednesday, January 9 | 1:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. - HLH 231

Russell H. Hillberry, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

Paper: Trade Effects of Customs Reform: Evidence from Albania
Friday, January 18, 2019 | 9:30 a.m.–11 a.m. - HLH 215

Tilman Börgers, University of Michigan

Paper: Strategically Simple Mechanisms
Friday, March 1 | 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. - HLH 215

Jeffrey Ely, Northwestern University

Presentation: Coordinated Equilibrium
Thursday, April 18 | 3:30-5 p.m. - HLH 204

Sukjin Han, University of Texas-Austin

Paper: Optimal Dynamic Treatment Regimes with Imperfect Compliance
Friday, April 26 | 10-11:30 a.m. – HLH 219

Fall 2018

Jesse Shapiro, Brown University

Paper: The Effect of SNAP on the Composition of Purchased Foods: Evidence and Implications
Friday, September 28 | 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Location TBA
Registration is required due to limited space. Location will be announced before the seminar date. Please RSVP at http://go.unl.edu/Shapiro-seminar.

Karam Kang, Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business

Paper: Understanding Disparities in Punishment: Regulator Preferences and Expertise
Friday, October 5 | 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - HLH 215

Damon Jones, University of Chicago Harris School

Paper: What Do Workplace Wellness Programs Do? Evidence from the Illinois Workplace Wellness Study
Friday, October 12 | 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - HLH 215

Jeffrey Grogger, University of Chicago Harris School

Paper: The Wage Penalty of Regional Accents
Friday, October 26 | 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - HLH 215

Byung-Cheol Kim, University of Alabama

Paper: The Impact of Uber and Lyft on Taxi Service Quality: Evidence from New York City
Friday, November 2 | 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. - HLH 215

Sandeep Baliga, Northwestern University Kellogg School

Paper: The Strategy and Technology of Conflict
Friday, November 30 | 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. - HLH 215

Spring 2018

William N. Evans, University of Notre Dame

Paper: Guns and Violence: The Enduring Legacy of Crack Cocaine Markets
February 23, 2018 | 10:00-11:30 a.m. - CoB 111

Kristy Buzard, Syracuse University

Paper: Endogenous Politics and the Design of Trade Institutions
March 2, 2018 | 10:00-11:30 a.m. - CoB 111

Lars A. Stole, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Paper: Menu Auctions and Influence Games with Private Information
April 6, 2018 | 10:30-noon - CoB 231

Stefano Carattini, Yale University

Paper: Social Interactions and the Adoption of Solar PV: Evidence from Cultural Borders
April 13, 2018 | 10:00-11:30 a.m. - CoB 215

Bernhard Ganglmair, University of Texas at Dallas

Paper: Learning When to Quit: An Empirical Model of Experimentation
April 20, 2018 | 10:30-12 p.m. - CoB 215

Fall 2017

Alexander Frankel, University of Chicago

Paper: Selecting Applicants
August 25, 2017 | 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - CoB 231

Dean Karlan, Yale University

Paper: Randomizing Religion
September 15, 2017 | 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - CoB 111

Wolfgang Keller, University of Colorado at Boulder

Paper: Globalization and Executive Compensation
September 21, 2017 | 3:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. - CoB 231

Hugh Macartney, Duke University

Paper: Incentive Design in Education: An Empirical Approach
September 29, 2017 | 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - CoB 231

Carol Shiue, University of Colorado Boulder

Paper: Social Mobility in the Long-Run: An Analysis with Five Linked Generations in China, 1300-1900
October 5, 2017 | 3:30–5 p.m. - CoB 202

Bruce Meyer, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

Paper: Using Linked Survey and Administrative Data to Better Measure Income: Implications for Poverty, Program Effectiveness and Holes in the Safety Net
October 20, 2017 | 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. - CoB 231

Richard van Weelden, University of Pittsburgh

Paper: Crashing the Party? Elites, Outsiders, and Elections
October 27, 2017 | 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. - CoB 231

Sally Hudson, University of Virginia

Paper: Evaluating Post-Secondary Aid: Enrollment, Persistence, and Projected Completion Effects
November 10, 2017 | 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. - CoB 231

Georg Schaur, University of Tennessee

Paper: Border Processing, Trade Costs and New Trade Policy
December 12, 2017 | 10:30-12 pm | CoB 231

Spring 2017

Sebastian Sotelo, University of Michigan

Paper: Trade-Induced Structural Change and the Skill Premium (joint with Javier Cravino)
February 9, 2017 | 9:30-11 a.m. in CBA 222

Hanzhe Zhang, Michigan State University

Paper: Pre-Matching Gambles
March 2, 2017 | 9:30-11 a.m. in CBA 222

Shafiun Shimul, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Paper: Uneven Obstacles for the Mid-Size Firms and the Missing Middles in the Developing Countries: Can Corruption and Tax Regulation explain it?
March 30, 2017 | 11:30a.m.-1:00p.m. in CBA 222

Richard van Weelden, University of Chicago

Paper: Crashing the Party? Elites, Outsiders, and Elections (joint with Peter Buisseret)
April 13, 2017 | 9:30-11 a.m. in CBA 222

Jeffrey Lin, Philadelphia Federal Reserve

Paper: Freeway Revolts!
April 27, 2017 | 9:30-11 a.m. in CBA 222

Central Plains Federal Statistical Research Data Center Seminars Session

Research Fair

Where: Lied Commons

When: 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., April 4

Three visiting scholars will present research papers featuring research conducted using Research Data Center (RDC) data followed by a Q&A during a 2-hour session. Faculty, staff, students, and the public are welcome to attend any events listed on the Research Fair schedule.

Christopher Clapp, “Should My Car Move or Should I? A Model of Residential and Commuting Choices.” Clapp is an assistant professor of economics at Florida State University

Bryan Stuart, “The Long-Run Effects of Recessions on Children.” Stuart is a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan

Richard Sanders and Yana Kucheva, “Black Pioneers, Intermetropolitan Movers, and Housing Desegregation.” Kucheva is an assistant professor of sociology at City University of New York (CUNY).

Fall 2016

Jillian Carr, Krannert School of Management at Purdue University

Thursday, December 8, 3:30–5 p.m. CBA 222

Topic: Housing Vouchers, Income Shocks, and Crime: Evidence from a Lottery

Jillian Carr is an assistant professor of economics in the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. Her research interests are the economics of crime and government programs, particularly those focused on poverty reduction. She aims to discern how the structures of various public programs impact the trajectory of individuals in a number of arenas including education, fertility and crime. Carr completed her undergraduate studies at Rhodes College and her graduate studies at Texas A&M University.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) is the largest federal housing assistance program; it provides in-kind transfers in the form of rent vouchers to low-income populations. This paper examines the effect of such voucher receipt on criminal activity. To overcome bias due to selection into the program, we exploit the exogenous variation in lottery-assigned wait-list positions in order to identify the causal effects of the vouchers. Using administrative arrest records, we find voucher receipt has no effect on the likelihood of all arrests, and arrests for drug and financially motivated crimes, but increases the probability of violent crime arrests.

Enghin Atalay, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thursday, November 10, 3:30–5 p.m. CBA 222

Topic: How Wide is the Firm Border?

Enghin Atalay is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research is in the areas of macroeconomics and industrial organization. In his current research, Atalay focuses on the determinants of firm organizational choices, in particular the costs and benefits of in-sourcing versus sourcing inputs from outside of the firm.

We quantify the transaction costs that firms face when participating in intermediate goods markets. To do so, we examine the shipment behavior of tens of thousands of establishments that produce and distribute a variety of products throughout the goods-producing sector. Our main analysis relates the frequency of shipments across pairs of sending establishments and destination zip codes to the proportion of establishments in the destination which share ownership with the sender. These regressions reveal that the rm boundary is notably wide: An additional downstream establishment which shares ownership with the sender has an equivalent effect on trade intensity as a 30 percent reduction in distance between sender and destination. A calibration of a multi-sector general equilibrium trade model demonstrates that these transaction costs also have discernable economy-wide implications.

Thomas D. Jeitschko, Michigan State University

Thursday, October 27, 3:30–5 p.m. CBA 222

Topic: Platform Competition with Endogenous Homing

Thomas D. Jeitschko is the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University. As such he oversees the graduate programs of the eight Academic Departments, four Professional Schools, and ten Institutes, Centers and Programs within the College of Social Science, serving close to 1500 graduate students in over fifteen Ph.D. programs and twenty Master’s programs.

Thomas is also a Professor of Economics and serves as the Director of the American Economic Association Summer Training Program at Michigan State University—an eight week intensive residential scholastic program that prepares talented undergraduate students from under-represented backgrounds for graduate work in economics and related fields.

Thomas holds an economics degree from the University of Münster in Germany (Dipl. VWL, 1991) with a specialization in Economic History and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, 1995, with a specialization in Economic Theory. His research interests are in applied economic theory with concentrations in industrial organization, law and economics, and micro-economics more broadly. He has published over forty articles in a wide variety of journals, including the American Economic Review, the European Economic Review, Games and Economic Behavior, Economic Theory, the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, and the Journal of Industrial Economics. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization and the International Journal of Industrial Organization, and an editorial board member of the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, in addition to holding several other editorial appointments.

Thomas has also worked at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. in the Antitrust Division where he was the lead economist on many investigations of mergers and potentially anticompetitive firm conduct. He has expertise in Financial Markets (including OTC and Indices) and Securities and Derivatives Exchanges; in Telecommunications and Internet Content and Service Provision; in Generic Drug markets; and in Intellectual Property; Auctions; and Pricing Practices and Price Gouging. As a member of the Panel of Economists of the Center for State Enforcement of Antitrust and Consumer Protection Laws, Thomas regularly advises and consults for States Attorneys General Offices throughout the U.S. concerning antitrust and consumer protection matters.

Prior to his current appointment at MSU, Thomas has held faculty positions at Royal Holloway College, University of London and Texas A&M University, as well as shorter appointments at Duke, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown Universities, and Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. He has extensive teaching experience in micro economics, game theory, industrial organization and law and economics—regularly teaching undergraduate and Ph.D. classes, and he also has experience in teaching graduate classes in Law, MBA, and Master’s of Public Policy and Public Administration programs.

Thomas has served on over 35 Ph.D. committees, including ten as chair, across multiple disciplines. He is currently a collaborator on two NSF grants and he regularly presents his research at invited seminars and conferences throughout the U.S. and abroad.

David E. Frisvold, University of Iowa

Thursday, September 22, 3:30–5 p.m. CBA 222

Topic: State Merit Aid Programs and Youth Employment

David E. Frisvold is an associate professor at the University of Iowa. Frisvold’s research interests include health economics and the economics of education. He is interested in understanding whether and how public policies targeted towards children influence their health and education outcomes, and his research specifically focuses on childhood obesity, soft drink taxes, early childhood education, school quality, and food assistance programs.

His research has been published in leading economics and health policy journals including Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Human Resources, and Health Affairs and has been funded by various institutes and organizations including the NIH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, University of California Davis Center for Poverty Research, and Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin.

This paper examines the impact of state merit-aid programs on teen and young adult labor market outcomes. Merit-aid programs reduce the price of attending an in-state public college or university for high-achieving students and have the potential to influence students’ allocation of time and effort between labor market activities and human capital development. We examine the variation in the influence of these programs based on their generosity, both in the amount of aid provided to a recipient and the percent of students who are recipients of aid. We also provide some of the first estimates of the influence of these programs on labor market outcomes prior to completed schooling. Our results suggest that more generous programs influence labor market outcomes, but are not a significant cause in the decline in teenage labor force participation in recent decades.

Central Plains Research Data Center (RDC) Seminars

The Central Plains Research Data Center (RDC) at Nebraska is pleased to announce its lineup of presentations for the 2016 fall semester. Researchers interested in learning more about how to access restricted federal data sets can attend an introductory session providing a summary of various data sets by topic, or attend a session on how to get started on developing an RDC project. John Anderson, professor of economics and executive director of the RDC, will present the topical sessions and Veronica Roth, census administrator, will present the sessions on how to get projects started in the RDC for researchers with specific proposal ideas.

Economic and Finance Data Sets, John Anderson, RDC Executive Director

Wednesday, September 21, 4-5 p.m., CBA 222

Example Data Sets Covered:

• Censuses of manufacturers, construction, retail, wholesale services trade, transportation, communications, utilities, and finance, insurance, and real estate
• Business Register
• COMPUTSTAT bridge to the Business Register
• Longitudinal Business Database (LBD)
• Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics database (LEHD)

How to Start Your Research Project in the RDC, Veronica Roth, RDC Census Administrator

Monday, September 26, Noon-1:00 p.m., Whittier Boardroom 344a

Health Data Sets, John Anderson, RDC Executive Director

Wednesday, October 5, 4-5 p.m., Location: TBA

Example Data Sets Covered:

• National Health Interview Survey
• Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)
• National Survey of Family Growth, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

How to Start Your Research Project in the RDC, Veronica Roth, RDC Census Administrator

Tuesday, October 11, Noon-1:00 p.m., Whittier Boardroom 344a

Demographic Data Sets, John Anderson, RDC Executive Director

Wednesday, October 26, 4-5 p.m., CBA 222

Example Data Sets Covered:

• American Community Survey (ACS)
• Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)
• National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

How to Start Your Research Project in the RDC, Veronica Roth, RDC Census Administrator

Wednesday, November 2, Noon-1:00 p.m., Whittier Boardroom 344a

Spring 2016

2016 England-Clark Conference

Celebrating 110 years of doctoral research in economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

April 21-22

Event Details:

The University Of Nebraska has produced an impressive number of influential women. One of those, Minnie Throop England, was only the second to be awarded a doctoral degree from Nebraska’s Department of Political Economy and Sociology in 1906. At a time when women economists were few in number and often focused their work on so-called women’s issues, England published a body of influential work addressing business cycle theory. England served on the faculty of the newly named Department of Political Economy and Commerce from 1906 to 1921.

The first doctoral degree awarded by the Department of Political Economy and Sociology was earned by Anderson W. Clark in 1905. Clark was a much-loved humanitarian who founded the Child Saving Institute in Omaha, which still serves the children of eastern Nebraska.

The Nebraska Department of Economics and College of Business will celebrate 110 years of doctoral research at the 2016 England-Clark Conference on April 21 through April 22, 2016. The conference will open with a reception at the Sheldon Museum of Art Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m. On Friday, you are invited to attend an academic conference at the Wick Alumni Center from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. followed by the Hall of Fame banquet beginning at 6 p.m. Featured speaker at the banquet will be Professor John M. Abowd, Edmund Ezra Day Professor of Economics and Professor of Statistics and Information Science at Cornell University.

Registration is required but free of charge. All Nebraska-Econ Graduate Alumni are welcome to submit papers and/or attend the conference.

Call for Papers:

The Department of Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln invites paper proposals for the England-Clark Economics Research Conference. Presenters must have a degree from Nebraska. To highlight the opening of the Research Data Center at Nebraska, we are particularly interested in applied research. However, all aspects of economics scholarship are welcome.

Registration link: http://business.unl.edu/england-clark.
Registration deadline is April 14. Paper submissions are due by March 25, 2016.

Please contact Sheila Hayes with any questions at shayes4@unl.edu.

Keynote Speaker: John M. Abowd

John M. Abowd is the Edmund Ezra Day Professor of Economics, Professor of Statistics and Information Science at Cornell University. He is currently Visiting Professor of Economics in the Center for Labor Economics at the University of California-Berkeley. He is also Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER, Cambridge, MA), Research Affiliate at the Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique (CREST, Paris, France), Research Fellow at the Institute for Labor Economics (IZA, Bonn, Germany), and Research Fellow at IAB (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt-und Berufsforschung, Nürnberg, Germany). Abowd is the Director of the Labor Dynamics Institute (LDI) at Cornell. He is the President (2014-2015) and Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists. He is former Chair (2013) of the Business and Economic Statistics Section and Fellow of the American Statistical Association. He is an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute. Abowd is a Fellow of the Econometric Society. He serves as a Distinguished Senior Research Fellow at the United States Census Bureau (1998-2015). He is also currently serving on the National Academies’ Committee on National Statistics (2010- 2016) and on the American Economic Association’s Committee on Economic Statistics. He served as Director of the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER) from 1999 to 2007.

Mauricio Delgado, Rutgers University

March 14: 3:00pm CB3, Room B60

Topic: Social Context Influences the Neural Systems of Reward Processing


A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Mauricio Delgado earned his bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and behavior from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He initially planned to build a career in medicine, but after joining a psychology laboratory in his early years he developed a keen interest in research and teaching and pursued a career in academia as a neuroscientist. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at New York University. In 2006, he joined the faculty at Rutgers-Newark where he established the Delgado Lab for Social and Affective Neuroscience. In 2010, President Barack Obama presented Delgado with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers.

The social context inherent in our daily lives can influence reward-processing and decision making. While humans have evolved to value rewards such as food and money, some of the most sought after reinforcers are social in nature (e.g., praise; reciprocity) as they fulfill social needs and aid in fostering meaningful relationships between individuals and groups. Further, the information conveyed by such social reinforcers can be used to a) evaluate and form expectations about others and b) make decisions regarding future social interactions. In a series of experiments, we test how the experience of a reward is affected by the surrounding social context (i.e., which group members are we interacting with; the level of closeness between a group of peers), and how such experience shapes decision making. Participants engage in simple decision making experiments where monetary rewards are received in the context of a social interaction with different partners: a close friend (in-network), a confederate (out-of-network) or a computer (non-social control). We demonstrate that this social context modulates reward-related neural signals in cortico-striatal circuits, particularly for in-network partners, even though the objective monetary value of the potential rewards are equivalent across partners. Using a computational modeling approach, we also show that this neural circuitry accounts for a social value signal, which helps promote decisions to collaborate during a repeated trust game. Taken together, these results highlight how the social context in which a reward is experienced carries a distinct value signal which informs close relationships and future social interactions.

Fall 2015

Lee Lockwood, Northwestern University

September 18: 2:30 p.m. in CBA 132

Topic: Means-tested Old Age Support and Private Behavior: Evidence from the Old Age Assistance Program

Lee Lockwood is an assistant professor of economics at Northwestern University. His research is in the areas of public finance, labor economics, and health economics. Lockwood is especially interested in the effects of government programs on household behavior. His recent research focuses on the determinants of the saving and insurance decisions of older households.

A major source of the expansion of governments over the last several decades has been their role in operating social insurance programs. Most of these programs are implemented at the national level and in the recent past have been only rarely subject to large reforms, creating a major challenge for learning about their effects. In this paper, we investigate the Old Age Assistance Program (OAA), a means-tested and state-administered pension program created by the Social Security Act of 1935. OAA was the primary source of government old age support through the 1930s and 1940s, remaining much larger than Social Security until the 1950s. Using newly available complete-count Census data from 1940, we exploit the large differences in OAA programs across states and the detailed rules that governed eligibility for OAA within states to estimate the labor supply effects of OAA. We find that OAA significantly reduced labor supply, with our main estimates indicating that OAA led to a 5.7 percentage point reduction in labor force participation among men aged 65–74, or 11 percent relative to the base of roughly 50 percent participation. Estimating a standard model of life cycle labor supply, we find that about two-thirds of the OAA-induced reduction in late-life labor supply was due to income effects and one-third was due to substitution effects from OAA’s earnings test. Simulations of the model suggest that Social Security (the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance program that continues to this day) had large effects on retirement once it started making payments, with a mix of income and substitution effects similar to that of OAA.

Joaqin Lopez, University of Memphis

October 2: 2:30 p.m. in CBA 132

Topic: A United Theory of Tax Evasion in Developing Countries

Joaquin Lopez is an assistant professor of economics at the Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis. His research is in the areas of economic growth, economic development, international trade and monetary economics. In his current research Lopez seeks to understand the interaction between firms and governments in open economies, the movement of factors of production and ideas within and across borders, and how policies affect such flows.

Informality as well as tax evasion by formal firms are pervasive in developing countries, yet most studies focus on the former. I study the effects of enforcement policies aimed at reducing informality, the extensive margin, and tax evasion, the intensive margin, on tax revenues, aggregate productivity, and investment. I develop a model where individuals with idiosyncratic managerial abilities face the choice of becoming formal entrepreneurs, informal entrepreneurs, or workers. Informal entrepreneurs avoid paying taxes by staying small, while formal entrepreneurs can spend resources to reduce their fiscal outlay. I show that if there are no formal tax-compliant firms operating, there are trade-offs between the two types of enforcement: increased enforcement at the intensive margin increases the size of the informal sector, potentially reducing TFP without increasing revenues, while better enforcement at the extensive margin increases revenues but also the amount of rent seeking in the economy. I then calibrate the model to Mexico, where both informality and tax evasion by formal firms are rampant, and consider the effects of both partial and full enforcement. Tax revenues increase in both cases, although more modestly for reductions in formal tax evasion. TFP, investment and output respond positively to partial and full reductions in informality, but remain virtually unchanged after improvements in the enforcement on formal firms. Last, both partial and complete reductions in informality increase the amount of rent seeking in the economy.

RDC Research Sessions in Conjunction with University Research Fair

November 10: 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. in Colonial Room, Nebraska Union

Topic: RDC Research Seminars

Session Information Flyer

Three visiting scholars will present research papers featuring research conducted using Research Data Center (RDC) data, followed by a questions and answers during a 90-minutes session. The event is open to the public.

Claudia Solis-Roman, Research Scientist at New York University, Robert Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Measuring the Impacts of the Favorable Tax Treatment of Health Insurance

Compensation employees receive as health insurance is not taxed. The tax exempt status of health plans functions as a subsidy, encouraging individuals to sign onto employer plans and further to select more expensive plans with more generous packages. By making employer insurance plans more appealing to workers, availability of tax exempt insurance may drive enrollment in expensive insurance plans and thereby increase moral hazard, a market failure which reduces the efficiency of medical care markets. Mark Pauly (1986) describes a three step pathway through which the favorable tax treatment of employer coverage increases medical care expenditures: 1) the tax treatment warps insurance choices, encouraging people to buy excessively generous insurance plans, 2) increased coverage plans distort and expand demand for medical care, and 3) this distorted demand interacts with supply side responses that lead to excessive costs and expenditures.

The first step in the pathway is well studied (see, for example, Stabile, Canadian Journal of Economics, 2001; and Royalty, Journal of Public Economics, 2000; and Gruber and Poterba, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1994). There is a small literature on the second step in the pathway, using variation in the marginal tax rates of employees within firms (Gruber and Lettau, Journal of Public Economics, 2004) However, little is known about how the tax treatment of insurance at the economy-wide level affects spending in the health care system more broadly, the third step in Pauly’s pathway. Variation in medical spending due to the favorable tax treatment of employer sponsored insurance is a result of both individual level insurance and spending choices and supply level responses to change in demand.

This study uses the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 1996-2002, sample with state identifiers, matched to Taxsim generated tax rates, to study effects of state level tax rate variation on medical expenditures to identify how the tax price of health care influences spending at the state level through the combination of individual spending behavior and supply side responses. We ask – is state-level spending and the design of health insurance coverage related to the tax price for ESI holders?

We use state level averages of marginal combined state and federal tax rates and averages of simulated taxes to identify differences in spending. We examine levels of service use (physician, dentist, ER, and hospital visits), spending (by service type), and health insurance plan design (HMO, deductible, out-of-pocket maximum) to assess how tax rates affect state level spending.

Abigail Cooke, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University at Buffalo SUNY

Spillovers from Immigrant Diversity in Cities

Using comprehensive longitudinal matched employer-employee data for the U.S., this paper provides new evidence on the relationship between productivity and immigration-spawned urban diversity. Existing empirical work has uncovered a robust positive correlation between productivity and immigrant diversity, supporting theory suggesting that diversity acts as a local public good that makes workers more productive by enlarging the pool of knowledge available to them, as well as by fostering opportunities for them to recombine ideas to generate novelty. This paper makes several empirical and conceptual contributions. First, it improves on existing empirical work by addressing various sources of potential bias, especially from unobserved heterogeneity among individuals, work establishments, and cities. Second, it augments identification by using longitudinal data that permits examination of how diversity and productivity co-move. Third, the paper seeks to reveal whether diversity acts upon productivity chiefly at the scale of the city or the workplace. Findings confirm that urban immigrant diversity produces positive and nontrivial spillovers for U.S. workers. This social return represents a distinct channel through which immigration generates broad-based economic benefits.

Molly Dondero, NICHD Postdoctoral Fellow, Population Research Institute, Pennsylvania State University

Generational status, neighborhood context, and mother-child resemblance in dietary quality in Mexican-origin families

Children of immigrants in the United States often grow up in very different nutrition environments than their parents. As a result, parent-child concordance in diet may be particularly weak in immigrant families. Yet, little is known about parent-child dietary resemblance in immigrant families and how local contexts shape it. This study uses data from the 1999/2000-2009/2010 Continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine mother-child resemblance in dietary quality in Mexican-origin families in the United States. We investigate how immigrant generational status and neighborhood context shape the association between mother’s and child’s dietary quality. We find that mother-child resemblance in dietary quality is weaker for first-generation children relative to third-generation children. However, residence in an immigrant enclave strengthens the mother-child association in dietary quality for first-generation children. Findings offer a unique within-family perspective of immigrant health. Results suggest that the healthy eating advantage of Mexican immigrant mothers may not be sustained across family generations and that Mexican immigrant mothers may face unique challenges in promoting healthy eating among their children.

Central Plains RDC is also having a grand opening on November 10, 2015 in conjunction with the University of Nebraska Research Fair. RDC’s official opening will take place at 9:30 a.m. during which the University and Census dignitaries will be giving remarks. Please come join us to celebrate this historic event. Visit Research Fair or Department of Economics Seminar Series pages for more information and abstracts.

John S. Heywood, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

November 20: 2:30 p.m. in CBA 117

Topic: Traffic Accidents and the London Congestion Charge

John S. Heywood is distinguished professor of Economics and director of the Graduate Program in Human Resources and Labor Relations at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. An expert in the economics of personnel, he has held appointments in the United Kingdom, Germany, Hong Kong and Australia. His research examines performance pay, earnings discrimination, the labor market for older workers, the determinants and consequences of family friendly firm practices, public sector labor markets and the economics of trade unions.

He has consulted for national governments, the World Bank, major corporations and trade unions. The author of more than 150 articles, his research appears in leading outlets including the Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Health Economics and Journal of Public Economics.

In a rare effort to internalize congestion costs, London recently instituted charges for traveling by car to the central city during peak hours. Although the theoretical influence on the number and severity of traffic accidents is ambiguous, we show that the policy generated a substantial reduction in both accidents and fatalities in the charged area and hours. At the same time, the spatial, temporal and vehicle specific nature of the charge may cause unintended substitutions as traffic and accidents shift to other proximate areas, times and to uncharged vehicles. We demonstrate that, to the contrary, the congestion charge reduced accidents and fatalities in adjacent areas, times and for uncharged vehicles. These results are consistent with the government’s objective to use the congestion charge to more broadly promote public transport and change driving habits.

Spring 2015

Avi Baranes

February 6: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. in CBA 143

Topic: The Angry Birds Approach to Austerity

Avi Baranes, graduate research assistant at University of Missouri – Kansas City, will examine the different approaches to understanding austerity measures both in the Unites States and around the world. He begins with the traditional deficit hawk and deficit dove views of austerity, and then presents an alternative approach based on modern money theory (MMT) that economists such as Stephanie Kelton, the chief economist for the minority on the Senate Finance Committee, has popularized.

Gilbert (Gib) Metcalf, Tufts University - Presented by E.N. Thompson Forum

March 3: 1:00-2:00 p.m. in CBA 222

Topic: Brown Bag Q&A with Professor Gilbert Metcalf

Gilbert E. Metcalf is a professor of economics at Tufts University and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also a research associate at MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and an associate scholar in the Harvard Environmental Economics Program. Metcalf has taught at Princeton University, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and MIT. He has frequently testified before Congress, served on expert panels including a National Academies of Sciences panel on energy externalities, and recently served as the deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Currently he serves on the board of directors of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the international professional association for economists working on environmental and natural resource issues. He has published numerous papers in peer reviewed academic journals, has edited or co-authored four books, and has contributed chapters to a number of books on energy and tax policy. Metcalf received a bachelor's in mathematics from Amherst College, a master's in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

The debate "Cutting Carbon Emissions: Better Environment, Worse Economy?" will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Lied Center. This event is made possible thanks to Dr. Chuck and Linda Wilson and the E.N Thompson Forum on World Issues, http://enthompson.unl.edu.

E.N. Thompson Forum

Aeimit Lakdawala, Michigan State University

March 13: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. in CBA 117

Topic: Federal Reserve Credibility and the Term Structure

Aeimit Lakdawala is an assistant professor of economics at Michigan State University. His research is in the field of applied macroeconomics with a focus on monetary policy. He has previously worked at Bank of England, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Reserve Bank of India at different capacities as an economic research associate. Lakdawala recieved his bachelor's degree in computer science from The University of Texas at Austin, and completed his graduate studies in economics at University of California.

We explore the effects of Federal Reserve credibility on the term structure of interest rates. First, in a simple model of optimal monetary policy we show theoretically how different assumptions about the level of credibility of the central bank can affect the term structure of interest rates. Next, using a regime-switching approach, we estimate a DSGE model with optimal monetary policy and a no-arbitrage term-structure framework. Federal Reserve behavior is modeled using the loose commitment setting, which nests the commonly used discretion and full commitment assumptions. We investigate the effects of re-optimization shocks on the term structure and explore the role of credibility through counterfactual simulations.

Jessica Pan, Princeton and National University of Singapore

April 17: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. in CBA 117

Topic: When Time Binds: Returns to Working Long Hours and the Gender Wage Gap among the Highly Skilled

Jessica Pan is an assistant professor of economics at the National University of Singapore. She is currently a visiting associate research scholar at the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University. Pan’s research focuses on applied topics in labor economics and the economics of education. Her current research examines gender differences in the labor market and educational outcomes; international migration and the labor market effects on source and host countries; and topics in labor economics such as discrimination, marriage markets and the returns to education. Pan holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

This paper explores the relationship between gender differences in hours worked, the returns to working long hours, and the gender pay gap among highly educated workers. Using a cross-section of occupations, Goldin (2014) documents that occupations characterized by high returns to overwork are also those with the largest gender gap in earnings. Using panel data on occupations across cities over time, we show that these associations continue to hold even after accounting for differences across occupations over time, differences across cities over time, and differences in characteristics of occupations that vary by city. To provide causal evidence on the demand for long hours and how it relates to gender wage gaps, we exploit exogenous cross-city variation in low-skilled immigrant flows to proxy for changes in the prices of outsourcing household production. We find that low-skilled immigration leads to a reduction in the gender gap in weekly hours worked, as well as the gender pay gap, particularly in occupations that disproportionately reward longer hours of work. These results highlight the causal role of the returns to overwork in explaining the gender pay gap and suggest that reductions in the cost of supplying longer hours of work may allow women to close the gap in hours of work and to benefit from higher wages.

Myungkyu Shim, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

April 24: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. - Location: CBA 117

Topic: Interindustry Wage Differentials, Technology Adoption, and Job Polarization

Myungkyu Shim is an assistant professor of economics at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. His research is in the fields of Macroeconomics with current works focus on topics in the labor market including job polarization, global games, and economic fluctuations. Shim received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from Yonsei University, and completed his graduate studies in economics at University of California, San Diego.

Using the U.S. Census and EU KLEMS data, we find that the progress of job polarization between 1980 and 2009 was more evident in industries that initially paid high wage premia than in industries that did not. With a simple neoclassical firm model, we show that this phenomenon can be explained as firms’ optimal responses to interindustry wage differentials: firms with high wage premia are more likely to replace routine workers with capital. As a result, high-wage industries have experienced slower employment growth of routine workers than low-wage industries, which led to heterogeneity in job polarization across industries.

Fall 2014

Georg Schaur, University of Tennessee

October 10: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. in CBA 117

Topic: The Heterogeneous Costs of Port of Entry Delays: Evidence from Peru

Georg Schaur is an associate professor and the Spiva Scholar in the department of economics at the University of Tennessee. His research focuses on economic education and supply chain issues in international trade. His current work in economic education focuses on how instructors deliver course content, what incentives determine modes of delivery and how university and departmental policy affect the quality of education. Georg's work in international trade focuses on the identification and quantification of trade costs that are relevant for policy. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Economic Education (JEE) and the Journal for Economic Behavior and Organization (JEBO).

Kasey Buckles, University of Notre Dame

November 7: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. in CBA 117

Dr. Kasey Buckles is the Brian and Jeannelle Brady Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame. Buckles' primary research area is the economics of the family. In her work, she investigates how people make decisions about family structure, and considers the consequences of these decisions—particularly for the children in the family. Recent papers explore the effects of sibling spacing on child achievement, and the reasons for the relationship between marital status and infant health. She also works in the field of health economics, where she has explored the causes of geographic variation in cesarean rates, and the effect of college education on health. Buckles has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Her work has been published in the Review of Economics and Statistics, Demography, Health Economics, and the Journal of Human Resources. She is a faculty affiliate of the Lab for Economic Opportunities and the Gender Studies Program, and is a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Wilbert Van Der Klaauw, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

November 14th: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. in CBA 117

Topic: Inflation Expectations and Behavior: Do Survey Respondents Act on their Beliefs?

Wilbert van der Klaauw is a Senior Vice President in the Microeconomic Studies Function. He is a labor economist and applied econometrician whose research interests include the study of life cycle labor supply and occupational choice decisions, household financial behavior and expectations, the economic determinants of household formation and dissolution, educational investment and productivity, and econometric approaches to program evaluation. Prior to joining the New York Fed, Dr. van der Klaauw was a Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and Assistant Professor at New York University. He holds a Ph.D. from Brown University.

David Albouy, University of Illinois

December 12: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. in CBA 117

Topic: The Distribution of Urban Land Values: Evidence from Market Transactions

David Albouy is an associate professor of economics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a research associate at the Center for Business and Public Policy, and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California Berkeley, and previously held a position at the University of Michigan. David’s research examines how federal tax burdens and spending are distributed geographically, as well as local differences in pay, productivity, housing costs, and quality of life. He has published in several journals, including the Journal of Political Economy, the American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and the Journal of Public Economics.

Abstract: We analyze land values from market transactions across the United States. Across space, land values are distributed widely and almost log-normally. The strongest predictor of value per acre is lot size, followed by location, and then time. Urban and agricultural land markets appear unified after accounting for fixed conversion costs. Monocentric-city theory predicts how central land values depend on metro population and agricultural land values. Estimates using distance from center within metros are consistent with estimates using population across metros. They suggest land receives seven percent of income and the cost elasticity of urban population is four percent of income.

Spring 2014

Jin Kim

Thursday, January 16th from 12:30-2:00 in Gaughn Multicultural Center Ubuntu Room 202
Endogenous Choice of a Mediator: Inefficiency of Bargaining

Alan Gelder

Tuesday, January 21st from 12:30-2:00 in City Campus Union Regency A Room
From Custer to Thermopylae: Last Stand Behavior in Multi-Stage Contests

Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago

February 27: 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in Unity Room/212 in Gaughan Multicultural Center
Topic: Statistical Significance
Deirdre McCloskey

Deirdre McCloskey teaches economics, history, English, and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A well-known economist and historian and rhetorician, she has written sixteen books and around 400 scholarly pieces on topics ranging from technical economics and statistics to transgender advocacy and the ethics of the bourgeois virtues. She is known as a "conservative" economist, Chicago-School style (she taught for 12 years there), but protests that "I'm a literary, quantitative, postmodern, free-market, progressive Episcopalian, Midwestern woman from Boston who was once a man. Not 'conservative'! I'm a Christian libertarian."

Her latest book, Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World (University of Chicago Press, 2010), which argues that an ideological change rather than saving or exploitation is what made us rich, is the second in a series of four on The Bourgeois Era. The first was The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce (2006), asking if a participant in a capitalist economy can still have an ethical life (briefly, yes). With Stephen Ziliak she wrote in 2008, The Cult of Statistical Significance (2008), which criticizes the proliferation of tests of "significance," and was in 2011 the basis of a Supreme Court decision.

David Reiley, research scientist at Google

May 2: 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. in CBA 222
David Reiley

David Reiley is a research scientist at Google. He is a pioneer in the use of field experiments in economics. Economics has historically been an observational rather than an experimental science, but David has been a leader in the movement to introduce experiments wherever possible. He designed field experiments to test theories of auction bidding and charitable fundraising before he began to focus on experimental measurement of the effects advertising on consumer behavior.

Before moving to Google in 2012, David spent five years at Yahoo! Research. He was previously the Arizona Public Service Professor of Economics at the University of Arizona. He has also taught at Vanderbilt University and at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

In addition to his leadership in the area of field experiments, David also achieved recognition as the first academic expert on the economics of online auctions. He has also pursued microeconomic research on the effects of bus-driver incentives in Santiago, on the strategic play of professional soccer and poker players, and on the economics of email spam.

David is the Co-Editor for Field Experiments at Economic Inquiry, and has served as Vice President of Information for the Economic Science Association. He is a coauthor of the best-selling game theory textbook Games of Strategy, with Avinash Dixit and Susan Skeath. David holds a bachelor's degree in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University, and a PhD in economics from MIT.

Fall 2013

Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Rutgers University

September 23: 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. in CBA 222
Topic: Women's Land Rights, Economic Security, and Child Well-Being in Vietnam

Land Rights and Household Welfare in Vietnam: Does the Gender of the Land-Rights Holder Matter?

Yana van der Meulen Rodgers

Yana van der Meulen Rodgers is Professor and Graduate Director in the Women's and Gender Studies department at Rutgers University. Many of her studies have focused on East and South Asian economies, and she has traveled to and lived in Asia to conduct her research.

She has published numerous articles in refereed economics journals and has written a book entitled Maternal Employment and Child Health: Global Issues and Policy Solutions (Edward Elgar Publishing, November 2011).

Yana became President of the International Association for Feminist Economics in July 2013, and she has served as an associate editor for Feminist Economics since 2005. She has also workerd regularly as a consultant for the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Asian Development Bank.

Yana is an avid runner and enjoys racing, especially half-marathons.

Kevin Mumford, Purdue University

September 27: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. in CBA 117
Topic: The Effect of Underwater Mortgages on Unemployment
The Effect of Underwater Mortgages on Unemployment (PDF file)
Kevin Mumford

Mumford is an assistant professor in the Economics Department at Purdue University. He teaches courses in econometrics, public finance, and labor economics. His masters-level econometrics course covers standard regression methods, basic time series methods, panel data methods, and instrumental variables estimation. His PhD-level labor economics course covers labor demand, labor supply, and taxation. It focuses on common applied microeconometric tools including matching methods, difference-in-differences, regression discontinuity, instrumental variables, quantile regression, and panel methods.

His research has focused on taxation, fertility and families, labor supply, poverty, and the role of human capital in measuring national wealth (economic sustainability). He has received research grants from the Purdue Research Foundation, the Institute for Research on Poverty, the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, the John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In 2010, he was awarded the John and Mary Willis Young Faculty Scholar Award.

Mumford lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with his wife Darcia and they have four young children, Bryson, Kaitlyn, Alyssa, and Hailey.

J. David Richardson, Syracuse University

November 5: noon - 1:30 p.m. in the Wick Alumni Center
Topic: Sizing Up U.S. Export Disincentives for a New Generation of National-Security Export Controls
David Richardson

J. David Richardson, a senior fellow (retired), has been associated with the Peterson Institute for International Economics since 1991. He is also professor of economics in the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He has written extensively on trade, globalization, and international economic policy issues. He is author or coauthor of Why Global Commitment Really Matters! (2001), Global Competition Policy (1997), Competition Policies for the Global Economy (1997), Why Exports Matter: More! (1996), Why Exports Really Matter! (1995), and Sizing Up U.S. Export Disincentives (1993).

Ronald Fisher, Michigan State University

November 15: 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. in CBA 117
Topic: State and Local Government Capital Expenditure: Effects on the Level and Composition of Spending
Ronald Fisher

Fisher is a professor of economics and adjunct professor of accounting and information systems at Michigan State University. Served as Dean of the Honors College (1996-2007), as chairperson of the department of economics (1988-1992), and as a member of the University's Academic Council, the University Committee on Academic Policy, the University Committee on Student Affairs, and the University's Athletic Council. Fischer joined the faculty as assistant professor in the department of economics in 1976, and was promoted to associate professor in 1981 and professor in 1986.

Fisher specializes in the study of government finance and taxation, particularly regarding state and local governments. He has authored the leading textbook in the field, State and Local Public Finance, first published in 1989, with the fourth edition to be published in 2014. In addition, he has written more than 100 professional articles, research reports, and books on public finance topics.

Fisher received his Ph.D. (1977) and M.A. (1974) in economics from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. B.A. (with high honors) in chemistry from Michigan State (1972), where he was a student member of the Honors College.