Unbanked households, poverty, and taxation

Friday, November 5, 2021, noon-2pm eastern time
This SGE Virtual Seminar is free. Register in advance at this Zoom link. Maximum capacity is 100 participants.
Millions of Americans live in households without a bank account. Unbanked households tend to be at-risk along multiple dimensions including being subject to the utilization of costly bank account substitutes, such as check cashers and money orders. Their lack of engagement with the financial system might extend to a lack of engagement with the tax system and the social safety net, depriving them of aid for which they might be eligible. During the COVID-19 pandemic, unbanked households have only slowly benefited from stimulus payments because they could not receive a direct deposit. This session will discuss historical trends in unbanked households’ characteristics, transitions by households into or out of unbanked status, and what program administrators can know and do about financial inclusion.

The Impact of Financial Inclusion on Minorities: Evidence from the Freedman’s Savings Bank
Claire Celerier (University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management) and Purnoor Tak (London Business School)

The Effect of Job Loss on Bank Account Ownership
Ryan M. Goodstein (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and Mark J. Kutzbach (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)
Unbanked and Impoverished? Exploring Banking and Poverty Interactions over Time
John F. Creamer (U.S. Census Bureau) and Lewis H. Warren (U.S. Census Bureau)
Checked Out: Unbanked Households’ Engagement with the Tax System and the Social Safety Net
Shalise S. Ayromloo (U.S. Census Bureau) and Mark A. Klee (U.S. Census Bureau)
Above, presenter names are in bold.

ChairBrian Melzer (Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth)

DiscussantsJesse Bruhn (Brown University); Kenneth Brevoort (Federal Reserve Board of Governors); Jeffrey Weinstein (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation); Maude Toussaint-Comeau (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

The Problems of Widespread Usage of Electric Vehicles

Thursday, October 14, 2021, 5:00 – 6:15 p.m. Eastern time

Speaker:  Nick Nigro, Founder of Atlas Public Policy

Nigro’s slides are available here.

Our speaker, Nick Nigro, has nearly 20 years of experience managing teams of various disciplines and sizes with a focus on innovation and value creation. He is a nationally known expert on climate change policy, transportation electrification, and the greater use of data in policy analysis.

Transportation networks must be revamped or created to adapt to electric vehicles and new fuels. The Biden Administration has proposed set a new national goal that 50% of new car sales by 2030 be electric vehicles and large investments in electric charging stations. In March, the United States passed the milestone of 100,000 public chargers.

Mr. Nigro will address the conditions necessary for the widespread purchase of electric vehicles, including sufficient number of charging stations, extended battery range, and how quickly electric cars can be charged.  After Mr. Nigro speaks we will open the webinar to questions.

SGE election results, June 2021

The Election Committee is pleased to announce the results of the 2021 SGE elections. Many thanks to outgoing Board members Susan Fleck (President), Misty Heggeness (Secretary), and Young Jo.  The newly elected members will join continuing Board members Gray Kimbrough and Leo Sveikauskas.
The President and Vice President have one-year terms. Board members have two-year terms, except for the Executive Director who has a four-year term.

Board positionNewly elected
PresidentSabrina Pabilonia
Vice-PresidentCristina Miller
Executive SecretaryDanielle Sandler
TreasurerSusan Xu
Outreach Director & Event PlannerWendy C.Y. Li
Membership DirectorWenhua Di
Executive DirectorBrian Sloboda
Website DirectorPeter B. Meyer
At-Large Board MemberBreno Braga
At-Large Board MemberErick Sager
At-Large Board MemberScott Wentland

April 30th at noon

Land and Trade – Two Views

Friday Virtual Seminar Series
April 30, 2021
12 noon to 1:30 pm

This seminar is free.  Pre-registration is required. Register in advance at this Zoom link. Maximum capacity is 100 participants.

This session features two papers, both of which explore novel approaches in their corresponding fields.  The first paper investigates historical problems in Indian land ownership, including the ownership structure, and explores application of the public goods theory to the case of Indian owners monitoring the Bureau of Indian Affairs in its assistance with land lease negotiations.  The second paper examines existing methods of estimating nondiscriminatory non-tariff measures (NTM) and proposes a measure to aggregate nondiscriminatory trade costs and decompose the estimated trade costs into individual components.  It provides an approach to identify and remove non-cost factors that erroneously contributed to the aggregate cost estimates, and it estimates the effects of specific NTMs trade costs using available data. 

ChairSusan Xu (International Trade Administration)

Monitoring of Bureaucracy as a Public Good – A Case Study of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Olga Shanks (George Mason University) and Thomas Stratmann (George Mason University)

A Pragmatic Approach to Estimating Nondiscriminatory Non-Tariff Trade Costs
Peter R. Herman (U.S. International Trade Commission)

DiscussantsPatrice Kunesh (Native American Rights Fund and Former Director, Center for Indian Country Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis); Maksim Belenkiy (International Trade Administration)

April 16th at noon

Housing Markets and Policy

Friday Virtual Seminar Series
April 16, 2021
12 noon to 1:45 pm

This seminar is free.  Pre-registration is required. Register in advance at this Zoom link. Maximum capacity is 100 participants.

This session features three papers on the timely topic of housing, a sector of the economy that is once again garnering attention in the news and continues to inspire interesting academic research. The first paper examines the housing market’s rent response to changes in supply, drawing evidence from a recent sizable expansion to Washington DC’s apartment housing stock. Also using data from the DC market, the second paper investigates whether “green buildings” (with LEED certification) garner a rental premium, consistent with potential savings on utilities and operating expenses. The third paper exploits variation in housing tax policy to explore how education and earnings outcomes later in life are affected by growing up in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) housing.

ChairScott Wentland (US Bureau of Economic Analysis)

The Impact of an Increasing Housing Supply on Housing Prices: The Case of the District of Columbia, 2000-2018
Bethel L. Cole-Smith (Howard University) and Daniel Muhammad (Government of DC)

The Effect of Green-Building Certification on Housing Rental Prices in the District of Columbia
Nyanya Browne (Howard University) and Daniel Muhammad (Government of DC)

Does Growing Up in Tax-subsidized Housing Lead to Higher Earnings and Educational Attainment?
Elena C. Derby (Joint Committee on Taxation)

DiscussantsJustin Contat (Federal Housing Finance Agency); Abdul Munisib (US Bureau of Economic Analysis); Jeremy Moulton (UNC-Chapel Hill)

Webinar: Economic Growth During Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout

Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m

This seminar is free.  Pre-registration is required. Register in advance at this zoom link. Maximum capacity is 100 participants.


Dr. Jeff Werling, Director of Macroeconomic Analysis, Congressional Budget Office

Dr. Wendy Edelberg, Director, The Hamilton Project, Brookings Institution

During the year from March 2020 until March 2021 over thirty million cases and 540 thousand deaths occurred in the United States from the covid-19 pandemic and 122 million cases and 2,690 deaths occurred worldwide. It was the worst health crisis since the influenza pandemic of 1918.

The economic devastation has been severe. Total U.S. nonfarm employment fell by 20.5 million to the low point in April 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic could result in net losses in the range of $3.2 trillion to $4.8 trillion in U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) over the course of two years, according to estimates from a new University of Southern California study. 

Vaccines for Covid-19 give hope that the world can return to normal. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech developed mRNA vaccines. Johnson & Johnson, the third vaccine in the U.S., was approved for emergency use in February 2021.

Our panelists will present perspectives on these issues, followed by Q&A and discussion.

Dr. Jeff Werling is Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at the Congressional Budget Office. Prior to that position Dr. Werling was President of the Interindustry Economic Research Fund Inc.  Werling received a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Maryland in 1992.

Dr. Wendy Edelberg is Director of the Hamilton Project at the Brooking Institution and Senior Fellow in Economic Studies.  Prior to that appointment Dr. Edelberg was Chief Economist at the Congressional Budget Office. Edelberg received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

2022 SGE@ASSA Sessions
Call for Papers

Thank you to all for your submissions. Acceptances were sent out in early July, 2021.

The Society of Government Economists organizes 7 sessions at the ASSA Annual meetings. This Call for Papers invites members wishing to give papers or organize complete sessions for SGE@ASSA meetings to submit proposals electronically via the Society of Government Economists’ website from March 15 to May 14, 2021.

The 2022 ASSA Annual meeting will be held virtually on Friday-Sunday, January 7-9, 2022. (Not in Boston as previously planned.)

This call for papers and sessions is open to all individuals. Applicants need not be government economists. Submissions are competitively selected by the SGE@ASSA Committee, chaired by Wendy Li.

March 12th at noon

Consumption and Living Standards

Friday Virtual Seminar Series
March 12, 2021
12 noon to 1:15 pm

This seminar is free.  Pre-registration is required. Register in advance at this Zoom link. Maximum capacity is 100 participants.

This session features two research papers on consumption and living standards. The first paper examines how living standards vary across the U.S. and discusses how each state’s welfare has evolved overtime. The second paper looks at the impact of oil booms on income inequality in the U.S. It examines both oil price variation and quantity booms from oil discoveries and discusses measures of state-level income inequality.

ChairMisty L. Heggeness (US Census Bureau)

A Comparison of Living Standards Across the United States of America
Elena Falcettoni  (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System) and Vegard M. Nygaard (University of Houston)

Natural Resources and Inequality: Evidence from the United States
Loujaina Abdelwahed (Cooper Union) and Richard Campbell (University of Illinois at Chicago)

DiscussantsThesia Garner (Bureau of Labor Statistics); Kalee Burns (US Census Bureau)

Feb 26th at noon

Economic Measurement: Prices, Productivity, and the Unemployment Rate

Friday Virtual Seminar Series
February 26, 2021
12 noon to 1:45 pm

This seminar is free.  Pre-registration is required. Register in advance at this Zoom link. Maximum capacity is 100 participants.

This session features three research papers on economic measurement. The first paper re-estimates historical PPIs using the geometric Young formula at the elementary level and finds the overall index is lower by 0.55 percentage points per year.  The second paper introduces the production accounts used to measure U.S. agricultural productivity (1948-2017), addresses some recent major changes, discusses some findings on sources of growth, and talks about ongoing research projects that aim to further improve the quality of US agricultural productivity measures.  The third paper assembles several historical estimates of the unemployment rate and discusses the role these private-sector estimates played in the development of official unemployment and labor force statistics.

ChairSabrina Wulff Pabilonia (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

An Alternative Formula for Elementary Producer Price Indexes
Jonathan C. WeinhagenRobert S. Martin, and William M. Thompson (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

U.S. Agricultural Productivity: Measurement and Sources of Growth (1948-2017)
Sun Ling Wang, Roberto Mosheim, Richard Nehring, and Eric Njuki (USDA-ERS)

Private Sector Estimates of Unemployment Rate and the Development of the Labor Force Concept Gabriel Mathy (American University)

DiscussantsDennis Fixler (Bureau of Economic Analysis); Corby Garner (Bureau of Labor Statistics); Peter Meyer (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

February 5th noon seminar

Macro and Banking

Friday Virtual Seminar Series

Friday February 5, 2021

12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

This seminar is free.  Pre-registration is required. Register in advance at this Zoom link. Maximum capacity is 100 participants.

This session features two research papers on how information informs risk estimates and policies. The first one examines the trade-offs between target fund levels and insurer insolvency risk faced by deposit insurer. The authors develop a model and estimate the sizable gap between an optimal target fund level for the FDIC (as an example) and the official FDIC target fund. The paper also explores funding strategies to achieve alternative target fund levels.  The second paper uses a new approach to estimate and decompose the weight forecasters place on past predictions in expectation formation process. Forecasters put a weight on past predictions and the persistence of old information is affected by the size of new economic shocks. The author compares the optimal weight placed on past predictions to information frictions over time for US professional forecasters and find that explore the relationship between the optimal weights the magnitude of shocks.

Chair: Wenhua Di (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

Bridging the Gap between the Deposit Insurance Fund Target Level and the Current Fund Level
Alexander B. Ufier (FDIC), Charles Kusaya (Zimbabwe Deposit Protection Corporation), John P. O’Keefe (Independent Consultant)

Expectation Formation and the Persistence of Shocks
Constantin Burgi (St. Mary’s College of Maryland)

Discussants: Kathleen McDill (FDIC); Chad Fulton, (Federal Reserve Board)