Call for Papers/Sessions for Three Different Conferences

The Society of Government Economists announces a call for papers and sessions for three conferences:

  • SGE’s Own Conference, May 21, 2015 in Washington, DC
    Application Deadline: April 25th
  • Southern Economic Association November 21-23, 2015 in New Orleans
    Application Deadline: April 10th
  • American Economic Association, January 3-5, 2016 in San Francisco
    Application Deadline: May 15th

For information on how to apply to any of these conferences, please read the Call for Papers.

To submit a paper, or to propose a session, or to volunteer as a session chair or paper discussant, please go to SGE’s Paper/Session/Volunteer Application page.

To register for the SGE Conference, please visit the Conference Registration page.

2/19 Lunch: SGE Luncheon with Peter Tatian


Peter Tatian

Senior Fellow

Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center

The Urban Institute

“Building an Inclusive City: Affordable Housing in the District of Columbia”

Peter A. Tatian is a Senior Fellow in the Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center.  His areas of interest include housing policy, neighborhood indicators, and community development.  Mr. Tatian is currently leading NeighborhoodInfo DC, a neighborhood data system and civic engagement tool for the District of Columbia that is part of the Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership.  He also heads the Institute’s work providing technical assistance on data collection and use to grantees of the the US Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods initiative.

Washington, DC, is a world-class, prospering city.  However, housing challenges are clouding its future and keeping some citizens from enjoying its new prosperity.  The city’s population has grown dramatically over the past 15 years, increasing the demand for housing.  To keep up, the city needs to build more housing and preserve existing affordable housing.  Mr. Tatian will present the latest data compiled by the Urban Institute and NeighborhoodInfo DC, quantifying the need for affordable housing in the District.  He will also discuss the policy options available to help the city meet this challenge.

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Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis 7th Annual Conference

The Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis (SBCA) is an international group of practitioners, academics and others who are working to improve the theory and application of the tools of benefit-cost analysis.

Please join us at our Seventh Annual Conference and Meeting: Advancing the Policy Frontier, which will take place at the Marvin Center at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., from March 19-20, 2015. Pre-conference professional development workshops will also take place at the Marvin Center on March 18.

Registration is now open. Conference registration includes all meals (breakfast, break refreshments, lunch, and evening receptions) as well as other activities listed in the program on March 19 and 20.

The conference will feature a keynote address by W. Kip Viscusi of Vanderbilt University, “Pricing Lives for Government and Corporate Risk Decisions.”

To register and for more information, please visit:

1/15 Lunch: SGE Luncheon with Fitzroy Lee


Fitzroy Lee

Deputy Chief Financial Officer & Chief Economist

Office of the Chief Financial Officer

Government of the District of Columbia

“A DC Coincident Index in the Age of Big Data”

Dr. Fitzroy Lee was appointed Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Chief Economist for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) in October 2009. Prior to becoming the Chief Economist, Dr. Lee was the Director of Revenue Estimation. He previously worked for the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), where he co-authored a paper on the efficacy of user fees for funding the meat inspection program.  Prior to the USDA, he was also an Assistant Professor of Economics at Tulane University in New Orleans. Dr. Lee has published papers on revenue forecasting and tax policy in nationally recognized academic journals, and he is a member of the board of directors of the National Tax Association. Dr. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics and Computer Science from the University of the West Indies (Jamaica). He earned his Ph.D. in Economics at The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.

Dr. Lee will discuss his work regarding the construction of a coincident index for the District of Columbia.  The paper evaluates alternative methodologies for the construction of the index, with special attention to “Big Data” issues. Some of these issues include the availability of a huge number of economic series, mixed frequency data sets (also known as “jagged edged” data), and real-time data.

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12/18 Lunch: SGE Luncheon with Caroline Ratcliffe


Caroline Ratcliffe – Senior Fellow, Urban Institute

“Local Conditions and Delinquent Debt”

Caroline Ratcliffe is a senior fellow and economist at the Urban Institute. She is an expert in the asset building and poverty fields, and has published and spoken extensively on the role of emergency savings, homeownership, poverty dynamics, and welfare programs and policies. Her research has been published in academic journals including Demography, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. She recently published a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty entitled “Is Poverty Incompatible with Asset Accumulation? She has provided testimony to and a briefing for the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee on closing the racial wealth gap. Ratcliffe held previous positions at the Congressional Budget Office and Brookings Institution, and as a visiting associate professor at Georgetown University. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.

Dr. Ratcliffe will discuss joint work with her colleages at the Urban Institute (Breno Braga and Signe-Mary McKernan) and the Consumer Credit Research Institute of the Encore Capital Group (John Chalekian, Peifang Guo, and Christopher Trepel).  The paper uses unique individual-level credit bureau data to examine the geographic concentration of US consumers’ total debt and delinquent debt down to the census-tract level. They also examine the extent to which delinquent debt —as measured by debt in collections—is associated with local-area characteristics such as health insurance coverage, home price, rents, unemployment, and households’ demographic characteristics.

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11/20 Lunch: SGE Luncheon with Adriana Kugler

Adriana Kugler – Vice-Provost for Faculty and Full Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University

“Do Tax Progressivity and Transfers Encourage Risk Taking?  Impacts on Labor Mobility”

Adriana Kugler is Vice-Provost for Faculty and Full Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy. She was founder and Co-director of the International Summer Institute on Policy Evaluation between 2010-2013. She served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Labor in 2011 and 2012. Prior to coming to Georgetown, she was Full and Associate Professor at the economics departments at the University of Houston and at University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.   Professor Kugler earned her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1997 and her Joint BA in Economics and Political Science with First Class Honors from McGill University in Canada in 1991.

Dr. Kugler will discuss her research looking at the insurance value of progressive taxation and transfer programs, as well as their impacts on risk taking and labor mobility. She and her co-author, Ammar Farooq of Georgetown University, exploit the variation in taxes and the Medicaid and Temporary Aid to Needy Families income thresholds across states and over time during the 1990s and 2000s. They find that progressive taxation and higher Medicaid thresholds increase occupational and geographical mobility. In addition, higher Medicaid thresholds increase mobility between self-employment and wage employment, thus encouraging entrepreneurship. On the other hand, higher Medicaid thresholds decrease mobility from self-employment into self-employment, allowing some who would not otherwise be able to afford it to hold on to their businesses. Women and minorities are most impacted in terms of geographical decisions and transitions into self-employment, while men are most affected in terms of occupational decisions.

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10/16 Lunch: SGE Luncheon with Shushanik Hakobyan


Shushanik Hakobyan – Assistant Professor, Economics Department, Fordham University

“The US GSP:  Background and the Implications of Recent Developments”

Shushanik Hakobyan is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Fordham University, NY. Her research focuses on US trade policy toward developing countries, as well as labor market effects of trade liberalization.  In particular, she studies the utilization and implementation of trade preference programs such as the GSP, and the effect of NAFTA on US wages. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Virginia.

Preferential market access is of critical importance to many exporters in developing countries. Further, a number of developed countries provide preferential (including duty-free) access to their markets to stimulate exports from developing countries. About one-third of dutiable exports from developing countries to the US are eligible for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the most comprehensive trade preference program offered by the US. Professor Hakobyan will discuss the issues surrounding the US GSP utilization and implementation, the current expired status of GSP, and the impact such expiration may have on exports from developing countries.

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9/18 Lunch: SGE Luncheon with Mark Calabria


Mark Calabria – Director of Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute

“Mortgage Reform Under Dodd-Frank: Cosmetic or Constructive?”

Mark A. Calabria, Ph.D. is Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the Cato Institute.  Before joining Cato in 2009, Dr. Calabria spent seven years as a member of the senior professional staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.  In that position, he handled issues related to monetary policy, housing, mortgage finance, economics, banking and insurance for Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). During his service on Capitol Hill, Calabria drafted significant portions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which established a new regulatory regime for the government sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).

Dr. Calabria will discuss residential finance, which is generally agreed to have played a prominent role in the recent financial crisis.  The Dodd-Frank Act contains a variety of provisions aimed at reforming the mortgage market.  Foremost among these are the Qualified Mortgage (QM) and Qualified Residential (QRM) standards.  How have these standards evolved in the regulatory process and what will be their likely impact on the residential mortgage market?

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7/24 Lunch: SGE Luncheon with Kara Reynolds


Kara Reynolds – Assistant Professor, Economics Department, American University

“Trade Flows and Trade Disputes”

Kara Reynolds is an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department of American University.  Her research focuses on the intersection of politics and international trade policy, as well as the economic consequences of trade protection.  Dr. Reynolds has published her research in leading academic journals such as the Journal of International Economics and Contemporary Economic Policy.  Her current research agenda investigates to what degree trade policy can be used to encourage firms to invest in Research and Development, as well as the economic determinants of dispute settlement outcomes at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Dr. Reynolds will discuss her research examining the changes to the trade values, market shares, volumes, prices and scope of products that become subject to WTO litigation.  Her work reveals heterogeneity in the level of market access across disputes, as well as other surprising patterns in the trade data.

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6/19 Lunch: SGE Luncheon with Thomas Hoenig

Thomas Hoenig – Vice Chairman, FDIC

Thomas M. Hoenig was confirmed by the Senate as Vice Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on Nov. 15, 2012. He joined the FDIC on April 16, 2012, as a member of the FDIC Board of Directors for a six-year term.  He is a member of the executive board of the International Association of Deposit Insurers.

Prior to serving on the FDIC board, Mr. Hoenig was the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and a member of the Federal Reserve System’s Federal Open Market Committee from 1991 to 2011.

FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig will speak about issues related to the resolution of systemic financial firms and discuss how much progress has been made in solving too-big-to-fail.

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