2017 SGE Annual Conference submissions accepted through April 7

The Society of Government Economists 2017 Annual Conference will be held

Thursday, May 11, 2017,  8:30am-4:30pm, at the

Janet Norwood Conference and Training Center

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

2 Massachusetts Ave, NE, Washington, DC

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Karen Dynan

The Society of Government Economists Annual Conference invites submission of papers and sessions on topics that affect government programs or public policy at local, national and international levels, topics related to improvements in government surveys, data, and measures, and research on microeconomic and macroeconomic trends and issues that inform policy makers. SGE supports research and networking opportunities for government economists and those who are interested in the intersection of public policy and economics.

Deadline for Paper Submission is April 7, 2017
Read more and register via the conference page

Call for papers in PDF format is available here.

Evening seminar on CFPB 12/6/16

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Issues and Outlook

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 5:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Americans for Financial Reform, 1620 L Street NW, 11th floor, Washington, DC 20006

Metro: Farragut North Station


Gynnie Robnett, Payday Campaign Director, Americans for Financial Reform

Christina Stacy, Research Associate, Urban Institute

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm, and the seminar begins at 6:00 pm.   The seminar is free but please email Jack Ventura at jack.ventura@verizon.net for reservations.

Largely the brainchild of Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) came into being under The Dodd-Frank Act as the primary regulator of consumer financial services when Democrats had control of Congress (2010). CFPB is a consumer watchdog on predatory practices in such areas as payday loans, car title loans, and overdraft fees, which have been plaguing consumers for years. CFPB also arms people with the information, steps, and tools that they need to make smart financial decisions.

Conservatives in Congress have fiercely opposed the agency and may work to dismantle or neutralize it under the coming Trump Administration. Gynnie Robnett of Americans for Financial Reform will explain the deceptive practices of greatest concern to the public which CFPB is addressing, why regulation is needed to deal with them, and the outlook for the agency in the coming years. Christina Stacy will discuss her CFPB funded research that she undertook at the Urban Institute, which examines two approaches to financial education. There will be ample time after their presentations for questions and answers.

Panel Discussion: Transportation Priorities in Congress

Tuesday, June 7, 2016  5:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Suite 1200 East, American Public Transportation Association

1300 I Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005

Metro: McPherson Square (14th St. exit)                  


Patrick Fuchs, Staff, Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation

Allison Cullin,  Staff, Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm, and the seminar begins at 6:00 pm.    The seminar is free but please email Melvyn Sacks at MelSacks@verizon.net for reservations.

Transportation infrastructure in the United States is seriously inadequate, with roads, rail, bridges and tunnel infrastructure needing to be upgraded or replaced if the U.S. wants to maintain a competitive economy.  Many bridges and tunnels in the Northeast rail corridor date from the mid-19th century and are near the end of their useful life, with serious bottlenecks developing.  Unlike other advanced countries, the U.S. has no true high-speed rail.

The panel will discuss transportation priorities and legislation, including the FAST Act, which is a $305 billion five-year bill passed on December 4, 2015 for state and local agencies that depend on this funding for critical transportation infrastructure and safety projects.  This provides five years of dependable funding for Highway Trust Fund programs and realistic Amtrak and New Start target authorization levels with new freight focus.  TIGER grants for $500 million have been made available for transportation projects across the country that focuses on transportation capital projects that generate economic development. Allison Cullin and Patrick Fuchs will detail the status of legislation in Congress that would fund critically needed transportation projects.

5/31 talk on panel surveys @BLS

Ruben Bach of the Institute for Employment Research, in Nuremberg, Germany, will present “Does Participating in a Panel Survey Change Labor Market Behavior?” and his discussant will be John Czajka, of Mathematica. The event, also sponsored by DC-AAPOR and the Washington Statistical Society’s Methodology Section, will be Tuesday, May 31, 2016 from 12:30 to 2pm, at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Conference Center (Room 8), 2 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC 20212.


To attend in person, please place a ticket order here, to get on the BLS visitor list, or email your name, affiliation, and the seminar name to wss_seminar@bls.gov by noon at least two days in advance of the seminar. If attending in person, please bring a photo ID.

To attend remotely (no registration necessary), visit: https://dol.webex.com/dol/j.php?MTID=md7496377acf271fcac10ac96f3e152b7

For audio, dial: 1-866-747-9048 (US), or 1-517-233-2139, access code 938 454 2.

Abstract: Panel surveys are a key resource to measure changes over time and perform causal analyses, but repeated participation in a survey can induce undesirable changes as well.
Changes may occur in respondents’ behavior and/or in their reporting of behavior. These changes, both in reporting and in behavior, that are due to repeated participation in a
survey are called panel conditioning. Using administrative data linked to a large German panel survey, we … show that panel respondents participate in more programs than those who were also eligible for participation but were not selected.

ASSA 6-8 Jan. 2017 submissions due May 15

SGE’s motivation is to promote economic thought that is beneficial to government policy, and toward this end, SGE has seven sessions in the 2017 ASSA meeting in Chicago, IL (Friday to Sunday, January 6-8, 2017). These sessions will provide economists the opportunity to present their research, discuss it with their peers, and receive feedback. This call for papers and sessions is open to all individuals (applicants need not be government economists), and no papers or sessions may be submitted after Sunday, May 15th, 2016.


Sessions will be designed to provide valuable contributions to existing knowledge and understanding, and to improve how economics is practiced. They should better enable economists to observe and understand the nature and causes of economic factors, which will, in turn, enhance their ability to contribute to public decision making.

All participants are required to register and pay for the conference that they attend. In addition, for each submission, at least one author of each paper has an active SGE membership. The submission will not be processed if that requirement is not met. Annual membership can be paid for at http://www.sge-econ.org/join-sge/. SGE will organize accepted papers into sessions and invite discussants and chairs to those sessions.

To propose an individual paper, include: (1) a brief sentence describing the paper, (2) the title of the paper and the names and contact information (including email addresses) and affiliations for each of the authors, (3) a brief abstract (of no more than 300 words) describing the paper, and (4) 2 JEL codes. Do NOT send a draft of the paper. Please fill out the form at 2017 ASSA/SGE: Individual Paper Submissions to submit now.

To propose an entire session, include: (1) The title, organizer, and chair of the session, (2) all of the above-mentioned information required of individual paper proposals for each of the papers in the session (for 4 papers), and (3) the names and contact information for all discussants and which papers they will discuss. lease fill out the form at 2017 ASSA/SGE: Session Proposal Submissions to submit now.

4/11 Lunchtime Event with Angus Deaton


The American Economic Association and co-sponsors invite you to a luncheon briefing on
WHEN:  Monday, April 11, 2016 at 12:00 – 1:15 pm
WHERE:  B-339 Rayburn House Office Building
Professor Angus Deaton, winner of the 2015 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, will discuss his research on trends in health, morality, and poverty in the U.S. and around the world. He will talk about how globalization has affected health and poverty in the U.S. and other countries.  He will also present his recent widely discussed work (co-authored with Professor Anne Case, Princeton University) on the alarming rise in death rates among less educated white men and women in the U.S.  He will explore possible explanations, as well as political and economic implications.  Together with Professor Robert Moffitt, Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Katherine Smith, Executive Director of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics, Professor Deaton will discuss the importance of data and measurement for understanding these critical emerging issues.
RSVP to jmilton@cossa.org by April 4.

3/17 SGE Luncheon: Nadia Karamcheva


Nadia Karamcheva

Analyst – Microeconomic Studies Division

Congressional Budget Office

Does Social Security Continue to Favor Couples?


Nadia Karamcheva is an Analyst in the Microeconomics Studies Division at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Prior to joining CBO she conducted research as an economist at the Urban Institute.  Her research interests span a broad range of topics in labor economics and applied econometrics with a focus on retirement. Her current work explores policy relevant topics related to older workers’ employment and savings outcomes, and individuals’ decision making about claiming social security benefits, retirement timing, private pension plan participation and contributions. Dr. Karamcheva has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Boston College, and a B.A. from the American University in Bulgaria.
Dr. Karamcheva will discuss recent work that speaks to the adequacy and equity of the Social Security program.  Specifically, she examines how trends in women’s labor force activity and changing marriage patterns affect the returns from the Social Security system at the individual and household levels. The analysis uses data from the Health and Retirement Study, linked to Social Security administrative earnings, and data from the Modeling Income in the Near Term microsimulation model, to examine changes in several measures of redistribution across a broad range of cohorts. The paper then uses decomposition techniques to determine how much women’s increased earnings and the decline in marriage rates have contributed to the changes over time in replacement rates and lifetime benefit to tax ratios.

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2016 SGE Annual Conference

The 2016 SGE Annual Conference was held Friday, May 13, 2016, 8:30am to 5pm, at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Janet Norwood Conference Center at 2 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC 20212. Please see the conference program, available here, for details about the conference.

Slides for “The Fate of Empirical Economics When All Data Are Private,” the keynote presentation by John M. Abowd, are available here.

1/21 SGE Luncheon: Adele Morris


Adele Morris

Senior Fellow & Policy Director

Climate and Energy Economics Project

The Brookings Institution


Dr. Morris joined Brookings in July 2008 from the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of the U.S. Congress, where she spent a year as a Senior Economist covering energy and climate issues. Before the JEC, Adele served nine years with the U.S. Treasury Department as its chief natural resource economist, working on climate, energy, agriculture, and radio spectrum issues. On assignment to the U.S. Department of State in 2000, she was the lead U.S. negotiator on land use and forestry issues in the international climate change treaty process. Prior to joining the Treasury, she served as the senior economist for environmental affairs at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers during the development of the Kyoto Protocol. She began her career at the Office of Management and Budget, where she conducted regulatory oversight of agriculture and natural resource agencies. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University, an M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Utah, and a B.A. from Rice University.

Dr. Morris will review recent developments in domestic and international climate policy. Specifically, she will describe the current regulatory path to reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and the potential design elements of a more efficient tax-based alternative.

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Decline of Labor Unions and Stagnant Middle Class Incomes

Monday, December 14, 2015  5:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Conference room 483, Congressional Budget Office

2nd & D Streets, SW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20515

Metro: Federal Center Station (entrance around the building)




Dr. William E. Spriggs, Chief Economist, AFL-CIO

Dr. Florence Jaumotte, Senior Economist, International Monetary Fund


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