Mon 5/13 eve: Meltzer and Destler on “Bilateral v. Multilateral Trade, and Tariffs”

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Bilateral vs. Multilateral Trade, and Tariffs
Monday, May 13, 2019 5:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Rm 483 Ford House Office Building
2nd & D Streets, SW
Washington, DC 20515
Metro: Federal Center SW Station

Joshua Meltzer, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
I.M. ‘Mac’ Destler, Saul Stern Professor, University of Maryland

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm, and the seminar begins at 6:00 pm.    The seminar is free but please email Mel Sacks at for reservations. After panelists have made their presentations, time will be available for Q&A and discussion.

The present administration has made lessening the trade deficit a priority and has imposed tariffs, mainly with China and the European Union, Mexico and Canada if the U.S, trade deficit with those countries has not ameliorated. The target countries have in turn imposed their own tariffs on U.S. goods.  The administration has not pursued multilateral agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, and some contend this has left trade with the United States isolated in Asia and other regions.

What effects would a trade war have on the U.S. and the global economies, and would any benefits accrue to the administration’s actions is one of the questions the panelists would attempt to answer.  Joshua Meltzer and I.M. ‘Mac’ Destler will  offer their perspectives and analysis on these issues.

SGE Conference April 5, 2019

Monday, February 4th, 2019

The Society of Government Economists Annual Conference includes papers and sessions on economic topics relating to 1) government programs or public policy at local, national and international levels, 2) improvements and changes in government economic surveys, data, and measures, and 3) research on microeconomic and macroeconomic trends and issues that inform and impact policy.

Take a look at the program at this link, and register at this link.

The Conference will occur Friday, April 5, 2019, 8:30am-4:30pm, at the Janet Norwood Conference and Training Center, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2 Massachusetts Ave, NE, Washington, DC.

Registration fee is $65. Regular registration has been extended through April 2, to accommodate processing of training requests for some agencies. On -site registration will cost $85. (If you have problems with online registration of conference fee please contact for assistance.)

Fees this year are the same for presenters and attendees, and students can register for free.

SGE Conference Sessions at the ASSA in Atlanta, GA

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

Society of Government Economists Conference Sessions at the Allied Social Science Meetings (ASSA) in Atlanta, GA

January 4-6, 2019

Hilton Atlanta Hotel, Conference room 314 for all SGE sessions

255 Courtland Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30303, USA

SGE has organized 7 sessions as part of the ASSA meetings. This is a handy reference to keep track of the times and topics.

SGE members and friends are invited to an


January 4, 2019

Conference Rm 314 Hilton Atlanta


Boxed lunches will be provided at no charge on a first-come first-serve basis.

Click here to see the program.

Mon 11/5 eve: Guzzetti, Timothy, and Grossman on “Light Rail Transit”

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

Light Rail Transit
Monday, November 5, 2018 5:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Rm 483 Ford House Office Building
2nd & D Streets, SW
Washington, DC 20515
Metro: Federal Center SW Station


Arthur Guzzetti, Vice President-Policy, American Public Transportation Association

Darren Timothy, Chief Economist, US Department of Transportation

Alice Grossman, Policy Analyst, Eno Center for 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 Jack Ventura at for reservations. After panelists have made their presentations, time will be available for Q & A and discussion.

Light rail transit, a descendant as it were of trolley cars or streetcars going back to the 19th century, took the form it’s known as today in the 1970’s. The mode continues to be introduced and extended in many U.S. cities, and often has the advantage of speed, rights-of-way and greater capacity than buses but less expensive than subways. However, questions have arisen as to user demand and efficiency relative to, say, bus rapid transit in terms of cost and reducing urban traffic congestion.

Our panelists will offer their perspectives on these issues, based on work they or their organizations have done.

Art Guzzetti is a 39 year veteran of public transportation at the local, state and national levels. The American Public Transportation Association, where he now serves, is the trade group representing the public transportation industry in the United States. Among other things, he is responsible for APTA’s extensive policy research agenda, policy analysis and development, transportation information and statistics. Prior to coming to APTA in June 1997, Mr. Guzzetti had 16 years in management at two of the nation’s leading public transportation systems: New Jersey Transit, and Port Authority of Allegheny County, plus two years at the New Jersey Department of Transportation. In short, career focus has been on generating support for public transportation and the benefits it provides to communities and regions.

Mr. Guzzetti has a Political Science degree from Edinboro State University, and a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Darren Timothy has served as the Chief Economist for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) since January 2017. In this capacity, he leads the Department’s efforts to apply economic principles and methods in analyses of policies, programs, projects, and regulations produced by the Department and its operating administrations. Dr. Timothy’s prior experience has included positions in academia and consulting as well as other agencies within USDOT, including the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

Dr. Timothy holds a B.A. from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in Economics

Alice Grossman, as a policy analyst at the Eno Center for Transportation, conducts research in various areas of multimodal transportation. Dr. Grossman has worked extensively on research relating to metropolitan transportation planning and performance measurement, electronic travel diary development, K-12 and higher education in transportation, active transportation safety, and pedestrian infrastructure asset management and accessibility.

Dr. Grossman completed her B.A. at Vassar College in Physics and Astronomy, and her Ph.D. at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Civil Engineering. Dr. Grossman was Eno’s 2017 Thomas J. O’Bryant fellow.

Tue 2/20 eve: Leiserson and Maag on “U.S. Inequality and Recent Tax Changes”

Sunday, February 18th, 2018

U.S. Inequality and Recent Tax Changes
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 5:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Washington Center for Equitable Growth
1500 K Street, N.W., 8th Floor
Washington, DC, 20005
Metro: McPherson Square (15th St. exit)


Dr. Greg Leiserson, Director of Tax Policy and Senior Economist, Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Elaine Maag, Senior Research Associate, Tax Policy Center, Urban Institute

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm, and the seminar begins at 6:00 pm. The seminar is free but reservations are required. Please email Melvyn Sacks at for reservations and admittance.

The U.S. has one of the most unequal income distributions in the developed world, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, after taxes and social-welfare policies are taken into account. According to a report released by the World Economic Forum, the U.S. ranks 23rd out of 30 countries for inequality, even as G.D.P. has greatly expanded following the great recession. This index measures the distribution of income and wealth and poverty.

Ms. Elaine Maag and Dr. Greg Leiserson will examine how the structure of U.S. taxes affects inequality. The U.S. Congress just passed a 1.5 trillion-dollar tax cut that many contend went mostly to corporations and the wealthy. How much will these changes in taxes contribute to inequality and what other factors affect inequality?

Greg’s slides are posted on the WCEG site.

SGE 2018 Annual Conference April 20 at BLS in DC

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

The Society of Government Economists 2018 Annual Conference will be held Friday, April 20, 2018, 8:30am-4:30pm

Janet Norwood Conference and Training Center
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
2 Massachusetts Ave, NE, Washington, DC

Keynote Speaker: Bruce D. Meyer, McCormick Foundation Professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies

See for more information, or to register.

Click here to see the program.

Impact of Cutbacks in Government on the Washington Area and Beyond

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017  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)


Ms. Jeannette Chapman, Deputy Director and Senior Research Associate at the Stephen S. Fuller Institute, George Mason University

Dr. Gregory Acs, Director, Income and Benefits Policy Center, 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 Mel Sacks at for reservations.


ASSA 6-8 Jan. 2017 submissions due May 15

Monday, April 18th, 2016

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.



4/11 Lunchtime Event with Angus Deaton

Monday, March 21st, 2016


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

3/17 SGE Luncheon: Nadia Karamcheva

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016


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.