ASSA Call for Papers – Deadline May 17, 2018

Society of Government Economists 2019 ASSA/SGE Sessions in Atlanta – January 4-6, 2019
Call for Papers – Deadline May 17, 2018

The Society of Government Economists’ mission is to support the professional development of government economists, and those who are interested in public policy economics, by providing them with research, publication, and professional communication opportunities. SGE will sponsor seven sessions during the 2019 ASSA meeting. These sessions will provide economists the opportunity to present their research, discuss it with their peers, and receive feedback as well as to meet other economists and learn about the latest topics in economics. This call for papers and sessions is open to all individuals; applicants need not be government economists.

Sessions will be designed to provide valuable contributions to existing knowledge and understanding, and to improve how economics is practiced. Contributions to SGE sessions are expected to measure, explain and/or analyze the nature and causes of economic phenomena, and, in turn, enhance public decision making.

All participants are required to register and pay for the conference. In addition, for each submission, at least one author on each paper must have an active SGE membership by the submission deadline. The submission will not be processed if this requirement is not met. If you are not currently a member, please go to the SGE website to pay the annual membership fee of $30.

Submissions can be made for complete sessions and individual papers. For individual papers that are accepted, the Society will organize 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. To propose a complete 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.

The due date to submit your complete session or individual paper abstract is May 17th, 2018 (Thursday).

To submit a session click here.

To submit an individual paper click here.


3/22 noon: James Broughel, “Regulatory Macroeconomics: A New Frontier” at 618 H St NW

James Broughel, Mercatus Center, GMU
“Regulatory Macroeconomics: A New Frontier”

James Broughel is a Research Fellow for the State and Local Policy Project at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an adjunct professor of law at the Antonin Scalia Law School. He specializes in the economic analysis of regulations, state and federal regulatory procedures, and economic growth.

Abstract of talk:

Fiscal and monetary policy are areas of national policy that traditionally are thought to have important macroeconomic significance. Much less attention, however, has been devoted to the macroeconomic implications of regulation. This has happened even while regulation levels have steadily risen in the US for decades. While it is possible that regulation has little macroeconomic effect, a lack of good measures of regulation may better explain why historically this has been an understudied area. This is now changing as credible measures of aggregate regulation are being developed. In this talk, James Broughel of the Mercatus Center will discuss innovations in the measurement of regulation, both for the US case as well as internationally, and will summarize what some of the burgeoning literature on the macroeconomic effects of regulation has had to say about the impact that regulation has on GDP and other macroeconomic variables of interest, such as productivity, employment, and investment.

Credit Card payment is non refundable but you may substitute someone in your place for attendance.
Visit for registration information.

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

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

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.

1/18 noon: Demetra Nightingale on “Building and Using Evidence to Improve Public Programs” at 618 H St NW

Demetra Nightingale

Institute Fellow, Urban Institute

“Building and Using Evidence to Improve Public Programs”

An agenda to use evidence from research and evaluation more strategically has gained momentum at the federal level over the past ten years, beginning in the late Bush Administration, expanding during the Obama Administration, and continuing in the Trump Administration.  The current status of the evidence agenda will be discussed, including recent recommendations of the bi-partisan Commission on Evidence-based Policy in their report to Congress, and lessons from institutionalizing an evaluation and evidence strategy at the US Department of Labor.

Demetra  Smith Nightingale, Ph.D., is an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute, in Washington DC.  Her research focuses on social, economic, and labor issues, particularly workforce development, job training, labor standards, poverty and income security.  She served in the Obama Administration as the Chief Evaluation Officer at the U.S. Department of Labor from 2011-2016, where she led what is recognized as one of the premier evaluation units in the federal government, developing an evidence-based clearinghouse, and integrating program evaluation activities with performance management to improve program results and operational efficiency.  Prior to DOL, she was at the Urban Institute for three decades and at Johns Hopkins University for seven years, teaching graduate courses in social policy and program evaluation. She is also a Professorial Lecturer at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University, teaching graduate courses in program evaluation.

She continues to work on evidence-based policy issues, such as strategies that enhance governance and accountability, and methodologies for high-quality program evaluations, including experimental and non-experimental designs, rapid feedback studies, implementation studies, and performance analysis. She serves on many boards and advisory groups, was a senior advisor to the World Bank for several years, and is the author or co-author of five books and numerous articles.  Among her books are Repairing the U.S. Social Safety Net (with Martha Burt), The Government We Deserve (with Eugene Steurle, Edward Gramlich and Hugh Heclo), and Reshaping the American Workforce in a Changing Economy (with Harry Holzer).  She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and was awarded the 2016 Exemplar Prize from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management for accomplishments in using research and analysis to inform policy and program innovations. Her PhD in public policy is from the George Washington University.

Note:  Registration is open through Wednesday, 1-17-18.

Credit Card payment is non refundable but you may substitute someone in your place for attendance.
Visit for registration information.

10/26 noon: Chapman on “Impact of Cutbacks in Government on the Washington Area and Beyond” at 618 H St NW

Upcoming event from NEC and SGE:

Chinatown Garden Restaurant 618 H St NW Washington DC
Date: 26 Oct 2017 12:00 PM

Jeannette Chapman

Deputy Director and Senior Research Associate, Stephen S. Fuller Institute, Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University

“Impact of Cutbacks in Government on the Washington Area and Beyond”

As of 2017, Federal Government either directly or indirectly accounted for 29.9 percent of the Gross Regional Product (GRP) in the Washington metropolitan statistical area (Washington region). As the dominant industry in the region, changes to Federal spending have an outsized effect on the region’s economy. The Sequester in 2013 reduced Federal employment in the region by about 4 percent and procurement by about 15 percent. As a result, the region’s GRP decreased by $3.27 billion (2009 $s) in 2013. GRP gains in 2014 were also subdued, rising 0.5 percent compared to the national increase of 2.6 percent. The economy stabilized in 2015 and 2016, but the Trump administration’s Budget Blueprint raises new concerns about the future economic health of the region. If implemented, the Trump Blueprint would reduce Federal spending on wages and salaries, procurement, and grants by between $4.2 and $5.0 billion, or nearly one percent of GRP. The FY18 budget passed by the House on October 5, 2017 reflects some of the cuts broadly outlined in the Trump Blueprint, but much uncertainty remains over the final FY18 budget and its effect on the Washington region.

Jeannette Chapman is the Deputy Director and Senior Research Associate of The Stephen S. Fuller Institute at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. She joined George Mason University in 2013 as the Research Associate at the Center for Regional Analysis (CRA). Prior to joining George Mason University, she was the Research Associate for Economic Growth and Development at the DowntownDC Business Improvement District. Ms. Chapman received BA’s in Economics and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from George Mason University.

Register at

Valuing Our Environment

Wednesday, September 27, 2017  5:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Metro Offices, 1250 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036

Metro: Dupont Circle Station (south exit)


Frederick Treyz, Ph.D., Chief Economist and C.E.O., Regional Economic Models, Inc.

Peter Evangelakis, Ph.D., Economist, Regional Economic Models, Inc.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm, and the seminar begins at 6:00 pm.    The seminar is free but please e-mail Mandy Roberts at for reservations.  Reservations required by C.O.B Tuesday, September 26th.

Representatives of Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) will discuss how they measure the costs of rebuilding livelihoods and businesses in coastal communities after hurricanes. Using an inclusive and balanced general equilibrium model, the panelists assess the costs of hurricanes and other natural disasters, and will lead a discussion on funding alternatives as rebuilding efforts get underway. Please join us for this interesting evening.


NEC lunch: former SGE president Payson

The National Economists Club of Washington DC is hosting a Luncheon Presentation by Dr. Steven Payson, entitled “What Will Make Economics Professors Succeed or Fail in the Future? The Discipline at a Crossroads.” The presentation will summarize the findings in Dr. Payson’s latest book: How Economics Professors Can Stop Failing Us: The Discipline at a Crossroads (Rowman and Littlefield, August 2017). CLICK HERE for more information and to register.

Stata course on analysis of survey data

SGE members may be interested in a short course in DC in October on using Stata for analysis of survey data obtained through a complex sampling design from a finite population. It begins by reviewing the sampling methods used to collect survey data, and then discusses how they need to be accounted for in estimation of means, totals, ratios, and regression coefficients. It then covers variance estimation methods implemented in Stata’s survey estimation commands. The course will also cover difficult situations like strata with a single sampling unit, certainty sampling units, subpopulation estimation, and poststratification. Interactive Stata sessions are dispersed between lectures. Further information available at:

Call for Presentations and Workshops: Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis

A Call for Presentations and Workshops for the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis’ (SBCA) 2018 annual conference has been posted here on their website. More than 300 Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) scholars and practitioners from around the world, government, academia, nonprofits and private industry will be present at this year’s conference, and perhaps such an opportunity would be of interest to SGE members.