March 12th at noon

Consumption and Living Standards

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

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
ET

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)

Small Banks: Transition and Crisis

Friday Virtual Seminar Series
Friday December 18, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

This seminar is free. Please register at this Zoom link.
We can welcome up to 100 participants.

This session focuses on challenges faced by the banking sector, especially small banks, in the past 20 years. The first paper focuses on loss given default of acquisition, development, and construction loans during the Great Recession and its aftermath (2008-2012) and how those loan defaults contributed to numerous small bank failures. The second paper illustrates how monetary policy affects banks’ decisions to enter local deposit markets and how entry barriers in those markets affect establishments of differing sizes. The third paper explores how the tightening of anti-money laundering enforcement imposed disproportionate costs on small banks, shifting the local banking composition towards larger banks and how that shift affects measures of local economic well-being. The fourth paper studies the effects of changes in business credit during the COVID-19 pandemic comparing the behavior of lenders to that of borrowers during the pandemic compared to prior years and examining differences in credit issued to small and large borrowers, in both good and bad economic conditions.

Chair: Alexander B. Ufier (FDIC)

Loss Given Default for Acquisition, Development and Construction Loans
Lynn Shibut (FDIC), Emily Johnston-Ross (FDIC), Joseph Nichols (Federal Reserve Board)

The Bank Entry Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission
Stefan Lewellen (Penn State University), Emilio Bisetti (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Stephen A. Karolyi (Carnegie Mellon)

Anti-money Laundering Enforcement, Banks, and the Real Economy
Pablo Slutzky (University of Maryland), Senay Agca (George Washington University), Stefan Zeume (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Bank Lending during the Covid-19 Crisis
Teng Wang (Federal Reserve Board of Governors), Allen N. Berger (University of South Carolina), Christa H.S. Bouwman (Texas A&M University), Lars Norden (Getulio Vargas Foundation), Raluca A. Roman (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia), Gregory F. Udell, (Indiana University)

Discussants: Kayla Freeman (University of Georgia), Freddy Cama (Bay Atlantic University), Heath Witzen (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), Chacko George (FDIC)

Economic Well-Being and the Supplemental Poverty Measure – Improvements and Expansion in 2021 and Beyond



Friday December 11, 2020, 12-1:45pm ET

This seminar is free.  Pre-registration is required. Register at this Zoom link.
Up to 100 participants.

How can economic well-being and poverty be measured? Ten years ago an interagency technical working group produced guidelines for a supplement to the official poverty measure. This measure is referred to as the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), and for several years now has been published as a product of collaboration by researchers at the BLS and Census Bureau with support from the SPM Interagency Technical Working Group for Implementation (ITWG-SPM).  In this session, researchers from the Census Bureau and BLS will describe planned improvements in the SPM and extensions to include data from more surveys.

Chair:  Connie Citro, National Academy of Sciences

Improvements to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure for 2021
Liana E. Fox & Trudi Renwick* (Census Bureau)

Changes to the Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds for 2021
Thesia Garner*, Juan Munoz, & Jake Schild (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The Supplemental Poverty Measure Using the American Community Survey
Brian Glassman & Liana Fox* (Census Bureau), Jose Pacas (U of Minnesota)

Calculating the Supplemental Poverty Measure in the Survey of Income and Program Participation
Lewis Warren*, Liana Fox, Ashley Edwards (Census Bureau)

Discussant: David Johnson (University of Michigan)

(*designated speaker)

Economics of Vaccines for COVID-19


Monday October 5, 2020
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm

This Zoom webinar is free. Register at:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpdu6oqDItG9yhU_fH7ug8nen7y9eqYKtR. Maximum # of participants is 100.

Presenters:
Bhaven Sampat, Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University and Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ali Moghtaderi, Assistant Professor, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University

Bhaven Sampat will discuss how research on vaccines and viruses at the National Institutes of Health has accelerated the progress towards an effective vaccine. Bhaven’s expertise on how public research is translated into private sector results will help us understand the roots of ongoing efforts by companies, such as Moderna, Astra Zeneca, Merck, Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer. He has published several articles on how public R&D investment affects private patenting and related topics in Review of Economic Studies, Science, and the American Economic Review

Ali Moghtaderi will discuss issues related to public acceptance of a vaccine, once an effective vaccine has been developed. Ali’s expertise in vaccines, especially Americans’ perspectives on taking the coronavirus vaccine, will help us understand reasons Americans have for not participating. He has published several articles on the economics of vaccines and other health economics topics in Health Affairs, JAMA, and Medical Care.

Leo Sveikauskas, economist at U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, will moderate this discussion.

Q&A will take place after the presentations.

Mon 7/27: Online Panel “Housing, Homelessness, and the Pandemic”

Monday, July 27, 5 – 6:30pm (EST)

REGISTER in ADVANCE for LINK and PASSWORD: jack.ventura@verizon.net

  • Andrew Aurand, Vice President for Research, National Low Income Housing Coalition
  • Martha Galvez, Principal Research Associate, Urban Institute

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are over 600,000 homeless people in the U.S., at least a third of whom are living on the streets.  The lack of affordable housing and HUD reductions to subsidized low-income housing is now exacerbated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The risk of evictions has risen sharply in the face of massive unemployment.

The seminar panelists will discuss the housing and homeless crises, the impact of the pandemic and innovative policy proposals to house vulnerable people.

  • Dr. Andrew Aurand leads the research team and publishes NLIHC’s annual reports on housing – The Gap and Out of Reach – and policy research. 
  • Ms. Martha Galvez’ research focuses on housing policy intervention impacts on families at the Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center.

The Zoom seminar is free, but pre-registration is required.

Please email SGE seminar co-chair Jack Ventura at jack.ventura@verizon.net and provide your name and email.

Pre-registrants will receive sign-in information before the Zoom seminar.

Fri 5/29 noon: Online Panel “Disparities in Access to Higher Education”

Friday, May 29, 12:00 pm. – 1:15 pm (EST)

Zoom Webinar – Sign-up here: https://forms.gle/PGouSSGN8f34RhwM8

This webinar presents research on policies that aim to reduce the racial gap in college graduation rates, merit-based admissions to postsecondary institutions, interventions that improve college access for low-income students, and the relationship between college costs and the parental labor supply. The panelists will present their papers in the following order with a time reserved for Q&A at the end.

Understanding Equity Gaps in College Graduation Tomas Monarrez, Urban Institute

Closing the Gap: The Effect of Reducing Complexity and Uncertainty in College Pricing on the Choices of Low-income Students C.J. Libassi, College Board

Admissions Policies, Cohort Composition, and Academic Success: Evidence from California Michel Grosz, Federal Trade Commission

Hope for the Family: The Effects of College Costs on Maternal Labor Supply Breno Braga, Urban Institute

ASSA Call for Papers – Deadline May 30, 2020

Society of Government Economists
2021 ASSA/SGE Sessions in Chicago: Call for Papers

SGE’s mission is to support the professional development of government economists, and those who are interested in public policy and economics, by providing them with research, publication, and professional communication opportunities.

SGE will sponsor seven sessions in the 2021 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 be informed about the latest topics in economics. This call for papers and sessions is open to all individuals (applicants need not be government economists).  Please note that ASSA is considering holding the 2021 annual conference in a virtual format but a decision has not yet been made. 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. In the case of proposed papers, the Society will organize selected papers into sessions and invite discussants and chairs to those sessions. All participants are required to register and pay for the ASSA conference that they attend. In addition, for each submission, at least one author of each paper must have an active SGE membership. A submission will not be considered by the selection committee if the requirement is not met. An annual membership fee of $30 can be purchased using PayPal on the SGE website.

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 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.
The due date is May 30, 2020 (Saturday). To submit papers or sessions, please click on the appropriate link below.

Please direct all questions or concerns to Wendy Li, wendycyli@gmail.com.
Best Regards,
Susan Fleck, Wendy Li, Austin Nichols, and Sabrina Pabilonia
2021 ASSA/SGE Sessions Organizers

To submit a session click here.

To submit an individual paper click here.

SGE 2020 Annual Conference Cancelled; Board Elections Ongoing

With an abundance of caution for all attendees to the 2020 Society of Government Economists Annual Conference, the Board of Directors made the difficult decision to cancel the conference due to the COVID-19 global health crisis. Unfortunately, with the uncertainty surrounding the virus and additional factors, we were unable to postpone or reschedule the conference for a later date in 2020. 

Elections for the SGE Board are ongoing and the deadline for voting has been extended until April 30. See http://www.sge-econ.org/nominees-for-sge-board-2020/ for nominees, bios, and a link to the ballot. Members should have received an email telling them about the election.  If you did not receive the email please contact the current Membership Director Wenhua Di by email.  Members who have already voted need take no action, but we are extending the election period because some members apparently didn’t receive the notification email.