Thurs 2/7 Noon: William Wiatrowski, “Update on the labor market from BLS” at 618 H Street NW

Friday, January 25th, 2019

Speaker: William Wiatrowski, Deputy Commissioner (Acting Commissioner), Bureau of Labor Statistics

William J. Wiatrowski is Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the senior career employee in the agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Bill began his career at BLS in 1980 and served in a number of positions before his selection as Deputy Commissioner in June 2015. Mr. Wiatrowski received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and the History of Art from Yale University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the George Washington University.

Abstract of talk:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) carries out surveys to measure U.S. labor market conditions. Deputy Commissioner William Wiatrowski will provide an overview of current activities at BLS and give an update on current economic and labor conditions using data from several BLS programs.


Registration is open through Wednesday, 2-6-19, but walk-ins are welcome.  The lunch is hosted jointly with the NEC. Lunch is included. The cost is $20 for NEC and SGE members, and BLS employees can use code BLS2019 when you register to get the member price.  The cost is $35 for non-members. Credit Card payment is non refundable but you may substitute someone in your place for attendance. Visit for registration information.

Thurs 10/25 Noon: Melanie Duncan, “Information Sharing: A Reduction in Terrorist Finance?” at 618 H Street NW

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Speaker: Melanie Duncan, University of Phoenix

Melanie Duncan is a Doctoral Candidate with the University of Phoenix studying a Doctorate of Management in Information Systems Technology. Melanie has 18 years of Federal Government experience that includes work with U.S. Joint Forces Command, Commander Naval Air Pacific Fleet, and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Desert Team. Her affiliations include the Center for Global Research and Information Technology through the School of Advanced Studies as well as a participant in The World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law Group on LinkedIn.

Abstract of talk:

Terrorists are continuing to adopt new strategies for funding terrorist activities. National security partners and the definition of what constitutes a national security partner for sharing information appears to have remained the same. While information sharing may have increased among national security partners, the macroeconomic aspect may have been overlooked. Preparedness levels may be affected by the organizational culture, multiplicity of information sharing amongst governmental organizations, and partners that include private financial sector companies, and terrorist finance regulation within the banking industry. In this talk, Melanie Duncan will discuss what innovations national security partnership may look like for government entities if such variables as lack of knowledge sharing, cooperation, and information sharing were introduced.

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

Thurs 6/28 Noon: Lucia Foster, “Business-Level Expectations and Uncertainty” at 618 H Street NW

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Speaker: Lucia Foster, Chief of Center for Economic Studies, Chief Economist, Census Bureau

Abstract of talk:

The Census Bureau’s 2015 Management and Organizational Practices Survey collected innovative 5-bin data on own future outcomes and probabilities for shipments, employment, capital and materials expenditures at 35,000 manufacturing plants. About 85% of plants provide logically sensible responses to the 5-bin questions, suggesting that most managers can form and express (subjective) probability distributions. The other 15% of plants have lower productivity, employment, wages, managerial education, structured management scores, and multinational ownership. First and second moments of plant-level subjective probability distributions covary strongly with first and second moments, respectively, of historical outcomes, suggesting that our subjective expectations data are well founded. Finally, our plant-level subjective uncertainty measures correlate positively with realized stock-return volatility, option-implied volatility and analyst disagreement about future earnings for the plant’s parent firm and for the median publicly listed firm in the plant’s industry.

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

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

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

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.

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

Friday, January 12th, 2018

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

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

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

5/31 talk on panel surveys @BLS

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

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.



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.


1/21 SGE Luncheon: Adele Morris

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016


Adele Morris

Senior Fellow & Policy Director

Climate and Energy Economics Project

The Brookings Institution