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: Maximum # of participants is 100.

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)


  • 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 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:

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,
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 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.

2020 SGE Conference Sessions at the ASSA in San Diego, CA

Society of Government Economists Conference Sessions at the Allied Social Science Meetings (ASSA) in San Diego, CA

January 3-5, 2020

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Mission Beach B for all SGE sessions

1 Market Place, San Diego, CA, 92101, 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.

Click here to see the program.

Mon 10/7 eve: Sinclair and Stone on “Probability of the U.S. or World Entering a Recession in 2020”

Probability of the U.S. or World Entering a Recession in 2020
Monday, October 7, 2019 5:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Rm 483 Ford House Office Building
2nd and D Streets, SW
Washington, DC 20515
Metro: Federal Center SW Station

Dr. Tara Sinclair, Co-director of the Research Program on Forecasting, George Washington University
Dr. Chad Stone, Chief Economist, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

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.

According to the IMF World Economic Outlook global growth is now projected to slow from 3.6 percent in 2018 to 3.3 percent in 2019, before returning to 3.6 percent in 2020. However, possible further disruptions in oil supplies in the Middle East, continued conflicts with Iran, the slowdown in China, uncertainties of Brexit on Britain and the European Union, the economic effects of global warming, or other contingencies may seriously affect growth prospects. In the U.S. a tariff war, especially with China, may help bring about a recession in 2020.

Dr. Chad Stone and Dr. Tara Sinclair will explore the possibilities of recession occurring in the U.S. or internationally in 2020. Please join us for this interesting evening.

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

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.