NY Times column: Men Call Their Own Research ‘Excellent’

This NY Times column 12/18/2019 summarizes a British Medical Journal article about bias in medical abstracts, but the same could be done for economics journals, I am sure. Worth the five minutes to read. Bottom line: Women should brag more, and editors and reviewers should get men to tone it down.

Men Call Their Own Research ‘Excellent’

Women do so much less often. And it’s not because their work isn’t as good.

by anupam b. jena, marc lerchenmueller and olav sorenson

Below is a key figure from the BMC article showing how much more likely men are to use 25 positive words.

Gender differences in how scientists present the importance of their research: observational study

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6573 (Published 16 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6573

Gender differences in positive presentation

Figure 2 ranks individual positive words in descending order in terms of prevalence and compares the proportion of articles using each word in which the first and last author were both women with the proportion of articles in which the first and/or last author was a man. The most commonly used positive word was “novel” (used in 44.8% of positively framed articles). Articles with a male first and/or last author used the word 59.2% (95% confidence interval 48.8% to 69.6%) more often than articles with female first and last authors.

Gender differences in positive presentation of clinical research articles according to specific positive words, based on 101 720 articles during 2002-17.

Guidance for a Constructive Culture of Exchange, plus two addenda

This blog contains the excellent advice of Nancy Rose to MIT faculty and students, along with my own two addenda on Etiquette and Advice to Presenters. Here is a pdf version if you wish to print and post or forward it.

Subject:           Some guidance for our upcoming seminars

Date:   Tue, 22 Jan 2019 10:11:02 -0500

From: Nancy Rose <nrose@mit.edu>

To:       All faculty, visitors and graduate students

 

Dear Faculty and Student Colleagues,

Many of us have been thinking about how we can respond, individually and as a department, to concerns about the climate of the economics profession, and how best to affirm our mutual commitment to a supportive environment that empowers each of us to realize our full potential and contribute the best of our talents.

As one step in that ongoing effort, I am writing to share with you some guidance in advance of our department’s job market talks, which begin tomorrow.  These are not meant as rules written in stone.  But I hope they will prompt each of us to reflect on how we can ensure – in seminars and in our departmental interactions more generally – that MIT Economics combines intellectual vitality with an inclusive and respectful environment in which to exchange ideas and advance knowledge.

I hope that each of you will join me in making sure that our department’s seminar culture not only achieves our shared goals for job market seminars, but also serves as a role model for others.  I welcome feedback at the conclusion of our hiring season, as we continue our efforts to sustain a welcoming environment for all.

Thank you for your engagement on this important issue–

Nancy
Guidance for a Constructive Culture of Exchange in MIT Economics Seminars

Research seminars are one of the highlights of our department’s academic life.  They provide opportunities for participants to learn about and probe the boundaries of new research, for presenters to gain the benefit of constructive feedback, and for students to develop skills as participants in research discussions.  All of these are best achieved when the seminar environment is respectful and inclusive, and when all participants keep these goals in mind.

Building on recent discussions at the AEA meetings and elsewhere on the culture of seminars in our profession, and informed by a number of conversations with our faculty and students, this memo shares some guidance for “best practices” to help ensure that department seminars promote an open and vibrant exchange of ideas within a positive environment for both presenters and participants.

1)    Allow presenters time at the beginning to frame their talk without interruption.  A “10 minute rule” has been successfully implemented in several field seminars, allowing only brief clarifying questions during this initial period. And as that leaves 70 more minutes, please don’t feel you must get all your questions in at minute 11!

2)    Share the floor. Please remember seminar time is a scarce resource.  If you haven’t had a chance to read the paper, please try to determine whether the paper addresses your question before you ask it.  If you have already asked several questions, you might consider allowing a bit of time and space to see if others wish to contribute.

3)    Raise your hand to indicate that you wish to ask a question or contribute to the discussion.  This gives the presenter agency to mediate the discussion by calling on audience members, and avoids interrupting the presenter mid-thought, a courtesy that may be especially appreciated in job talks.  If the presenter doesn’t see someone’s hand, the organizer can help by pointing that out.  A question or comment often leads naturally to some back and forth exchange with the speaker.  But if you continue to be dissatisfied with a response, please don’t hold the talk hostage.  Instead, allow the presenter to move on, and follow up offline.  Please make every effort not to interrupt or talk over the presenter or another participant.

4)    Avoid sidebar conversations with other participants.  Keep whispers to no more than a short (clarifying) question or response.  Anything more should be deferred or asked publicly; please raise your hand and share your question or concern for the benefit of all.   Even quiet sidebar conversations between participants rarely are as unobtrusive as intended, and distract the speaker and others in the audience.

5)    Strive for fair and equal treatment.  Many studies suggest that women are likely to be interrupted more often than are men in settings like this.  The same may be true for softer-spoken participants regardless of gender.  Resist contributing to that disparity!

6)    Organizers: Please be prepared to intervene in real time if necessary to call attention to someone whose raised hand has been overlooked, to return the floor to the presenter, or to remind participants of our norms of courtesy and respect.

Thank you!

Nancy L. Rose

Department Head and Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics

 

MIT Department of Economics

The Morris and Sophie Chang Building, E52-318A

50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA  02142

(617) 253-8956

https://economics.mit.edu/faculty/nrose

 

 

Addendum to Nancy Rose’s excellent email. Randy Ellis, March, 2019

 

Common Courtesies

7) Show up on time for the seminar.

8) Stay until the end of the seminar. If you must leave early, it is much more polite if you arrive early and privately tell the speaker that you have another commitment and will have to leave promptly at time X:XX.

9) Mute your cell phone. (If you are presenting, you could intentionally do this just before your talk, even if it was already mute, to signal to others that they should remember to do that as well.)

10) No answering phone calls in the seminar room. If you do answer a cell phone call (from vibrate mode!!!) never talk until you have left the seminar room. Mute or hang up and call back later, or make the caller wait ten seconds while you leave the room.

11) No email or web surfing in the front three rows. If you plan to be looking at your cellphone or laptop or read papers during a talk: a) try not to, or b) sit in the back of the room.

->I was at a seminar in Spain given by a woman, and every man in the room was checking their cellphone or laptop for messages, while only one of the ten women were. This was not a coincidence.

12) No napping. If you are prone to napping or had a bad night’s sleep, sit in the back of the room or don’t come.

13) Keep questions brief. Many professors think they are making brilliant comments, which others feel are bad or unnecessarily long. Err on the side of too few, and ask questions instead of giving advice.)

14) Write down your thoughts.  If you have a lot of comments or uncertainties about a presentation, write them down. Discuss or give them to the presenter at the end of the talk. Most presenters are delighted to get constructive comments after their talk.

->I have always been immensely grateful to Daniel McFadden, who instead of interrupting my job market paper presentation, gave me a page of very high-quality comments.

15) No questions during the final three minutes. Let the presenter summarize and conclude the presentation.

 

 

Randall P. Ellis, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Economics, Boston University
ellisrp@bu.edu     Off: +1 617-353-2741       http://blogs.bu.edu/ellisrp/

 

Advice to presenters facing inappropriate, intrusive or awkward questions, by Randy Ellis November 2019

  1. Don’t recognize any hands up or intrusions when still on your introductory few slides or five minutes. Nod them away or if rude, say “Please let me finish my overview first.” Then finish your overview while trying to anticipate questions.
  2. Never interrupt your talk in the middle of a sentence to react to a person raising their hand. Finish your sentence.
  3. Nod at someone who has their hand up to recognize them and then return later (hopefully soon) to let them ask their question.
  4. Try to give succinct answers, saving your own time.
  5. It is OK to say “I don’t know” for a factual question. Just not too often. Avoid speculation.
  6. If lots of hands go up, try to choose someone who has not already spoken. Also, take it as a signal that you have just said something confusing and try to clarify it.
  7. Learn to distinguish a comment (or suggestion) from a question.
  8. Try to have the confidence to move on with a comment rather than a question. Just say “Interesting comment” or “Thank you.” Others who agree that the comment is a tangent or of secondary importance, or rude, will respect, not disrespect, you for this.
  9. Take the comments and questions of junior faculty and people in your field more seriously than those of old farts.
  10. Restate a question if it is unclear and answer your version. Also, restate it if it was said too quietly.
  11. Be willing to repeat something you have already said, in a slightly different way, to try to improve comprehension.
  12. Try to use specific examples to motivate concepts: Pizza rather than good Q, Bart instead of Agent J.
  13. Pick on someone in the audience if it will add humor and concreteness.
  14. Feel free to say “That is a good question. I will get to that in a few more slides. Ask again if I don’t.”
  15. If the question is tangential to the point you are making in your paper, consider saying “That is an interesting point, perhaps we can discuss it after the seminar.”
  16. Writing down new ideas is a good idea, but not if the point is something obvious you should have already thought of, which makes you look foolish. Even if you already know about the idea, acknowledging the idea, such as by writing down a single word, may be good.
  17. Ask a coauthor, colleague, or friend in the audience to take notes. Tracking your time on the intro/data/ methods/results/extensions/conclusions is also helpful.
  18. Don’t say too often: “That is a really good question.” If so, you should have answered it already.
  19. If someone else is giving a very long speech, and you think others will recognize that it is inappropriate or too long, be willing to interrupt or cut it short. “I think I get what you are saying…”
  20. Don’t allow faculty sitting in the front row to ask you private questions that everyone can’t hear or understand. Interrupt them and say “Could you please speak up so that others can hear you.”
  21. If you feel that the questions have interrupted you too much to finish your talk, say “I see my time is running short. I need the next few minutes to cover XXX (my methods or results or conclusions or whatever) without interruption and get back on track.” You can do this before the final five minutes.
  22. Try not to be snarky, dismissive or rude. Strive to be gracious and open to suggestions.
  23. Assume you will have intrusions and plan a shorter talk with extra bonus slides if you have time.
  24. Assume you won’t have enough time to cover sensitivity analysis and extensions and plan accordingly.
  25. Always take your final three minutes without interruptions. Tell the audience you need to do that to finish your talk. Have a strong conclusion to use, even if you didn’t finish your results.
  26. Be sure your name is on the final slide. Don’t just show “Thank You,” but rather show your name. affiliation and paper title, as on your first slide. If you end on your conclusions, include your name. It is the single most important thing you want people to remember.
  27. Pay attention to other strong presenters (men and women) and try to imitate them.

Randall P. Ellis, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Economics, Boston University
ellisrp@bu.edu     Off: +1 617-353-2741       http://blogs.bu.edu/ellisrp/

Recognizing Mentoring

A colleague W. David Bradford wrote the following article about me for the “Great Mentors” series they are running in the ASHEcon Newsletter, which is published by the American Society of Health Economists. Flattering, and very satisfying. Perhaps it will inspire more people to become great mentors.

Great Mentors: Randy Ellis

The full newsletter is here.

Joining ASHEcon is also a good idea. Only $40 a year for students. $95 for everyone else, and it includes a free AJHE subscription!

I hope to see you at the next ASHEcon conference in St. Louis, June 7-10.

Time to try something really different

Although I subscribe to and watch essentially every posting in The Incidental Economist, this one on value-based payment for Medicare is worth reposting and viewing. It is only 4:48  long.

Video: The Many Attempts to Improve the Value of Medicare

Upshot article by BU colleague Austin Frakt last month in the New York Times contains the cites and links for the above:

Value’ of Care Was a Big Goal. How Did It Work Out?

This video, which finds a lack of meaningful cost savings  or quality improvement, is consistent with my general view of health insurance innovations in the US:

Every 5-7 years the US health insurance industry has to come out with a new approach to address out-of-control costs and preempt true reform. These have included:

  • HMO – narrow networks
  • HMO – IPAs (Independent Physician Associations) HMOs with no teeth
  • PPOs (weaker than HMOs, but more palatable to consumers)
  • POS (Point of service) plans (combining the above two
  • CDHC – Consumer-driven health care (more choice with higher cost-sharing)
  • HDHP – High deductible plans with health savings accounts
  • Pay for performance
  • Accountable Care Organizations
  • Tiered cost-sharing
  • Value-based purchasing.

With the exception of narrow network HMOs like Kaiser (A supply-side innovation), none of these have ultimately proven to save more than 1-2 percent of costs or slow down cost growth.

The main reason for this is that all of them rely upon competition, demand-side incentives, and consumer choice driving down costs. But we have very weak competition and very poor consumer information. Plus consumers rarely change choices even when information is available.  It is true that shifting a huge financial burdens onto consumers, like high deductible strategies, can save 3-5 percent on total costs, but most people (including the wealthy) would be willing to pay this amount to avoid this level of time and financial burden. The true attraction of these approaches is as a selection tool to attract healthy people into your plan.

 

Note that CDHC and HDHP which rely on tax-exempt savings accounts are only attractive to wealthier people for whom the tax deductibility has value. Low-income people don’t benefit from these tax-favored plans, it only adds complexity to their already difficult lives.

 

All of the above strategies also increase costs by raising administrative complexity and costs for consumers, employers, health plans and providers of all types.

 

Why are new ideas adopted every five to seven years? Because that is how long it takes to try out new reforms and determine that they are not working.

 

True cost containment will take leadership and a willingness to use supply-side reforms and regulation, which is what Europe and almost other high countries use to control costs.

 

There are many challenges of dramatic restructuring and regulation such as is implied by “Medicare for All” but it is going to take something dramatic to lower cost growth to be meaningfully less than the rate of general inflation. To continue current trends will only worsen health and income inequities, worsen public burdens of government-sponsored care, and hurt US competitiveness with the rest of the world. It is easier to be critical rather than constructive, but it is time to discuss more fundamental reforms.

 

Randy

 

Congratulations on BU’s 66 presentations/coauthorships/chairs/discussants at 2020 ASSA in San Diego

Dear colleagues, students, alumni, and friends.

The preliminary program is out for the Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) meeting to be held in San Diego California this January 3-6, 2020, commonly known as the AEA meetings (American Economics Association). As I have done each recent year, I tabulated all of the current BU faculty, graduate students and alumni (that I recognize) who appear in the program using their name and affiliations. This count includes authors and coautors, chairs and discussants. I apologize for inevitably missing some people, particularly alumni. Let me know and I will correct on the on line versions that appear on my web blog.

This year, despite being held in just about the most remote location possible in the continental US, BU people appear 66 times, down from last year with 87 in Atlanta. This comprises 50 appearances on the program as an author or coauthor, 6 as chairs, and 10 as discussants. The winner this year with the most appearances on the program is perennial activist Pascual Restrepo with 4 appearances, followed by a three way tie between Adam Guren, Shulamit Kahn (Questrom), and Steven Terry. There were sixteen alumni I identified who presented, which is almost certainly an undercount.

This year there are 48 distinct names appearing on the program, comprising 28 faculty, 16  alumni, and four Ph.D. candidates. Of the faculty there are 16 from CAS Economics faculty (down from 21 last year), ten from Questrom School of Business, 1 from Law, and  1 from Pardee School of Global Studies.  The growth of the Questrom faculty to ten names continues its impressive recent trend, up from 8 QSB faulty last year.

Information about the 2020 San Diego conference and registration is located here.

https://www.aeaweb.org/conference/

Employer Hotel Suite Reservations open on Tuesday September 10th 2019 at 11:00am EDT, and

General Attendee ASSA Registration and Hotel Reservations open on Thursday September 19th 2019 at 11:00am EDT.

Preferred hotels usually are booked within the first ten minutes!

If you are in the area (even if you do not attend the ASSA) you are invited to the Boston University Economics Department Reception

Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM  Marriott Marquis San Diego, Mission Hills City View

It is not too early to begin planning your paper submissions to the next two ASSA meetings, which are much more convenient and likely cheaper than San Diego:

January 3-5,  2021 Chicago, IL

January 7-9, 2022 Boston, MA

WELL DONE BU!

In the summary below I only show the authors affiliated with BU, without showing the other authors on papers. The ASSA does not distinguish the presenter from the list of coauthors. BU alumni have a non-BU affiliation shown.

Session: Central Banking 
Friday, Jan. 3, 8:00 AM, Marriott Marquis San Diego, Point Loma Pool View
Central Bank Policies and Financial Markets: Lessons from the Euro Crisis
(co-)author Ashoka Mody, Princeton University
Session: Education and Religion 
Friday, Jan. 3, 8:00 AM, , Marriott Marquis San Diego, Balboa City View
Discussant: Samuel Bazzi, Boston University
Human Capital and the Persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany
(co-)author Sharun Mukand, University of Warwick
Session: Empirical Research on Automation and “Smart” Technologies 
Friday, Jan. 3, 8:00 AM, Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marriott Grand Ballroom 10
Chair:  James Bessen, Boston University
Competing with Robots: Micro Evidence from France
(co-)author Pascual Restrepo, Boston University
Automatic Reaction – What Happens to Workers at Firms that Automate?
(co-)author James Bessen, Boston University
Session: Gender in the Innovation Economy 
Discussant: Jeff Furman, Boston University
Session: Gendered Effects of Social Norms and Institutions 
Friday, Jan. 3, 8:00 AM, Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marriott Grand Ballroom 2
Evaluating Teen Options for Preventing Pregnancy: Impacts and Mechanisms
(co-)author Dara Lee Luca, Mathematica Policy Research
Session: Innovation, Productivity and Regulation 
 Friday, Jan. 3, 2020 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM , Marriott Marquis San Diego, San Diego A
Declining Business Dynamism: Sources and Productivity Implications
(co-)author Jonathan Willis, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Session: Promoting Female Participation in Undergraduate Economics 
Friday, Jan. 3, 8:00 AM, Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marina Ballroom G
Discussant: Kasey Buckles, University of Notre Dame
Session: The Effect of Immigrants on Economic and Political Outcomes in the United States 
Friday, Jan. 3, 8:00 AM, Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marina Ballroom D
Discussant: Daniele Paserman Boston University
Immigration, Innovation and Growth
(co-)author Tarek Hassan, Boston University
(co-)author Lisa Tarquinio, Boston University
(co-)author Stephen J. Terry, Boston University
Session: Mutual Funds: New Perspectives
     Friday 10:15am; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Seaport F; Hosted By: American Finance Association
The Allocation of Talent across Mutual Fund Strategies
(co-)author: Andrea Buffa, Boston University
(co-)author: Apoorva Javadekar, Indian School of Business
Session: Real Estate and Housing Finance
     Friday 12:30pm; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Coronado A; Hosted By: American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association & American Finance Association
Discussant: Adam Guren, Boston University
Session: Advances in Measuring Firm-Level Uncertainty
     Friday 2:30pm; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Coronado Room; Hosted By: American Economic Association
Firm-Level Risks and Effects of Brexit
(co-)author: Tarek Hassan, Boston University
Session: New Approaches to Measuring Technology and Innovation
     Friday 2:30pm; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Presidio 1 – 2; Hosted By: American Economic Association & Committee on Economic Statistics
Discussant: Pascual Restrepo, Boston University
Session: Provider Decision-Making and Productivity in Health Care
     Friday 2:30pm; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marriott Grand Ballroom 4; Hosted By: American Economic Association
What Does Health Care Billing Cost, and Why Does It Matter?
(co-)author: Adam Shapiro, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Path Dependency in Physician Decision-Making
(co-)author: Han Ye, National University of Singapore
Session: Econometrics of Networks
     Friday 2:30pm; Marriott Marquis San Diego, La Costa Water View; Hosted By: Econometric Society
Nonlinear Factor Models for Network and Panel Data
(co-)author: Mingli Chen, University of Warwick
(co-)author: Ivan Fernandez-Val, Boston University
Session: Fertility in a Changing Environment: Climate Change, Migration, and Social Networks
     Saturday, 8:00am; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Mission Beach A; Hosted By: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
Social Networks and Women’s Reproductive Health Choices in India
(co-)author: Mahesh Karra, Boston University
Session: Achievement Tests I: On the Validity of Comparisons across Cohort, Grade, and Subject
     Saturday, 8:00am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe 2; Hosted By: American Economic Association
Chair: Kevin Lang, Boston University
Is Intervention Fadeout a Scaling Artefact?
(co-)author: Timothy N. Bond, Purdue University
(co-)author: Kevin Lang, Boston University
Session: Identification in Macro-Finance: Recent Advances
     Saturday, 8:00am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marina Ballroom F; Hosted By: American Economic Association
What Do We Learn from Cross-Sectional Empirical Estimates in Macroeconomics?
(co-)author: Adam Guren, Boston University
Session: Asset Valuation in Economies with Production
     Saturday, 8:00am; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Seaport B; Hosted By: American Finance Association
Discussant: Stephen J. Terry, Boston University
Session: Networks, Connections, and Firms
     Saturday, 8:00am; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Harbor A; Hosted By: American Finance Association
The Network of Firms Implied by the News
(co-)author: Hannan Zheng, Boston University
(co-)author: Gustavo Schwenkler, Boston University

 Session: Current Topics in Health and Public Economics
     Saturday, 8:00am; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Cortez Hills C; Hosted By: Chinese Economic Association in North America
Chair: Ching-to Albert Ma, Boston University
Changing Preferences: An Experiment and Estimation of Market-Incentive Effects on Altruism
(co-)author: Undral Byambadalai, Boston University
(co-)author: Ching-to Albert Ma, Boston University
Session: Gender and Careers
     Saturday, 8:00am; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Harbor E; Hosted By: Labor and Employment Relations Association
Information Provision and Gender Differences in Negotiation: Evidence from Business Majors
(co-)author: Patricia Cortes, Boston University
Session: Wage Structure, Covenants Not to Compete, and Nonwage Benefits
     Saturday, 8:00am; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Harbor F; Hosted By: Labor and Employment Relations Association
Discussant: Shulamit Kahn, Boston University
Session: Interventions to Close Gender Gaps – What Works and What Can Backfire
     Saturday, 10:15am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marriott Grand Ballroom 3; Hosted By: American Economic Association
Banning Negotiation: Is Wage Dispersion Maintained When Left to Manager Discretion?
(co-)author: Rania Gihleb, University of Pittsburgh
Session: Real Effects of Non-Rational Expectations
     Saturday, 10:15am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marriott Grand Ballroom 13; Hosted By: American Economic Association
Real Credit Cycles
(co-)author: Stephen J. Terry, Boston University
Session: R&D, Patents, and Innovation
     Saturday, 10:15am; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Seaport H; Hosted By: American Finance Association
Benchmarking United States University Technology Commercialization Efforts: A New Approach
(co-)author: Arvids Ziedonis, Boston University
Session: Labor Share
     Saturday, 10:15am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Catalina Water View; Hosted By: Econometric Society
Automation and New Tasks: How Technology Displaces and Reinstates Labor
(co-)author: Pascual Restrepo, Boston University
Session: Cash Holdings, Investment, and Firm Dynamics
     Saturday, 10:15am; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Ocean Beach; Hosted By: International Society for Inventory Research
Customers and Retailer Growth
(co-)author: Raviv Murciano-Goroff, Boston University
Session: Economics of Payments
     Saturday, 2:30pm; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Del Mar Water View; Hosted By: American Economic Association
Chair: Marc S. Rysman, Boston University
Session: Is United States Deficit Policy Playing with Fire?
     Saturday, 2:30pm; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marriott Grand Ballroom 3; Hosted By: American Economic Association
Chair: Laurence Kotlikoff, Boston University
Leveraging Posterity’s Prosperity
(co-)author: Laurence Kotlikoff, Boston University
Session: The Race between Education and Technology Revisited
     Saturday, 2:30pm; Marriott Marquis San Diego, San Diego B; Hosted By: American Economic Association
Automation, New Tasks, and Inequality
(co-)author: Pascual Restrepo, Boston University
Session: Structural Models of Credit Risk
     Saturday, 2:30pm; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Harbor A; Hosted By: American Finance Association
A Unified Model of Distress Risk Puzzles
(co-)author: Dirk Hackbarth, Boston University
Session: Housing and Financial Stability
     Saturday, 2:30pm; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Cardiff Water View; Hosted By: Econometric Society
The Effect of Foreclosures on Homeowners, Tenants, and Landlords
(co-)author: Adam Guren, Boston University
Session: Experimental Evidence: From the ACA to New Drugs
     Saturday, 2:30pm; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Solana Beach AB; Hosted By: Health Economics Research Organization & American Economic Association
Nudging Take-up of Subsidized Insurance: Evidence from Massachusetts
(co-)author: Keith Ericson, Boston University
(co-)author: Tim Layton, Harvard University
Session: Labor Force, Productivity, and Mobility
     Saturday, 2:30pm; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Harbor F; Hosted By: Labor and Employment Relations Association
The Structural Decline in Job Turnover since 2000: Disequilibrium or New Normal?
(co-)author: Shulamit Kahn, Boston University
(co-)author: Yeseul Hyun, Boston University
Session: Changes in Occupations and Jobs
     Sunday 8:00am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Presidio 2; Hosted By: American Economic Association
Occupational Mobility in a Changing Labor Market: Upward Climbs or Crooked Paths?
(co-)author: Shulamit Kahn, Boston University
(co-)author: Yeseul Hyun, Boston University
Session: The Economics of Privacy
     Sunday 8:00am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marriott Grand Ballroom 12; Hosted By: American Economic Association
The Deadweight Loss of Social Recognition
(co-)author: Robert Metcalfe, Boston University
Session: Macroeconometrics
     Sunday 8:00am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Catalina Water View; Hosted By: Econometric Society
Using Arbitrary Precision Arithmetic to Sharpen Identification Analysis for DSGE Models
(co-)author: Zhongjun Qu, Boston University
(co-)author: Denis Tkachenko, National University of Singapore
Session: Testing in Incomplete and Complete Models
     Sunday 8:00am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, La Costa Water View; Hosted By: Econometric Society
Chair: Hiroaki Kaido, Boston University
Robust Likelihood-Ratio Tests for Incomplete Economic Models
(co-)author: Hiroaki Kaido, Boston University
(co-)author: Yi Zhang, Jinan University
Session: Economic Consequences of Immigration Policy
     Sunday 10:15am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Santa Rosa; Hosted By: American Economic Association
Discussant: Patricia Cortes, Boston University
Session: Gender Differences in Career Progression
     Sunday 10:15am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marriott Grand Ballroom 3; Hosted By: American Economic Association
Discussant: Robert Metcalfe, Boston University
Session: Labor Unions in the United States
     Sunday 10:15am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marriott Grand Ballroom 1; Hosted By: American Economic Association
The Effects of Union Membership on Political Participation: Evidence from Michigan Teachers Unions after Right to Work
(co-)author: James Feigenbaum, Boston University
Session: Minimum Wages, Taxes and Low Wage Labor Markets
     Sunday 10:15am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Marina Ballroom D; Hosted By: American Economic Association
The Effects of Minimum Wage on Firm Practices and Management
(co-)author: Dara Lee Luca, Mathematica Policy Research
(co-)author: Michael Luca, Harvard Business School
Session: Entrepreneurial Finance: Risk and Return
     Sunday 10:15am; Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Seaport F; Hosted By: American Finance Association
Entrepreneurial Experimentation and Duration
(co-)author: Jianjun Miao, Boston University
Session: Stochastic Choice and Experiments on Decision Making
     Sunday 10:15am; Marriott Marquis San Diego, Del Mar Water View; Hosted By: Econometric Society
Hard-to-Interpret Signals
(co-)author: Larry Epstein, Boston University
6 chairs
50 coauthors
10 discussants
66 appearances

 

End of summer reading list

Happy end of summer!

Even though the summer is winding down, it is not too late to sneak in a book or two or even keep reading them in coming weeks! Below are a few of the ones I have most enjoyed reading this summer. I recommend them all to you.

I have been relatively inactive on blogging and sending out emails this year so far, but I will have a lot more to share this fall with exciting new research and events in progress. Wishing you all well.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Lori Gottlieb. 2019. I loved this book! It is written by a woman who started out as a script writer for Grey’s Anatomy, who started shadowing an MD in the emergency room to better write script, who went to medical school but then dropped out when she realized she really liked the personal interaction which is rare in our health care system, who then became a psychological therapist! The book blends her own therapy with discussions of many of her clients. I liked the insights about therapy and what it is trying to achieve. It will capture you and is a good one to recommend to and discuss at a book group.

Educated. Tara Westover. 2018. This memoire written by a lifelong Mormon growing up in Idaho under unimaginable living conditions who overcomes it to become a PhD success was voted the Amazon Editors’ #1 Pick for the Best Book of 2018. I need not say anything more.

Becoming. Michelle Obama. 2018. I am probably the last person among my book reading friends to finally read this book. Fascinating. I really like Michelle and think she is not yet done having a big impact on the US.

Interesting article and book

I just saw the abstract below to a review article by someone I know and regard highly (Rachel Kranton) in the March 2019 Journal of Economic Literature.

I took a look at the full article(14 pages) and then bought the book on line. Then I finished reading the article (15 minutes with pondering).

The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens

 

(6) The Devil Is in the Details: Implications of Samuel Bowles’s The Moral Economy for Economics and Policy Research
Rachel Kranton
All economists should buy and read The Moral Economy by Samuel Bowles. The book challenges basic premises of economic theory and questions policies based on monetary incentives. Incentives not only crowd out intrinsic motivations, they erode the ethical and moral codes necessary for the workings of markets. Bowles boldly suggests that successful policies must combine incentives and moral messages, exploiting complementarities between the two. This essay argues that to achieve this objective, economists must study the local institutions and social context and engage untraditional data to uncover the interplay of incentives and identity.
Full-Text Access | Supplementary Materials

The JEL article is free at the Full Text access link, or here.

 

The book came out in 2017, but I had not read a review. I am looking forward to reading the book.

Congratulations on BU’s 87 presentations/coauthorships/chairs/discussants at 2019 ASSA meetings

As I have done in previous years, I tabulated the names I could find from BU faculty, students, and alumni on the preliminary ASSA (Allied Social Science Associations) program for the Atlanta AEA (American Economics Association) meetings, the largest annual US gathering of economists.

BU set a new record for its presence at the 2019 ASSA/AEA (American Economics Association) meetings with BU faculty, students or alumni names appearing 87 times. This is up 22% from the 71 times in 2017 in Philadelphia, and surpases the count for the 2015 ASSA meetings, which were held in Boston, (83 appearances, with a home field advantage).

Of those 87 appearances there are

60 presenters or coauthors (up from 43 last year!) (ASSA does not differentiate coauthors from presenters in the ASSA program.)

21 discussants

6 session chairs.

Of those 87 appearances:

27 are by CAS Economics Department faculty (21 distinct economics faculty names are on the program– one more than last year!)

18 are by Questrom School of Business faculty (8 distinct names)

1 is from the BU SPH faculty

1 is by a PhD student who submitted a paper while still a student

1 is by a former MA student (poster presentation) who submitted while still a student

40 are by BU Ph.D. Alumni (Up from 22 last year!) These are clearly undercounted since it is hard to recognize all of their names.)

The busiest BU participant at the ASSA this year will be alumnus Kristopher Gerardi, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta with four roles.

Many people will be very busy at ASSA this year with three roles each Pascual Restrepo (BU Econ), Andrea Vedolin(Questrom), Evgeny Lyandres (Questrom), Keith Marzilli Ericson (Questrom),Robert Metcalfe (Questrom), Francisco Pino (U. Chile) and Jonathan Hersh (Chapman U.)

Recall that these numbers count chairs, discussants and coauthors equally. Questrom factulty were particularly active this year at getting on the ASSA program.

I apologize for any names that I have inadvertently missed, but creating this list requires looking through about 10,000 names of authors, chairs and discussants for familiar names. If you send corrections to me, I will at least correct them on my blog posting of this email, which is linked here.

The BU reception will be Saturday, January 5, 2019 from 6 to 8pm at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, room International C..All are welcome, even if you are not registered for the conference.

A detailed list of papers and names that may help with planning your travel, learning what your colleagues are up to or making corrections are below. They are sorted chronologically by time.

It is not too early to begin planning which papers you want to present at the ASSA 2020 (January 3-5, 2020 (Friday, Saturday, & Sunday)
San Diego).

Also note that the AEA registration and housing reservations will open on September 12th at 11 a.m. EDT. Link is here.

Randy Ellis

Go to https://www.aeaweb.org/conference/2019/preliminary to view the preliminary program.

Boston University faculty, students, and identified alumni are in bold.

Censorship (D8, O3) Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 3 Hosted By: American Economic Association

  • Chair: Francisco Pino, University of Chile
  • The Economic Effects of Catholic Church Censorship During the Counter-Reformation
  • Sascha Becker, University of Warwick
  • Francisco Pino, University of Chile
  • Jordi Vidal-Robert, University of Sydney

Bringing Economic Research into Public Policy Discussions Paper Session  Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 8 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Reforming Non-competes to Support Workers

Matthew Marx Boston University

 

Topics in Economic Theory I Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Intra-household Earning Distribution and Marriage Durability

Chiara Margaria, Boston University

Andrew F. Newman, Boston University

 

Uncertainty and Financial Markets  Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, M304 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Uncertainty, Financial Frictions, and Investment Dynamics

Simon Gilchrist, Boston University

Jae W. Sim, Federal Reserve Board

Egon Zakrajsek, Federal Reserve Board

 

Asset Pricing: Implications of Financial Constraints Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Hilton Atlanta, Grand Ballroom A Hosted By: American Finance Association

Model-Free International Stochastic Discount Factors

Paula Mirela Sandulescu, University of Lugano & Swiss Finance Institute

Fabio Trojani, University of Geneva and Swiss Finance Institute

Andrea Vedolin, Boston University

 

Macroeconomics and Housing Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Hilton Atlanta, 305 Hosted By: Chinese Economic Association in North America

Housing Wealth and Consumption: New Evidence from Household-Level Panel Data

Kristopher Gerardi, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Kyle Herkenhoff, University of Minnesota

Paul Willen, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Individual and Social Decisions Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Atlanta Marriott Marquis, L507 Hosted By: Econometric Society

Chair: Bart Lipman, Boston University

Technology, Productivity, Growth, and Jobs Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, A706 Hosted By: Society of Policy Modeling & American Economic Association

The Threat of Reshoring: Industrial Automation and Growth in the Emerging World

Daron Acemoglu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Pascual Restrepo, Boston University

Applications of Machine Learning in Microeconomics for Public Policy Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM  Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 7 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Cell Phone Coverage and Traffic Accidents: New Evidence Using Cell Phone Towers

Bree Lang, University of California-Riverside

Matthew Lang, University of California-Riverside

Jonathan Hersh, Chapman University

What Determines Labor Market Re-attachment? A Machine Learning Approach

Jonathan Hersh, Chapman University

Benedikt Herz, European Commission

Discussant(s)

Bree Lang, University of California-Riverside

Benedikt Herz, European Commission

Jonathan Hersh, Chapman University

Matthew Harding, University of California-Irvine

Steve Cicala, University of Chicago-Harris

Financial Innovation in Developing Countries: How Novel Savings and Loan Products Relax Liquidity Constraints and Improve Welfare Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 9 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Relaxing Borrowing Constraints in Savings Groups

Alfredo Burlando, University of Oregon

Jessica Goldberg, University of Maryland

 

Household Finance Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 3 Hosted By: American Economic Association

The Economic Consequences of Bankruptcy Reform

Tal Gross, Boston University

Ray Kluender, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Matthew Notowidigdo, Northwestern University

Jialan Wang, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

 

Macro-Finance: Collateral and Currency Markets Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 8 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Discussant(s)

Adrien Verdelhan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NBER

Dongho Song, Boston College

Ozge Akinci, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Andrea Vedolin, Boston University

 

Social Norms, Female Labor Supply and the Family Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, A706 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Social Norms, Labor Market Opportunities, and the Marriage Gap for Skilled Women

Marianne Bertrand, University of Chicago

Patricia Cortes, Boston University

Claudia Olivetti, Boston College

Jessica Pan, National University of Singapore

 

What Role (If Any) Should Economic History Play in the Training of an Economist? Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 4 Hosted By: American Economic Association

The Economic History Requirement: Past, Present, Future

Robert Margo, Boston University

 

Market Power and Firm Strategies in Health Insurance Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM  Hilton Atlanta, 304 Hosted By: American Society of Health Economists

Multimarket Contact in Health Insurance: Evidence from Medicare Advantage

Haizhen Lin, Indiana University

Ian McCarthy, Emory University

How Important Is Price Variation Between Health Insurers?

Stuart Craig, University of Pennsylvania

Keith Marzilli Ericson, Boston University

Amanda Starc, Northwestern University

 

Blockchain and Tokenomics Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, L508 Hosted By: Econometric Society

A Theory of ICOs: Diversification, Agency, and Information Asymmetry

Evgeny Lyandres, Boston University

Discussant(s)

Zhiguo He, University of Chicago

Evgeny Lyandres, Boston University

Sabrina Howell, New York University

Jiasun Li, George Mason University

Brett Green, University of California-Berkeley

 

Methodological Advances in IO Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International C Hosted By: Econometric Society

How Do Physicians React to Patient Costs?

Michael Dickstein, New York University

Jihye Jeon, Boston University

Eduardo Morales, Princeton University

 

Public Utilities II Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Hilton Atlanta, 303 Hosted By: Transportation and Public Utilities Group

Long-Term Transportation Electricity Use Considering the Effect of Autonomous-Vehicles: Estimates & Policy Observations

Peter Fox-Penner, Boston University

Will Gorman, University of California-Berkeley

Jennifer Hatch, Boston University

 

Gender and Identity in Developing Economies  Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 12:30 PM – 2:15 PM Hilton Atlanta, 313 Hosted By: Association for the Study of Generosity in Economics & International Association for Feminist Economics

Discussant(s)

Selim Gulesci, Bocconi University

Rebecca Thorton, University of Illinois

Alicia Adsera, Princeton University

 

Applied Machine Learning Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Marquis Ballroom A Hosted By: American Economic Association

Causal Impact of Democracy on Growth: An Applied Econometrics Perspective

Ivan Fernandez-Val, Boston University

Victor Chernozhukov, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

Cultural Practices and Women’s Lives Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, A708 Hosted By: American Economic Association

The Impact of Education on Female Genital Cutting

Giulia La Mattina, University of South Florida

Elisabetta De Cao, London School of Economics

Intentional and Unintentional Effects of Safety Net Programs Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 7 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Discussant(s)

Amanda Kowalski, University of Michigan

Samuel Bazzi, Boston University

Adriana Lleras-Muney, University of California-Los Angeles

 

New Data and New Facts for the Global Economy Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, A707 Hosted By: American Economic Association

United States Exporters: New Evidence

Stefania Garetto, Boston University

Lindsay Oldenski, Georgetown University

Nitya Pandalai­‐Nayar, University of Texas-Austin

Natalia Ramondo, University of California-San Diego

 

Finance and Development Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Hilton Atlanta, 205-206-207 Hosted By: American Finance Association

Capital Destruction and Economic Growth: The Effects of Sherman’s March, 1850–1920

Filippo Mezzanotti, Northwestern University

James Feigenbaum, Boston University

James Lee, Cornerstone Research

 

Affordable Housing Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Hilton Atlanta, 215 Hosted By: American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association

Discussant(s)

Tim McQuade, Stanford University

Andrew Haughwout, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Chandler Lutz, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Kristopher Gerardi, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

 

Urban and Labor Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Hilton Atlanta, 218 Hosted By: American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association

Geography and Employer Recruiting

Russell Weinstein, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

 

Advances in Modeling Human Capital and Education Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, L503 Hosted By: Econometric Society

The Determinants of Teachers’ Occupational Choice

Kevin Lang, Boston University

Maria Palacios, Boston University

Affordable Care Act Issues in the Trump Era Paper Session Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Hilton Atlanta, 303 Hosted By: Health Economics Research Organization

The Trade-off between Extensive and Intensive Margin Adverse Selection in Competitive Health Insurance Markets

Timothy Layton, Harvard University

Michael Geruso, University of Texas-Austin

Mark Shepard, Harvard University

 

Advances in Dynamic Mechanism Design Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 2 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Discussant(s)

Juan Ortner, Boston University

Rahul Deb, University of Toronto

Christopher Sleet, Carnegie Mellon University

Xianwen Shi, University of Toronto

 

Corporate Borrowing Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Hilton Atlanta, 205-206-207 Hosted By: American Finance Association

Discussant(s)

Joao Santos, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Konstantin Milbradt, Northwestern University

Heather Tookes, Yale University

 

Central Banks’ Corporate Bond Purchases: Impact and Channels Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 8 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Discussant(s)

Andrea Vedolin, Boston University

Thomas King, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Ralf Meisenzahl, Federal Reserve Board

Filip Zikes, Federal Reserve Board

Vacancies and Recruitment Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Grand Hall East A Hosted By: Labor and Employment Relations Association

Recruiting Intensity over the Business Cycle

Eliza Forsythe, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Russell Weinstein, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

 

Gender in the Economics Profession I Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, A706 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Does Economics Make You Sexist?

Valentina Paredes, University of Chile

  1. Daniele Paserman, Boston University & NBER

Francisco Pino, University of Chile

 

New Perspectives on Risk Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM  Hilton Atlanta, Grand Ballroom B Hosted By: American Finance Association

Firm-Level Political Risk: Measurement and Effects

Tarek Hassan, Boston University

Stephan Hollander, Tilburg University

Ahmed Tahoun, London Business School

Laurence van Lent, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

 

The Economics of Child Health and Other Aspects of Childhood Development Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Hilton Atlanta, 309-310-311 Hosted By: International Health Economics Association

Discussant(s)

  1. Vincent Pohl, University of Georgia

Eeshani Kandpal, World Bank

Ana Balsa, University of Montevideo

David Bishai, Johns Hopkins University

 

Credit Markets Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, M105 Hosted By: American Economic Association

The Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations in a Credit Network Economy

Levent Altinoglu, Federal Reserve Board

 

Investors and Firm Market Power: Does the Source of Capital Matter? Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM  Hilton Atlanta, 209-210-211 Hosted By: American Finance Association

Common Ownership Does Not Have Anti-Competitive Effects in the Airline Industry

Patrick Dennis, University of Virginia

Kristopher Gerardi, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Carola Schenone, University of Virginia

 

 

The Value of Culture Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Hilton Atlanta, 203 Hosted By: Association of Financial Economists & American Economic Association

The Impact of Socioeconomic and Cultural Differences on Online Trade

Daniel Elfenbein, Washington University

Ray Fisman, Boston University and NBER

Brian McManus, University of North Carolina

 

Sovereign Debt, Capital Flows and Sudden Stops Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, L406 Hosted By: Econometric Society

Sovereign Debt Overhang, Expenditure Portfolio, and Debt Restructurings

Tamon Asonuma, International Monetary Fund

Hyungseok Joo, Wayne State University

 

Topics in Empirical Industrial Organization: A Structural Approach Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 2 Hosted By: Korea-America Economic Association

Discussant(s)

Ami Ko, Georgetown University

Jihye Jeon, Boston University

Myongjin Kim, University of Oklahoma

Boyoung Seo, Indiana University

 

Economics of Transportation II Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Hilton Atlanta, 303 Hosted By: Transportation and Public Utilities Group

Sources of Gain in Airline Merger: Evidence from China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines

Chun-Yu Ho, State University of New York-Albany

Patrick McCarthy, Georgia Tech University

Yanhao Wang, Indiana University

 

 

Preparing Undergraduates for Application to Graduate School Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 12:30 PM – 2:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, A707 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Discussant(s)

Gautam Gowrisankaran, University of Arizona

Navin Kartik, Columbia University

Martin Boileau, University of Colorado Boulder

Wojciech Olszewski, Northwestern University

Daniele Paserman, Boston University

 

Contributed Papers in Health Economics Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 12:30 PM – 2:15 PM Hilton Atlanta, 303 Hosted By: Health Economics Research Organization

The Impacts of CMS Public Reports of Hospital Charge Data

Kathleen Carey, Boston University

Avi Dor, George Washington University
The preliminary program is now available on the website. Go to https://www.aeaweb.org/conference/2019/preliminary to view the preliminary program. Check your session(s) for accuracy. Email changes to julia.b.merry@vanderbilt.edu by September 28th. When adding or changing participants in a session, please provide the participant’s affiliation and email address.
Are Men and Women Different Economic Agents? Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, A705 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Gender Differences in Job Search Behavior and the Gender Earnings Gap: Evidence from Business Majors

Patricia Cortes, Boston University

Jessica Pan, National University of Singapore

Laura Pilossoph, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Basit Zafar, Arizona State University

 

Automation, Jobs, and Productivity: Aggregate and Micro Evidence

Paper Session

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 5

Hosted By: American Economic Association

Demographics and Automation

Daron Acemoglu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Pascual Restrepo, Boston University

Discussant(s)

Seth Benzell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Devesh Raval, Federal Trade Commission

David Dorn, University of Zurich

Kristina McElheran, University of Toronto

 

Financial Instability and the Macroeconomy Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 8 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Discussant(s)

Alejandro Van der Ghote, European Central Bank

Monika Piazzesi, Stanford University

Simon Gilchrist, Boston University

Alberto Martin, CREI

 

Impacts of Family-Friendly Workplace Policies Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, A707 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Discussant(s)

Betsey Stevenson, University of Michigan

Justin Wolfers, University of Michigan

Kasey Buckles, University of Notre Dame

Melissa Kearney, Universty of Maryland

 

Institutional Persistence and Change Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Hanover D & E Hosted By: Association for Comparative Economic Studies

From Weber to Kafka

Gabriele Gratton, University of New South Wales

Luigo Guiso , EIEF and CEPR

Claudio Michelacci, EIEF and CEPR

Massimo Morelli, Bocconi University and CEPR

 

Economics of Altruism: Evidence from the Field Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Hilton Atlanta, 301 Hosted By: Association for the Study of Generosity in Economics

The Welfare Effects of Social Recognition: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment with the YMCA

Luigi Butera , University of Chicago

Robert Metcalfe, Boston University

Dmitry Taubinsky, University of California-Berkeley

Economics of Altruism: Evidence from the Field Paper Session Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Hilton Atlanta, 301 Hosted By: Association for the Study of Generosity in Economics

The Welfare Effects of Social Recognition: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment with the YMCA

Luigi Butera , University of Chicago

Robert Metcalfe, Boston University

Dmitry Taubinsky, University of California-Berkeley

 

AEA Poster Session  Poster Session (Various times) Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Marquis Ballroom CD Hosted By: American Economic Association

Community Networks and the Growth of Private Enterprise in China (O4, L1)

Ruochen Dai, Peking University

Dilip Mookherjee, Boston University

Kaivan Munshi, University of Cambridge

Xiaobo Zhang, Peking University and IFPRI

 

Women’s Suffrage and Political Polarization (N4, D7)

Liu Zhang, Boston University

 

Economic Issues Involving Race Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, M303 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Symptoms Before the Syndrome? Stalled Racial Progress and Trade in the 1970s and 1980s

Mary Kate Batistich, Purdue University

Timothy N. Bond, Purdue University

Health Care Response to Prices and Reimbursment Policies Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 4 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Discussant(s)

Seth Richards-Shubik, Lehigh University

Michael Darden, George Washington University

Haizhen Lin, Indiana University

Christopher Whaley, RAND Corporation

 

House Prices, Mortgages, and Monetary Policy Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, A706 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Rental Markets and the Effect of Credit Conditions on House Prices

Adam Guren, Boston University

Dan Greenwald, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

Finance and Resource Allocation over Space and Time Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Hilton Atlanta, Grand Ballroom A Hosted By: American Finance Association

Discussant(s)

Kumar Venkataraman, Southern Methodist University

Jawad Addoum, Cornell University

Holger Mueller, New York University

Evgeny Lyandres, Boston University

 

Big Data, Consumer Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 6 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Dynamic Electricity Pricing: Smart Consumers for Smart Pricing

Mar Reguant, Northwestern Univeristy

David Rapson, University of California-Davis

Natalia Fabra, University Carlos III of Madrid

 

Smart Thermostats, Social Information, and Energy Conservation: Distributional Evidence from a Field Experiment

Alec Brandon, University of Chicago

John A. List, University of Chicago

Robert Metcalfe, Boston University

Michael Price, University of Alabama

 

Development and Financial History

Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, A707 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Discussant(s)

Nancy Qian, Northwestern University

Robert Margo, Boston University

Hilary Hoynes, University of California-Berkeley

Efraim Benmelech, Northwestern University

 

 

Is it Labor Supply or Labor Demand? Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 5 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Discussant(s)

Markus Poschke, McGill University

Pascual Restrepo, Boston University

Marianna Kudlyak, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Till Von Wachter, University of California-Los Angeles

 

Networks Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 2 Hosted By: American Economic Association

  • Chair: Marc Rysman, Boston University

 

Impact of Health System Reforms Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Hilton Atlanta, 309-310-311 Hosted By: International Health Economics Association

The Effects of Social Health Insurance Expansion and Increased Choice on Perinatal Health and Health Care Use: Lessons from the Uruguayan Health Care Reform

Ana Balsa, University of Montevideo

Patricia Triunfo, University of the Republic

Discussant(s)

Marika Cabral, University of Texas-Austin

Randall P. Ellis, Boston University

David Ridley, Duke University

 

Determinants of Academic Persistence and Success Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM \Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 10 Hosted By: American Economic Association

Nutritional Aid Disbursement and SAT Performance

Timothy N. Bond, Purdue University

Jillian B. Carr, Purdue University

Analisa Packham, Miami University

Jonathan Smith, Georgia State University

 

Economics of Fertility Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 1 Hosted By: American Economic Association

  • Chair: Kasey Buckles, University of Notre Dame

Healthcare and Household Finance Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International 6 Hosted By: American Economic Association

  • Chair: Keith Marzilli Ericson, Boston University

Liquidity Constraints and the Value of Insurance

Keith Marzilli Ericson, Boston University

Justin Sydnor, University of Wisconsin

Health Insurance and Housing Stability: The Effect of Medicaid Expansion on Evictions

Heidi Allen, Columbia University

Tal Gross, Boston University

 

Macroeconomic Implications of Debt Contracts Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Marquis Ballroom A Hosted By: American Economic Association

Housing Market

Adam Guren, Boston University

Arvind Krishnamurthy, Stanford University

Timothy McQuade, Stanford University

Borrower Behavior, and Mortgage Losses Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Hilton Atlanta, 215 Hosted By: American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association

Villains or Scapegoats? The Role of Subprime Borrowers in Driving the U.S. Housing Boom

James Conklin, University of Georgia

Scott Frame, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Kristopher Gerardi, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Haoyang Liu, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

 

Nonstandard Inference Methods Paper Session Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Atlanta Marriott Marquis, L503 Hosted By: Econometric Society

Inference on Winners

Isaiah Andrews, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Toru Kitagawa, University College London

Adam McCloskey, Brown University

 
Each person on your program that is attending the meeting must register for the meetings and pay the registration fee. The 2019 ASSA Registration and Housing is scheduled to open on September 12th.

Randall P. Ellis, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Economics, Boston University
ellisrp@bu.edu     Off: +1 617-353-2741       http://blogs.bu.edu/ellisrp/

 

From: Julia Merry [mailto:julia.b.merry@vanderbilt.edu]
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2018 12:43 PM
To: Ellis, Randall P
Subject: [ASSA] 2019 Preliminary Program

 

Dear ASSA Program Participant:

The preliminary program is now available on the website. Go to https://www.aeaweb.org/conference/2019/preliminary to view the preliminary program. Check your session(s) for accuracy. Email changes to julia.b.merry@vanderbilt.edu by September 28th. When adding or changing participants in a session, please provide the participant’s affiliation and email address.

Each person on your program that is attending the meeting must register for the meetings and pay the registration fee. The 2019 ASSA Registration and Housing is scheduled to open on September 12th.

All sessions will be equipped with a projector and screen for your presentation. ASSA does NOT provide computers. Microphones will be available in the larger rooms.

Julia Merry
ASSA/AEA
julia.b.merry@vanderbilt.edu

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2018 Economics graduates!

I have been on sabbatical, and hence am late to do this calculation and blog. Alas my sabbatical has come to an end.

Please celebrate the BU students who earned 590 degrees in Economics at Commencement this May!

This year the program honors:

18 Ph.D. recipients

231 Master’s degree recipients (MA, MAPE, MAEP, MAGDE MA/MBA, BA/MA)

341 BA recipients (including BA/MA)

This total of 590 degrees is up from 556 (6%) since 2017, following a 12% increase in 2017.

These numbers may undercount the total for the year since they may exclude some students who graduated in January.

In 2018 there were 18 PhDs, 231 Master’s degree recipients, and 341 BA recipients

In 2017 there were 14 PhDs, 215 Master’s degree recipients, and 327 BA recipients

In 2016 there were 22 PhDs, 203 Master’s degree recipients, and 273 BA recipients

In 2015 there were 22 PhDs, 155 Master’s degree recipients, and 305 BA recipients.

In 2014 there were 17 PhDs, 207 Master’s degree recipients, and 256 BA recipients.

Altogether 19 Ph.D. students agreed to be shown as obtaining jobs on our placements web site this year (versus 13 in 2017 and 23 in 2016). Not all graduates choose to be listed.

To see the Ph.D. placements visit the web site linked here.

http://www.bu.edu/econ/gradprgms/phd/placements/

The department’s  website now lists 38 regular faculty (down one from last year) with titles of assistant, associate or full professors, a number which is 3 below the number of professors in 2014 (our peak year) as listed on the commencement programs. Here are the recent counts of faculty.

2018: 38 tenured or tenure-track faculty, of which 4 are women (10%); 12 non-TT faculty, of which 3 are women (25%); 50 total faculty, of which 7 are women (14%). Of the TT faculty, there are 11 assistant (2 women), 7 associates (1 woman), and 23 full professors (1 woman)

2017: 39 tenured or tenure-track faculty, of which 3 are women (8%); 12 non-TT faculty, of which 3 are women (25%); 51 total faculty, of which 6 are women (12%)

2016: 38 tenured or tenure-track faculty, of which 5 are women (8%);  7 non-TT faculty, of which 1 are women (14%); 47 total faculty, of which 6 are women (12%)

2015: 40 tenured or tenure-track faculty, of which 5 are women (12%); 7 non-TT faculty, of which 2 are women (29%); 47 total faculty, of which 7 are women (15%)

2014: 41 tenured or tenure-track faculty, of which 6 are women (15%); 4 non-TT faculty, of which 1 is a woman (25%); 45 total faculty, of which 7 are women (16%)

http://www.bu.edu/econ/faculty-staff/faculty-profiles/

Congratulations to all!

Am I finally Famous? Interview in La VANGUARDIA March 10 2018

I was interviewed and photographed for Barcelona’s major newspaper, LA VANGUARDIA, and the results appeared on Saturday, March 10 on the La Contra page, which is the most widely read part of that paper since it is on the last page and tries to be controversial. Because it is published in Catalan (a language spoken in Spain), it only paraphrases what I said. It seems to reflect what I said very well, which was mostly about healthcare in the US and Spain and Obamacare. The only error is in saying I earned my PhD from Harvard instead of MIT.

I have had more complements about this article than any of my others (in US, Australian, Colombian, Icelandic, French, German, and Danish). Perhaps because the Catalans really like their newspapers!

I especially like the picture!

Below are the links.

http://www.lavanguardia.com/lacontra/20180310/441387028686/su-sanidad-es-mas-barata-justa-y-eficiente-que-la-nuestra.html

Use this link to view it in (imperfect) English using Google Translator.

Best.

 

 

 

 

 

Medicaid recipients are already working, fraud in SNAP is 1%, and Medicare would be cut

It is nice while on sabbatical to avoid the fray of politics, but our president’s recent attack on Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps) and Medicare makes me want to share the following three sets of links.

The bottom line of the Medicaid video (4:52) summary of two studies is that “able bodied” eligibles represent only about 3% of Medicaid recipients – about the same as the unemployment rate.

The bottom line of the September 5, 2017 press release from the US Department of Agriculture study of fraud in the SNAP program is that fraud remains at about one percent of payments, where it has been since 2006-2008. Less than most public OR private activities.

The bottom line on Trump’s own budget report is that he is lying and yes they are asking for major cuts to Medicare.

Here are the links.

Medicaid

Healthcare Triage News: But, But, Medicaid Recipients Are Already Working

Posted: 15 Feb 2018 05:24 AM PST

Recently, the Trump administration put forward plans to force all the able-bodied lazy people with Medicaid coverage to finally get jobs. The problem with this is that pretty much all the Medicaid recipients who can work already have jobs. So, how’s all this going to work?

@aaronecarroll

SNAP program fraud.

 

This is from a Press Release dated September 5, 2017 on the US Department of Agriculture web site.

 

The DOA examines and reports on fraud regularly. The latest report summarizes it as  “approximately one cent on the dollar”. This is very low compared to most public or private activities.

Here is a longer quote.
“The report indicates that the vast majority of trafficking – the illegal sale of SNAP benefits for cash or other ineligible items – occurs in smaller-sized retailers that typically stock fewer healthy foods. Over the last five fiscal years, the number of retailers authorized to participate in SNAP has grown by over 40 percent; small- and medium-sized retailers account for the vast majority of that growth. The rate of trafficking in larger grocery stores and supermarkets—where 82 percent of all benefits were redeemed—remained low at less than 0.5 percent.

While the overall trafficking rate has remained relatively steady at approximately one cent on the dollar, the report attributes the change in the rate to 1.3 percent primarily to the growth in small- and medium-sized retailers authorized to accept SNAP that may not provide sufficient healthful offerings to recipients.

 

Medicare

I looked over the Trump administration’ budget proposal. My own view is that some of it is reasonable, but much of it reflects the usual politically infeasible projects that will never be approved by Congress but will distract voters and news coverage from the more substantive problems with the budget, such as the increased defense spending, the Wall, the lack of infrastructural investment, and the ridiculous tax cuts. It will be viewed as a victory when congress agrees NOT to cut Medicare.  But it will be a hollow victory. There is no way around the fact that it cuts certain Medicare benefits as many others have noted  – take your pick (Reuters, Bloomberg, CNBC, ThinkProgress) and violates his promises in 2016. Or if you prefer fantasy you can just listen to Fox News that reports “Trump would again spare Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare as he promised during the 2016 campaign.”

 

Impact of the GOP tax reform on tax-favored donations

This extended blog will mostly be of interest to Americans thinking about end of year tax strategies. It extends a discussion among some Yale colleagues about the current tax bill as well as some calculations based on web sources. This blog focuses on the new high standard deduction and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) provisions, and what it means for charitable donations. Much of it is oriented toward income earners earning $150k-500k. There are of course many, many other features of the new tax bill not examined.

My glimpse at the new tax tables, included below, are that most people in the range from $150-500k will see tax cuts of their marginal rate of about 2-6%, unless they are affected by the AMT. Those affected by the AMT will see significant lump sum gains but marginal rates that are similar to this years, at 26 or 28 percent.

This discussion will be complex for many unless you are used to thinking about the tax subsidies for donations and the implications for timing of donation. (Most people donate because it just feels good.)

My bottom line is at the bottom of this email. COMMENTS/CORRECTIONS WELCOME.

I am not a tax expert and you should get expert advice before acting on anything you read here.

The standard deduction is proposed to be raised to $24,000 for a married couple filing jointly. More important are the AMT changes for high income people.

So under the new system a married couple can claim itemized deductions (look at Sch A of your return for last year for this amount) of a minimum of $24,000, ($12k if single) even if they have no itemized deductions.

The main itemized deductions for most people are mortgage interest, state and local income and property taxes, and charitable contributions.

Base case: Assume you don’t have any mortgage interest and your 2017 itemized deductions are say $40,000 in state income and property taxes, and $5,000 in charitable contributions:

Under current law you claim itemized deductions of $45,000 which is more than the standard deduction.

Under proposed 2018 law the allowable itemized deductions will be $10,000 state income and property taxes plus $5,000 for the donations. So if a person claims the standard deduction of $24,000 – he gets this regardless of whether he makes a charitable contribution of nil or $14,000.  So the first 14k of charitable deductions doesn’t produce a tax benefit.

Wrinkle 1:

 

If you have deductible mortgage interest next year (Say $10,000) from an existing first mortgage next year, then the interest on it can be added to your $10,000 of local property taxes and the threshold for donations affecting your taxes would be only $4000. Since 10k+10k+4k=$24,000.

Wrinkle 1a: home equity line of credit mortgage interest is no longer deductible at all.

Wrinkle 1b: for any new mortgages taken out after Dec 15, 2017, only the interest on the first $750k of home mortgage will be deductible.

 

Important Wrinkle 2:

If your income is subject to the alternative  minimum  tax (AMT) for 2017 then the marginal value of a deduction this year is either 26 or 28 percent, depending on where you are in the phase out of the AMT, since these are the AMT income marginal rates. Your AMT is calculated from your income without taking most deductions but after a moderately large exemption. The AMT is based on your Alternative Minimum Taxable Income AMTI (See intuitive discussion  below).  Call this Y. Taxes are applied to Y minus the AMT standard exemption, call it Z, which is $84,500 for joint filers and $54,300 for others. The exemption starts to phase out once your income exceeds Q=$160,900 for joint filers, and $120,700 for singles. Under the proposed new tax bill, the AMT exemption (Z) is increased and the point at which the exemptions begin to be phased out are increased, but the tax rates remain the same. Z is decreased by $.25 for each dollar  of AMTI above the phase out threshold Q.

 

The following focuses on joint filers and are based on a recent article by the Tax foundation (Link below).

 

Currently, if Y your AMT income is $160,900 then the AMT tax is

AMT=.26*(Y-Z) = .26*(160,900-84,500)=$19,864

 

If your AMT income is 250k then your AMT tax would be

 

Y=250,000

Q=160,900

Z = 84,500-.25(250,000-160,900)  (reflecting the phase out of the exemption starting at 160,900)

AMT=0.28*(Y-Z) = .28*(250000-62225) = $52,577

 

If your income is 500,000 at which the exemption Z is currently fully phased out, then your AMT would be

AMT = .28*(500000 – 0) = $140k.

 

(The .26 rate applies when your Y = AMTI is less than $187,800, while the “higher rate”  of 28% applies to more than that. This step also creates modest infra-marginal changes that I have ignored. Silly complexity…)

 

The current law raises the exemption amounts, and also raises the threshold at which the exemption starts to be  phased out.

 

“Exemption amounts under the conference agreement are increased from their current level of $84,500 for joint filers and $54,300 for other filers to $109,400 and $70,300, respectively.”

 

More importantly, the AMT exemption does not begin to phase out until alternative minimum taxable income exceeds $1 million for joint filing households. So for the three households just examined the new AMT amounts would be:

 

AMT only kicks in at AMTI >= 160,900.

 

At Y = 160,900: AMT=.26*(Y-Z) = .26*(160,900-109,400)=$13,390 a reduction of $6,474 from the existing AMT tax.

At Y = $250,000 AMT = .28*(Y-Z) = .28*(250,000-109,400)=$36,556 a reduction of $16,021

At Y=$500,000: AMT = .28*(Y-Z) = 0.28*(500,000-109,400) = $109,400 a reduction of $30,632

You can interpolate pretty well between these amounts using the following figure. The slight nonlinearity results from the change from 26% to 28% at Y=187,800.tax reform fig 1 2017

 

These AMT amounts are only relevant when they are more than the taxable income calculated using the normal way (using deductions and the standard exemptions). For many, these AMT changes are the gifts of the current tax reform.

 

So the AMT, which currently affects about half of all HH  with incomes above $200k is projected to affect a smaller number of people after the reform mostly because of the higher exemption.

 

This AMT change is a big cost component of the current reform, but gets less attention since it is harder to explain.

 

“All told, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that these [AMT] changes would reduce federal revenues by $637.1 billion over the next decade, compared to current law.” This is 42% of the total deficit increase!

 

https://taxfoundation.org/conference-report-alternative-minimum-tax/

 

Here is a brief, non-technical discussion of the Alternative Minimum Taxable Income AMTI.

Some of these items added back into your income include personal exemptions, state and local income taxes, miscellaneous itemized deductions and mortgage interest on home equity debt. Accordingly, you’re more likely affected by AMT if you have a high number of exemptions (a larger family), high state income and property taxes and/or high miscellaneous itemized deductions like significant investment management fees.

You may also have to include certain types of income that you wouldn’t normally count in your regular taxable income, such as exercising incentive stock options or tax-exempt interest from private activity bonds. The disallowance of deductions and addition of income leads to your Alternative Minimum Taxable Income (AMTI).

For 2017, you pay a tax rate of 26% on AMTI of $187,800 or less for those filing single, married filing jointly, head of household or qualify widower. For married filing separate taxpayers, the income threshold stops at $93,900.  The tax rate grows to 28% of income over those amounts. Multiplying your AMTI minus your exemption times the corresponding tax rate gives you your tentative minimum tax.

You may have some additional tax due if you reported capital gains distributions, qualified dividends, and/or used the foreign tax credit, but your software should add those for you.

You should note that AMT is only the difference between your regular income tax and the tentative minimum tax amount calculated through AMT. For example, if you owed $30,000 in regular income tax and your tentative minimum tax amount was $33,000, AMT of $3000 will show up on line 45 of your Form 1040.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianthompson1/2017/12/17/tax-reform-and-amt-what-you-should-know/#4c35e80f2081

 

 

Here is another discussion from CBSNews.

 

What’s the deal with the alternative minimum tax?

For corporations, the AMT disappears.

That’s not the case for individual filers, but fewer will have to pay it, at least.

  • Exemption amounts will increase from $84,000 for joint filers under the current law level to $109,400. Single filers will see that number increase from $54,300 to $70,300.
  • The exemption currently phases out for joint filers at $160,900, and $120,700 for individuals. Under the tax bill, that phaseout would kick in at $1 million for married filers and $500,000 for those who are single. Above the threshold, filers lose 25 percent of their exemption, that is, $0.25 on every dollar in income.

What if I give to charity?

The charitable deduction will remain as it is. So, if you itemize your deductions, you may be able to deduct charitable contributions that are made to qualifying organizations. According to the IRS, you may deduct up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income, although some filers are limited to 20 percent and 30 percent.

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gop-tax-bill-how-the-new-tax-plan-will-affect-you/

 

Here are the current “final” tax rates and intervals as of 10:30 am Tuesday morning.

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/15/find-your-new-tax-brackets-under-the-final-gop-tax-plan.html

See below for a breakdown of the proposed income tax brackets for singles.

Rate Taxable Income Bracket
10% 0 to $9,525
12% $9,525 to $38,700
22% $38,700 to $82,500
24% $82,500 to $157,500
32% $157,500 to $200,000
35% $200,000 to $500,000
37% $500,000 and up

Here are the proposed rates for married couples who file jointly.

Rate Taxable Income Bracket
10% 0 to $19,050
12% $19,050 to $77,400
22% $77,400 to $165,000
24% $165,000 to $315,000
32% $315,000 to $400,000
35% $400,000 to $600,000
37% $600,000 and up

For comparison, here would be the 2018 brackets under current tax law, adjusted for inflation.

Rate Taxable Income Bracket-Single Taxable Income Bracket-Married Filing Jointly
10% 0 to $9,525 0 to $19,050
15% $9,525 to $38,700 $19,050 to $77,400
25% $38,700 to $93,700 $77,400 to $156,150
28% $93,700 to $195,450 $156,150 to $237,950
33% $195,450 to $424,950 $237,950 to $424,950
35% $424,950 to $426,700 $424,950 to $480,050
39.60% $426,700 and up $480,050 and up

 

Here it is in a graph for joint filers. This assumes everyone just takes the standard deduction of $24,000.

tax reform fig 2 2017

Of course, low income people are not likely to have deduction that exceed the $24,000 standard deduction while high income people are more likely to. Most of the changes are only visible at the higher income levels…

 

Putting together the new tax schedule with the new AMT taxes, and assuming joint filers only take the $24,000 standard deduction, the following reveals the key role that the new AMT plays.

tax reform fig 3 2017

 

For people who have lots of possible deductions under the new tax system, the AMT places a much lower minimum on tax payments than the old one.

The new AMT schedule is substantially more attractive to high income salary earners affected by the AMT. The relevant tax rate for them is 28%.

Not shown in this figure is that eventually the difference between the existing and new AMT disappears at about $1.4 million.

 

My bottom line from this is:

 

In general, under the new tax program, bunching of charitable donations and concentration of deductions into a single year will be attractive, so that you  might take the standard deduction one year and not the next.

 

The AMT makes it unclear whether bunching in 2017 is particularly worthwhile relative to 2018, since the 26% or 28% rates in the AMT may be less than the new marginal rate next year when combined with a more favorable AMT in future years. In short, a large donation this year may mean that on the margin you only get a 26-28% tax subsidy, while a donation next year may have a 33-37% deduction for large donors with moderately high incomes (<$500k).

 

For salary earners not affected by the AMT, donations this year are likely to be more favored than next year, when the lower rates and higher thresholds for tax rates will matter.

 

If you want to take a deduction for a donation THIS YEAR but decide who it goes to next year, you could open a  Donor advised fund, such as at Fidelity.

 

My bottom, bottom line is that I don’t expect large tax savings from moving around deductions between this year and next if you are affected by the AMT. A good strategy is to give what feels right.

 

Of course, all of this is based on the current tax bill, which could change or not be passed…

 

Get TAX ADVICE BEFORE YOU RELY ON THIS INFORMATION!

(This warning is mostly to protect me in case I am wrong.)

 

Three great books to read

While on sabbatical this year, I have been enjoying some extra reading. I have just added two new books and one old one to my favorites list on my web site. I recommend them all highly to you.

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds Michael Lewis Dec 6, 2016 This remarkable and easy to read book is written as a biography of two Israelis, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, but along the way covers a long list of their remarkable insights and experiments. I highly recommend it to people who tried to read the original, dense book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Kahneman and Tversky, two pioneers of behavioral economics.

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work. Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Mar 26, 2013. This is more of a how-to book for business managers and anyone about ways of making better decisions, but along the way it has a nice overview of the many biases and irrationalities in our thought process. First example: when asked to choose between A and B, don’t. Instead figure out how to do A+B or something else even better. Lots of anecdotes and brief research summaries.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking Malcolm Gladwell 2007. I read this book a long time ago, but added it here since it remains a very powerful and important book. I recommend and have read almost all of Malcolm Gladwell’s work (See especially Outliers and The Tipping Point). His work gives important insights into how people actually make decisions, which are often based on simple heuristics and very little information compared to how decisions are typically modeled by economists.

Holiday cheers, congrats to BU, and a psychedelic BU alumni site from 1970-1997!

Today, the first day of Hanukah and two weeks before Christmas and Kwanza, I am writing to wish my colleagues and my BUHealth blog readers a peaceful and happy holiday, whatever your faith background. I am loving my sabbatical at Boston College this fall and looking forward to our stay in Barcelona starting in mid-January. I feel fortunate to be healthy and happy in my warm home.

In case you missed it, you may be happy to hear that BU moved up even further in the Times Higher Education ranking, to become sixth in the world for “employability”.

http://www.bu.edu/today/2017/bu-ranks-sixth-internationally-in-employability-of-graduates/

The quotes and discussion by BU president Bob Brown are excellent and emphasizes BU’s recent history. But I think another strong reason BU is so well-known internationally is our long history of training top leaders from all over the globe, particularly PhD students in economics. The following link is not up-to-date nor is it BU supported, but this web page created by BU emeritus professor Oldrich Kyn in the late 1990s shows how successful BU was at creating world leaders and scholars all over the globe back then. Check it out when you have ten+ minutes to explore your favorite countries or track down a country-mate BU alum in your own home country. It is interesting to see the remarkable achievements of BU alumni in an era when South Asian, African and Latin American PhD students outnumbered the East Asian and Europeans. Even then, Americans were a modest minority in the PhD program, as they are today. You get to decide how you like Oldrich’s psychedelic colorizing of mostly old black and white images…

Arranged by country, type of job and alphabet:

http://econc10.bu.edu/Old_students/oldstud_origin_frame.htm

Peace!

US health spending and global burden of disease

I want to thank Veronica Vargas for sending me the following link from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) , which features innovative ways of displaying different cuts of US and international data from a massive data files. Viewing this site will perhaps take you fifteen minutes or more to get a feel. It is staffed by the University of Washington, but appears to be funded largely by the Gates Foundation. It has been around for a while, but they are making a big push on its features this fall.

The first link decomposes spending in the US by  disease, by broad type of service (pharmacy, IP, OP, Dentist, ER).

They document the well-known result that about half of the US increase is due to price increases, not intensity or illness, although aging and pop growth contribute.US costs are higher than the rest of the world largely because our prices paid for all types of care are much higher than elsewhere. And increasingly so.

 

Here is a direct link to the interesting interactive figures. Try the four different tabs across the top if you are curious. (Is a little slow on my wireless laptop.)

https://vizhub.healthdata.org/dex/

It allows you to drill down to questions such as how much was spent on individual disease for certain ages, on emergency department.

If you click on “visualizations“ in the upper right, you get different views that can be plotted, which are very extensive.

Or start here http://www.healthdata.org/results/data-visualizations

 

Below is a link to the article originally posted, along with a sample figure.

 

Factors associated with increases in US health care spending, 1996–2013

Here is one that lets you choose one or compare two or more countries disease burdens along multiple dimensions.

https://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare/

The say that their mission includes sharing data for researchers. Here is a link to various data that they support and document with a nice search tool.

http://ghdx.healthdata.org/data-by-type

 

Global Burden of Disease module lets you answer questions as specific as how many people die of air pollution in India in 2013.

Here is how they describe it.

September 14, 2017

GBD Compare

Data Visualization

Learn more

Analyze updated data about the world’s health levels and trends from 1990 to 2016 in this interactive tool. Use treemaps, maps, arrow diagrams, and other charts to compare causes and risks within a country, compare countries with regions or the world, and explore patterns and trends by country, age, and gender. Drill from a global view into specific details. Compare expected and observed trends. Watch how disease patterns have changed over time. See which causes of death and disability are having more impact and which are waning.

This is not a site oriented toward hypothesis testing, although it does include confidence intervals on many estimates (which seem to only reflect sampling precision, not other sources of uncertainty such as the quality of the underlying data.) For me, the main use will be in writing in the introduction of a paper so as to summarize how large a problem is, or how many people have a given condition, or how it is growing etc. The international breadth is stunning. At a different level, it is a good example of how big data can be manipulated using “cubes” and different cuts of the data to show fascinating patterns (girls less than 1 year cost $11,000 each on average, which drops to $1,600 age 5-9, and it is not until age 65 in the US that female mean cost is again over $11,000. It peaks at $31,000 per year over age 85.)

 

Be forewarned: you can spend a lot of time playing around…

 

 

The quintessential challenge of our time

“…the quintessential challenge of our time: the ascendance of belief over fact, outrage over thoughtful debate, and the accessibility of an endless supply of “information” that confirms our preexisting beliefs, whatever they may be. In a sociopolitical climate in which disgust often substitutes for disagreement, many people recognize the futility of using evidence to establish common ground, but few seem to know what to do about it.”

 

From Lisa Rosenbaum, M.D. Understanding the Planned Parenthood Divide — Albert Lasker and Women’s Health

New England Journal of Medicine, November 1, 2017DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1713518

BU to be well represented at the ASSA 2018 annual meetings

Dear BU colleagues, students, alumni, and friends,

Even though I am just beginning my sabbatical, I thought I would do this tabulation from the preliminary program of the ASSA (Allied Social Science Association) annual meetings which will be in Philadelphia January 5-7, which is linked here.  .

I apologize for any names that I have inadvertently missed, but creating this list requires looking through 11,000 names of authors, chairs and discussants for familiar names, and sometimes checking their affiliations. If you send corrections to me, I will correct them on my blog which is linked here.

BU will not quite set a record for presence at the 2018 ASSA (commonly called simply the AEA American Economics Association) meetings with BU faculty, students or alumni names appearing 71 times.  The last time I counted was for the 2015 ASSA meetings, which were held in Boston, and BU had 83 appearances, but with a home field  advantage.

 

Of those 71 appearances there are

43 presenters or coauthors (ASSA does not differentiate them in the program)

18 discussants

10 session chairs.

 

Of those 71 appearances,

34 are by CAS Economics Department faculty (20 distinct names – two more than the Boston ASSA!)

14 are by Questrom School of Business faculty (6 distinct names)

22 are by current or former BU students. (20 distinct names)

 

The busiest participant this year will be our new associate professor Tarek Hassan, with four papers presented and one session chaired. This impressive activity spearheads the remarkable ten appearances from the five new BU faculty joining us in Economics this fall. Others who will be busy with three appearances each include Kevin Lang, Robert Margo, Pascual Restrepo.

Join me in congratulating our busiest scholars who are presenting (or coauthored a presentation), chairing and discussing at the ASSA in January. There will be a BU reception on Saturday evening as usual – look for announcements in the fall for the time and room.

A detailed list of papers and names that may help with planning your travel, learning what your colleagues are up to or making corrections are below. They are sorted chronologically by time.

It is not too early to begin planning which paper you want to present at the ASSA 2019 (Atlanta).

 

Here are the details

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Liberty Ballroom Salon A

Forecasting Economic Activity With Yelp Data

Michael Luca, Harvard Business School View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon C

The Role of Countercyclical Fiscal Policy in a Low r* World

Alisdair Mckay, Boston University View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 104-A

Trade in Unhealthy Foods and Obesity: Evidence From Mexico

Osea Giuntella, University of Pittsburgh View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 306

Issues in Development 

Discussant(s) Silvia Prina, Case Western Reserve University

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 112-A

Surviving the Great Depression: Firms, Workers, and Banks

Discussant(s) Robert Margo, Boston University

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon J

Discussant(s) James Rebitzer, Boston University

How Important Is Price Variation Between Health Insurers?

Keith Ericson, Boston University, View Abstract

How Does Hospital-physician Integration Affect Hospital Prices?

Haizhen Lin, Indiana University View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 105-A

Automation

Chair: Pascual Restrepo, Boston University

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 111-A

Household Diversification: The Vehicle Portfolio Effect

David Rapson, University of California-Davis View Abstract

Mind the Gap! Tax Incentives and Incentives for Manipulating Fuel Efficiency in the Automobile Industry

Shinsuke Tanaka, Tufts University View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 104-B

The Demise of the Treaty of Detroit and (Dis)inflation Dynamics

Jae Sim, Federal Reserve Board View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 104-A

Sectoral Wage Gaps and the Returns to Migration

Discussant(s) Samuel Bazzi, Boston University

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 109-A

Migrants, Ancestors, and Foreign Investments

Tarek A. Hassan, Boston University, NBER, and CEPR View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Loews Philadelphia, Commonwealth Hall D

Misvaluation of Investment Options

Evgeny Lyandres, Boston University View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon J

Screening in Contract Design: Evidence From the ACA Health Insurance Exchanges

Timothy Layton, Harvard University View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 202-B

Domestic Outsourcing of Labor Services in the United States: 1996-2015

Johannes F. Schmieder, Boston University View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon F

Automation and Jobs: When Technology Boosts Employment

James Bessen, Boston University View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 104-A

The Provision and Valuation of Non-wage Job Attributes

Chair: Kevin Lang, Boston University

Discussant(s) Kevin Lang, Boston University

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Loews Philadelphia, Regency Ballroom C1

Macro Finance

Discussant(s)  Simon Gilchrist, Boston University (now NYU!)

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 202-B

Right to Work and Small “d” Democracy

James Feigenbaum, Princeton University (now at BU) View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 203-A

Missing Bids

Juan Ortner, Boston University View Abstract

The Competitive Effects of Information Sharing

Jihye Jeon, Boston University  View Abstract

 

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Loews Philadelphia, Adams

The Importance of Deposit Insurance Credibility

Joao Santos, Federal Reserve Bank of New York View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 201-A

Housing Wealth Effects: The Long View

Alisdair McKay, Boston University View Abstract

Adam Guren, Boston University View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 112-A

Monetary Policy and Financial Intermediation

Chair: Simon Gilchrist, Boston University

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon A

Noncompete Agreements

Chair: Michael Lipsitz, Boston University

Restricting Mobility to Extract Surplus: Why Low-wage Workers are Signing Noncompete Agreements

Michael Lipsitz, Boston University View Abstract

Matthew S. Johnson, Duke University View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 308

Whither the Future of Economic History?

Chair: Robert Margo, Boston University

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 405

Firm Responses to Incentives and Regulation

Discussant(s) Marc Rysman, Boston University

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 409

Trade, Multinationals, and Firm Dynamics

Chair: Stefania Garetto, Boston University

Becoming a Multinational: An Analysis of Market Access and Risk Through Mergers

Stefania Garetto, Boston University View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon J

Coordination Within Teams and The Cost of Health Care

Keith Ericson, Boston University View Abstract

Benjamin Lupin, Boston University  View Abstract

James Rebitzer, Boston University View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 202-A

Economics of Voting

Chair: Steven Sprick Schuster, Colgate University

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon J

Gender in the Workplace

Discussant(s) Kevin Lang, Boston University

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Loews Philadelphia, Regency Ballroom C1

Currency Manipulation

Tarek A. Hassan, Boston University, NBER, and CEPR View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Loews Philadelphia, Commonwealth Hall A2

Sex, Race and Finance

Discussants(s) Shulamit Kahn, Boston University

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 414

Network and Panel Quantile Effects Via Distribution Regression

Ivan Fernandez-Val, Boston University View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 415

Local Labor Markets and Human Capital Investments

Russell Weinstein, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 305

Technology and Jobs in the Long Run

James Bessen, Boston University View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 12:30 PM – 2:15 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 203-B

Economic Growth and Banking Credit in India

Subhash Pemmaraju, Boston University View Abstract

 

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 12:30 PM – 2:15 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon C

Recent Studies in Applied Microeconomics

Discussant(s) Jihye Jeon, Boston University

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 308

CSMGEP Dissertation Session

Discussant(s) Robert Margo, Boston University

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon E

Demographics and Robots

Pascual Restrepo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (now at BU) View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 202-B

Foreign STEM Students and Immigration Policy

Chair: Shulamit Kahn, Boston University

Explaining the Place Premium in STEM Careers

Shulamit Kahn, Boston University View Abstract

Megan MacGarvie, Boston University and NBER View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 107-B

Childhood Exposure to Armed Conflict and Attitudes Toward Domestic Violence

Giulia La Mattina, University of South Florida View Abstract

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 105-A

Policy Implications of Suboptimal Choice: Theory and Evidence

Discussant(s) Keith Ericson, Boston University

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 414

Market Microstructure

Discussant(s) Juan Ortner, Boston University

 

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 406

Predicting Outcomes in Games: New Directions

Discussant(s) Bart Lipman, Boston University

 

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Grand Ballroom Salon E

The Race between Machine and Man: Implications of Technology for Employment, Factor Shares and Growth

Pascual Restrepo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology View Abstract

 

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 204-C

Political Risk: Origins, Measurement, and Effects

Chair: Tarek A. Hassan, Boston University, NBER, and CEPR

Discussant(s) Stephen Terry, Boston University

Firm-level Political Risk: Measurement and Effects

Tarek A. Hassan, Boston University, NBER, and CEPR View Abstract

 

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 309

Changes in Marriage and Divorce as Drivers of Employment and Retirement of Older Women

Dana Rotz, Mathematica View Abstract

 

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 410

Estimation and Inference with a (Nearly) Singular Jacobian

Adam McCloskey, Brown University View Abstract

 

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 415

Top Income Inequality

Discussant(s) Johannes F. Schmieder, Boston University

 

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 309

Sovereign Default

Discussant(s)Tamon Asonuma, International Monetary Fund

Sovereign Bond Prices, Haircuts and Maturity

Tamon Asonuma, International Monetary Fund View Abstract

 

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Loews Philadelphia, Commonwealth Hall C

Firm Selection and Corporate Cash Holdings

Berardino Palazzo, Boston University View Abstract

 

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM Loews Philadelphia, Commonwealth Hall A2

What Do Insiders Know? Evidence From Insider Trading Around Share Repurchases and SEOs

Evgeny Lyandres, Boston University View Abstract

 

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 104-B

African Leaders, Longevity, Policies, and Impacts

Discussant(s) Kehinde Ajayi, Boston University

 

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Pennsylvania Convention Center, 104-A

Vertical Integration in the Health Care Market

Chair: Haizhen Lin, Indiana University

What Came First – Loyalty or Integration? A Look at the Motivation for Hospital-physician Alignment

Haizhen Lin, Indiana University and NBER View Abstract

 

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Meeting Room 410

Robust Likelihood-ratio Tests for Incomplete Economic Models

Hiroaki Kaido, Boston University View Abstract

Yi Zhang, Boston University View Abstract

 

 

ACA premiums are reasonable, grew modestly in 2016, and risk scores are stable.

Here are the results from CMS reports from June 30, 2017 and 2016:

2016 National average premium in the ACA Marketplace: $414.54 (CMS, 2017, page 9.)

This is less than the (employee plus employer) premiums offered where I work. This number includes the cost of the subsidies that are not paid by the enrollee.

2015 to 2016 Percentage changes in enrollment weighted monthly premium for ACA Marketplace plans:

  • 7.4% change in Individual market
  • 2.0 % small group market
  • 0.9 % change in catastrophic plans
  • 5.8 % change in national average ACA premiums

(Sources:  CMS, 2017, Table 3 and CMS 2016, Table 3.

The high growth rates that have been featured in the media are not representative of changes in the averages, or are distorted by calculations using only the consumer share of premiums, which are often heavily subsidized.

“Risk scores were stable in the individual market and decreased by 4 percent in the small group market.“  CMS, 2017, page 5.

There was no evidence of a death spiral nationally, or that the exchanges are unsustainable nationwide, even if some states are in trouble because they did not allow the Medicaid expansion or promote the exchange.

Sources:

Summary Report on Transitional Reinsurance Payments – CMS.gov

https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/…/Summary-Reinsurance-Payments-Risk-2016.pdf

https://www.cms.gov/…/June-30-2016-RA-and-RI-Summary-Report-5CR-063016.pdf

Instead of the national averages, the media has generally been discussing outliers. Plus this data shows that the average health status in the plans was stable, not exploding last year. There is no evidence nationally of a death spiral.

These national average monthly premiums ($414) are lower than the total premiums for single coverage plans offered at Boston Unviersity (currently $636 and $599 for employer+employee contributions).

The following July 21 2017 report from the Wakely Consulting Group ( a consulting firm) is the most up to date analysis  I have seen.

A Preliminary Analysis of the 2016 Summary of ACA Risk Adjustment Transfers and Reinsurance Payments

ACA versus GOP plans side-by-side

This article from the LA Times by columnist Noam Levey links an update on earlier postings online that does a side-by-side comparison of ACA versus the GOP’s replacement AHCA plan. That posting provides the best concise overview I have seen of the latest GOP AHCA proposal. It will take 10 minutes to review/read. Randy

Here is the comparison

http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-pol-obamacare-repeal/

 

Here is the new article, which features specific effects.

http://www.latimes.com/la-na-pol-obamacare-repeal-chaos-20170625-story.html

 

From: Levey, Noam [mailto:Noam.Levey@latimes.com]
Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2017 9:44 PM
To: Levey, Noam
Subject: ICYMI: New article on the disruptive impact of the Senate repeal bill

Good day,

In case you missed it, I wanted to share my latest piece examining the potentially devastating impact of the recently released Senate legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act.

The Republican architects of the bill, like their House counterparts, hail their legislation as a remedy for ills caused by the current law. But across the country, in physicians’ offices and medical centers, in state capitols and corporate offices, there is widespread fear the unprecedented cuts in the GOP bills would create even larger problems in the U.S. healthcare system, threatening to not only strip health coverage from millions, but also upend insurance markets, cripple state budgets and drive medical clinics and hospitals to the breaking point. As Tom Tom Priselac, chief executive of Cedars Sinai Health System in Los Angeles, told me: “These reductions are going to wreak havoc.”

Here is the link: http://www.latimes.com/la-na-pol-obamacare-repeal-chaos-20170625-story.html

I hope you find the piece interesting. Thank you, as always, for reading. All best,

-N

Noam N. Levey

National healthcare reporter

Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau

Tel: 202-824-8317

Cell: 202-247-0811

noam.levey@latimes.com

twitter: @NoamLevey

Performance Timer is excellent App

I was at a conference last week and learned about a terrific timer for my iPhone called Performance Timer. It counts down your specified time, and then changes from green to red as you go over.

What makes it superior to the default iPhone timer is its large font, there is no alarm when time is up, and your screen never goes blank, so you can read it for your entire talk. Really easy interface for the stressful time that you are setting it up. Or, if you are the timekeeper for someone else, they will be able to read it from 20 feet.

It is free in the Apple App store.  I looked but did not find the Android version.

Here is a review from the web.

Performance Timer on the App Store – iTunes – Apple

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/performance-timer/id957648886?mt=8

Rating: 5 – ‎9 reviews – ‎Free – ‎iOS – ‎Utilities/Tools

Description

Performance Timer is a large-display countdown timer developed to be used to monitor the time remaining in a performance, presentation, etc. Performance Timer does not sound an alarm when the time runs out. Rather, when the timer reaches zero, the numbers turn red and the timer starts counting up so that you can see how long you’ve gone over your target time. The time can be set from 1 to 99 minutes.