Category Archives: BU

Read this posting on Stupid Economics

I invite you to read this Forbes posting on Stupid Economics by Laurence Kotlikoff.

 

I don’t always agree with my dear colleague, Larry Kotlikoff, but this posting at Forbes is one that I can really get behind.

Our president needs to start listening to serious economists instead of acting solo as an autocrat.

 

This article is a two minute read that will make you smile regardless of whether you agree with all of the sentiments.

 

Larry is a serious scholar, of course, and his credentials include not only nineteen books, but also a stint on the Council of Economic Advisors under president Reagan.

 

From: owner-faculty-econ-list@bu.edu [mailto:owner-faculty-econ-list@bu.edu] On Behalf Of Laurence Kotlikoff
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2017 1:10 PM
To: faculty-econ-list; phd-econstudents-list
Subject: This may be of interest.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlikoff/2017/01/26/stupid-economics/#61453f38e94f

 

 

Let me know if I’m being unfair. But I think it’s time to call this for what it is.

 

best, Larry

 

Laurence J. Kotlikoff

A William Fairfield Warren Professor, Boston University
Professor of Economics, Boston University
270 Bay State Rd.
Boston, MA 02215
www.kotlikoff.net

President, Economic Security Planning, Inc.

www.maximizemysocialsecurity.com

www.esplanner.com

www.economicsecurityplanning.com

kotlikoff@gmail.com
cell  617 834-2148
work 617 353-4002

Facts about Tom Price, HHS nominee

Health economists and every concerned citizen should disseminate the facts in this NEJM article about Donald Trump’s nominee of Tom Price to be the next secretary of HHS.
Coauthor Richard Frank is also a BU Ph.D. alum!

Randy Ellis

 

Care for the Vulnerable vs. Cash for the Powerful — Trump’s Pick for HHS

Sherry A. Glied, Ph.D., and Richard G. Frank, Ph.D.

New England Journal of Medicine

December 21, 2016DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1615714

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1615714#t=article

 

Since there is no abstract, here are the first two paragraphs.

Representative Tom Price of Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon, will be President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of health and human services (HHS). In the 63-year history of the HHS Department and its predecessor, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, only two previous secretaries have been physicians. Otis Bowen, President Ronald Reagan’s second HHS secretary, engineered the first major expansion of Medicare, championed comparative effectiveness research and, with Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, led the fight against HIV–AIDS.1 Louis Sullivan, HHS secretary under President George H.W. Bush, focused his attention on care for vulnerable populations, campaigned against tobacco use, led the development of federally sponsored clinical guidelines,2 and introduced President Bush’s health insurance plan, which incorporated income-related tax credits3 and a system of risk adjustment. In their work at HHS, both men, serving in Republican administrations, drew on a long tradition of physicians as advocates for the most vulnerable, defenders of public health, and enthusiastic proponents of scientific approaches to clinical care.

Tom Price represents a different tradition. Ostensibly, he emphasizes the importance of making our health care system “more responsive and affordable to meet the needs of America’s patients and those who care for them.”4 But as compared with his predecessors’ actions, Price’s record demonstrates less concern for the sick, the poor, and the health of the public and much greater concern for the economic well-being of their physician caregivers.

Since the NEJM full article  requires a subscription, here is a summary what they document:

Price has sponsored legislation that

  • supports making armor-piercing bullets more accessible
  • opposes regulations on cigars
  • Repeals and replaces the ACA (see details below)

Voted  

  • Against the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Against regulating tobacco as a drug
  • Against the Domenici–Wellstone Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
  • Against funding for combating AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis
  • Against expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • In favor of allowing hospitals to turn away Medicaid and Medicare patients seeking nonemergency care if they could not afford copayments
  • Against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act
  • Against legislation prohibiting job discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people
  • Against enforcement of laws against anti-LGBT hate crimes.
  • Against expanding the NIH budget
  • Against the recently enacted 21st Century Cures Act

Price stated views:

  • Favors converting Medicare to a premium-support system
  • Favors changing the structure of Medicaid to a block grant program
  • Favors amending the Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage
  • Opposes stem-cell research
  • Inconsistent in supporting investments in biomedical science.

His proposal for repealing and replacing the ACA is H.R. 2300, the Empowering Patients First Act,5 which would

  • Eliminate the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and
  • Replace ACA subsidies with flat tax credits based on age, not income
  • Be regressive, with larger subsidies for high than low incomes.
  • Credits would pay only about one third of the premium of a low-cost plan
  • Credits proposed are smaller than those proposed by President Bush in 1992, and will not be sufficient to get most people to buy health insurance
  • Eliminate the guaranteed-issue and community-rating requirements in the ACA, with ineffective substitutes.
  • Withdraw almost all the ACA’s federal consumer-protection regulations, including limits on insurer profits and requirements that plans cover essential health benefits.
  • Allow the sale of health insurance across state lines, effectively eliminating all state regulation of health insurance plans
  • Fund his plan by capping the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance at $8,000 per individual or $20,000 per family, caps that are lower than the unpopular Cadillac tax in the ACA, which Price himself has voted to repeal, and hence is unlikely to ever be approved
  • Directly advance physicians’ economic interests by permitting them to bill Medicare patients for amounts above those covered by the Medicare fee schedule and allowing them to join together and negotiate with insurance carriers without violating antitrust statutes.
  • Oppose strategies for value-based purchasing and guideline development,
  • Oppose the use of bundled payments for lower-extremity joint replacements and
  • Propose that physician specialty societies hold veto power over the release of comparative effectiveness findings.

Consider what you can do to make sure that these facts are widely known. Perhaps ask your legislators which of these views they support.

BU Grads Ranked among the World’s Most Employable

One more ranking in which BU rates very highly in the world.

BU Grads Ranked among the World’s Most Employable
11th worldwide, 7th in the nation in international survey

The employability of BU graduates was recently ranked 11th in the world and 7th in the nation in a report published in Times Higher Education. The Global University Employability Ranking 2016 was designed by French human resources company Emerging, which sent an online survey asking the opinions of thousands of recruiters at a management level and of managing directors of international companies.

The California Institute of Technology was ranked number one on the list, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and Stanford University.

“It’s very heartening that so many employers recognize that our graduates are very well-prepared in their fields and have the skills and habits to perform at a high level,” says President Robert A. Brown. “Helping to successfully launch the careers of our graduates is a focus of the University.”

Except is from Bostonia Magazine.

Wondering about 2.5%

I can’t help wondering how the election outcome would have been different if the headline that was prominently featured in the news for the last month had been the one we just received in the email message from the Boston University Human Resources Department that said:

  • Contribution rates for 2017 – we are pleased to inform you that the health plan rates are increasing by only 2.5% for 2017

This sure paints a different picture of the ACA than “it’s a disaster” and rates are going to increase at double digit rates.

And this is more typical of premium increases for the past four years.

Fact: The average real increase in per enrollee spending in the private sector from 2010 to 2014 was 1%, and it was negative for Medicare and Medicaid. (Obama, JAMA, 2016)

(This is my last blog on politics and health policy for a while. Too distracting.)

 

 

Did BU economics students vote in the 2016 general election?

In order to better understand what happened in last week’s US election, and perhaps also to encourage more students to both register and vote in the NEXT election, I created a very simple one-question survey using SurveyMonkey and arranged for it to be sent to all Economics students at Boston University. I first polled graduate (Ph.D. and MA) students, and then undergraduate majors and students in principles of economics courses. Among the first 515 respondents (which happened in four days) I found that among people eligible to vote, 76% of undergraduates and 81% of graduate students in the economics program voted. Reflecting the high fraction of people who are foreigners in our programs, 33% of undergraduates and 65% of graduate student respondents were not eligible to vote. Among those potentially eligible to vote, 4% of BU undergraduates reported that they had made some effort to try to register or vote, but were unable to. For example, their request for an absentee ballot was ignored or the ballot arrived too late, or they could not vote absentee the first time they were voting, or  some other specified reason.

This is of course not a random sample of all voters, but reflects those who replied to my request.

If you would like to implement the same poll at your university or college, please send me an email privately and I will send you a customized poll for your university that you can use at no cost.  The email I used to invite people to respond is below.

Surveymonkey will let you conduct a free poll with up to 50 responses, or get up to 1000 responses for only $26 for the first month. I would be happy to collaborate for free for the first ten collaborators at other universities or colleges.

Detailed BU Economics Poll results

BU Voting results 20161114

 

 

Hello,

 

 

 

Full text of inviting email:

Hello

I am a professor in the Economics Department at Boston University who is trying to better understand the recent election results.

I would appreciate it if you would answer this ONE QUESTION survey about the election which I am sending only to BU students.

Please answer it only once and do not forward it.

 

Once you respond, you will see the responses of other students at Boston University who have already replied. You do not need to be a US citizen or be eligible to vote to answer this survey. I do not ask you who you voted for.

 

The survey results are confidential: I am not tracking  the URLs of those who have responded.

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FFPWCZM

 

Thank you in advance for your participation.

 

In  a few days I will post a summary of the results on my blog which is linked here.

http://blogs.bu.edu/ellisrp/blogs/

 

Randy Ellis

 

Randall P. Ellis, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Economics, Boston University

ellisrp@bu.edu     Off: +1 617-353-2741       http://blogs.bu.edu/ellisrp/

 

Why Trump is going to win the US presidency

Everyone can see that Trump is surging in the polls, but few understand why. Like most professionals, I am appalled at this possibility. Why do I now think it is almost inevitable that Trump wins?

Democrats have not figured out how to affect how Trump appeals to his supporters. As I blogged on June 3, 2016, and as Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) so brilliantly foresaw a year ago, Trump is appealing to voters on an emotional level. Facts don’t matter if you relate to people’s fears and hopes, and that is what Trump is a master at: Fear and Persuasion.

We can call Trump a liar all we want, but Trump has already established his defense: berating crooked Hillary and the lying media. Throughout the country, campaigns are going on over which candidate is the bigger liar (I see the ads for the New Hampshire senate race). But the degree of honesty seems not to matter once you are both (called) liars.

Last April I purchased a red “Make America Great Again” hat as a prop for a faculty skit. This put me on the list of Trump supporters and gives me a glimpse into his campaign to his supporters.

I was initially surprised that it took two months for the Trump organization to use that contact information to make their first request for my money and support (in June). Now I know it was part of his clever strategy of not burning out his audience. I am getting emails every other day from Trump. I pasted in one of the recent messages below.  It looks pretty simple and convincing to me. Focused on broad fears and not facts or specifics.

I just revisited Scott Adams’ blog site, which I highly recommend to you. Here is the key text from his August 10 blog, when Hillary’s polls were at their peak. I pasted in below the eight possibilities he listed there.

“If nothing changes, Clinton will win in November. But things rarely stay the same. Here are several ways Trump could still win from behind.

  1. Voters discover that Clinton has been hiding a major health issue.
  2. Wikileaks releases something damaging.
  3. Trump over-performs at the first debate, showing the world that he is willing and able to master the issues.
  4. Trump makes the case that the Clinton Foundation is really about selling influence to foreign concerns.
  5. Trump gives a speech or interview that is so effective in its empathy that he no longer appears to be crazy and racist.
  6. A new surprise revelation about Clinton that no one sees coming.
  7. Terror attacks push everything else out of the headlines in the final months.
  8. Someone assassinates Clinton because of Trump’s 2nd Amendment joke.

Scott Adams Trump Prediction Update, August 10 blog

I see many of these themes already panning out. He himself calls them spooky in his Sept 18th blog, and I agree.

I also benefitted from reading Scott Adams’ assessment of the risk of Trump in his blog from this weekend.

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/150603095761/assessing-the-risk-of-trump

Adams makes some interesting points about Trump, less scary than most others, since Adams views trump as a smart, and highly successful businessman, which he is.

Is Trump’s success inevitable? (Recall that my opening paragraph said it was almost inevitable.) Maybe not.

The debates could go better for Hillary than expected.

It seems too  late, but conceivably efforts to register and get out the vote of students and minorities could mean the polls are wrong. (I am appalled by how little effort is going on at BU to get students to register. Apathy is winning out.)

Money won’t really matter. Hillary is outspending Trump in ads by 10-1, but still losing ground.

Factual errors and scandals about Trump’s past seem not to matter.

More endorsements for Hillary seem not to matter. Trump can still gather a large group of generals and veterans at will, and his rallies are bigger, and recently better behaved.

Adams thinks that to offset the persuasion skills of Trump the best hope is effective fear mongering by the democrats (e.g. nuclear war or a new middle east war). Maybe Hillary’s handlers can pull it off. But I am not so sure.

The parallel I use for this election is that Trump is an incredible used-car salesman, and the quality of the car does not matter if you are a good enough persuader. Hillary will lose the race since she is a terrible used car salesman. Until recently she has felt constrained to tell the truth about each car, and spends her time defending her honor and honesty. Who do you think can sell more cars?

Read a Trump direct email below for more insight.

 

Randall P. Ellis, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Economics, Boston University
ellisrp@bu.edu     Off: +1-617-353-2741       http://blogs.bu.edu/ellisrp/
BU Ph.D. job candidates: http://www.bu.edu/econ/gradprgms/phd/phdcandidates/

 

From: Donald J. Trump [mailto:contact@email.donaldtrump.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2016 10:35 AM
To: Ellis, Randall P
Subject: listen

 

Donald Trump is listening to the voices of millions of Americans who want a new direction in Washington. Add your voice and guide his campaign to victory over the Obama-Clinton liberals. |

Friend-

The politicians and liberal elites have not been listening to you.

But I hear you loud and clear. That’s why I am the people’s candidate for president with a rising movement of pro-America voters ready to take back our country.

As one of my best and most loyal supporters, you can do a lot to help finish this race strong and send Crooked Hillary down to defeat.

Please take a minute right now to complete our Listening to America Survey so I can hear your voice at this important moment in the race.

You have my word I will take action on YOUR concerns and speak up for YOUR interests.

That’s what I’ve been doing this whole time.

When I said we should not be letting tens of thousands of Syrian refugees into our country if we don’t know who they are, the liberal elites screamed out against me, but they were not listening to you.

When I said we should build a real border wall because if you don’t have a border, you don’t have a country, they raged against me on TV, but they were not listening to you.

When I said China is ripping us off with all these stupid trade deals, the liberal elites screamed about their globalist economic theories, but they were not listening to you.

Well I have been listening to you, Friend. I have been taking you seriously. And I will not let you down.

So our campaign – our pro-America movement – is taking a new approach that hasn’t been tried before by the D.C. insiders. I am campaigning on a message that seeks to represent the American people only, NOT lobbyists, NOT the media, and NOT corporate elites. The reason I have surged in the polls from ‘day one’ of this race is because I have been listening to you – the great silent majority of Americans – and keeping you and other supporters engaged every step along the way.

With just two months to go before Election Day, I need you to stay engaged more than ever, so please complete our Listening to America Survey.

In addition to your valuable answers, I also hope I can count on you to make a special donation in support of our campaign at this critical time.

Crooked Hillary has tons of money from the liberal elites who have rigged everything against you. The media are in her corner too, and frankly I don’t think I’ve seen the media in this country behave in such a disgusting way as they have against me. So many lies!

So help me cut through the media nonsense and take our message right to the people. Complete our Listening to America Survey

Thank you,

Donald Trump

COMPLETE DONALD TRUMP’S LISTENING TO AMERICA SURVEY

 

Contributions to the Trump Make America Great Again Committee are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Paid for by Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising committee authorized by and composed of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee.

 

Press Interviews and Quotes

Partly just to keep track of them for my BU annual report, this post links to my press interviews and quotes.

Meeting basic needs under Trump

Fed funds key for landlords, affordable tenants; Trump’s health secretary opposes Obamacare

Bay State Banner Jule Pattison-Gordon | 12/7/2016, 1:13 p.m.

Effects of Brexit on the world economy and Iran.

Tasnim News Agency Interview, Iran (translated into Persian), June 28, 2016.

Farm Animal Ballot Initiative.

posted on Youtube. By  Brittany Comak, BU School of Communication. November 29, 2015

Inspector General criticizes Red Sox, BRA deal

Massachusetts Inspector General Glenn Cunha criticized a 2013 deal by Boston Redevelopment Authority that granted the Boston […]

by · October 29, 2015 · 0 comments · City, News
According to a New England Economic Partnership report released Thursday, Massachusetts is creating jobs at the fastest pace in 15 years. GRAPHIC BY KATELYN PILLEY/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Mass. experiencing economic boom, study finds

In the past year, Massachusetts has seen an economic boom unlike any since the 1990s, a […]

by · October 20, 2015 · 0 comments · City, News
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill Friday authorizing $200 million in transportation funds. PHOTO BY STUX/PIXABAY

$200 million in extra funding approved for infrastructure repairs

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker approved an additional $200 million in funding for infrastructure contributing to a […]

by · April 14, 2015 · 0 comments · City, News
Massachusetts lawmakers announced their support Friday for a bill that would allow the legalization and taxation of marijuana. PHOTO BY SARAH SILBIGER/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Mass. lawmakers support bill that would legalize and tax marijuana

Fifteen Massachusetts lawmakers are supporting a bill, pushed by the Marijuana Policy Project, that would regulate […]

by · March 18, 2015

MBTA late-night service threatened by lack of sponsorship Daily Free Press. by Paige Smith · January 27, 2015

Part time BU employees now eligible for health, dental benefits Daily Free Press. by Rachel Legon · October 30, 2014

Student loan report shows complaints, problems with private lenders Daily Free Press by Meiling Bedard · October 21, 2014

Greater Boston GDP declining, report finds Daily Free Press. by Mina Corpuz  September 18, 2014

Small businesses get extension for ACA in Massachusetts by Daily Free Press Admin · April 27, 2014

STUDY: Grad student loan debt on the rise. by Daily Free Press Admin · March 26, 2014 

College worthwhile investment, study suggests by Daily Free Press Admin · February 26, 2014

Bitcoin ATM installed in South Station by Daily Free Press Admin · February 23, 2014

Cost of student loan programs difficult for federal government to determine, study suggests  by Daily Free Press Admin · February 4, 2014

Universities see an increase in endowments, study suggests by Daily Free Press Admin · January 29, 2014

“South Shore Hospital, Partners HealthCare defend merger plan” The Patriot Ledger. by Christian Schiavone.  1/17/2014

“The Healing Begins for Healthcare.gov”  TechNewsWorld By Erika Morphy 12/04/13 4:12 PM PT

“Financial squeeze awaits W.Pa. hospitals”, TribLive. By Alex Nixon. Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013.

Wenermaar aan, Obamacare blijft“, Trouw Buitenlandredactie. (Article on ObamaCare in Dutch Newspaper) In Dutch. October 4. 2013

Menino plans to build about 30,000 housing units by 2020. Daily Free Press, Boston University, Sep 11, 2013

“Boston welcomes startups, entrepreneurship, despite study results” Daily Free Press, Boston University, Sep 11, 2013

Mass. residents driving less since 2004, study suggests. Daily Free Press, Boston University, Sept 4, 2013.

Medical Costs Register First Decline Since 1970s. Wall Street Journal Blog.  June 18, 2013,

Employers fear economic climate, fail to make hires, new study suggests. Daily Free Press, Boston University, April 24, 2013.

Outside spending in Senate race tops $1.25 million. Daily Free Press, Boston University, April 9, 2013.

New delayed-start loan repayment plan may help grads.Daily Free Press, Boston University, April 3, 2013.

Years after recession, Mass. job numbers finally bounce back. Daily Free Press, Boston University, April 2, 2013.

Popeye’s President Unconcerned About Obamacare, Says Health Insurance ‘Just Not Affordable’ Huffington Post. March 28th, 2013

Tax-based aid needs reform, report suggests. The Daily Free Press. Boston University. Feb 27, 2013.

Minimum wage-earners face hardship paying rent. The Daily Free Press, Boston University, Feb 5, 2013

Gas prices in Mass. shoot up 14 cents a gallon. The Daily Free Press, Boston University. Feb 5, 2013

Freshmen see college as necessary to riches, study suggests. The Daily Free Press, Boston University. Jan 30, 2013.

College debt high despite lower credit card, general debt. The Daily Free Press, Boston University. Dec 3, 2012

Government officials demand sales tax for items bought online. The Daily Free Press, Boston University. Nov 27, 2012

Interview with ASHEcon President Randy Ellis. American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon) Newsletter Vol. 4 Fall 2010.

 

 

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2016 Economics graduates!

Please celebrate the students who earned 498 Boston University degrees in Economics at Commencement this May.

This year the program mentions:

22 Ph.D. recipients

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

273 BA recipients (including BA/MA)

This total of 498 degrees is up from 482  in 2015.

These numbers undercount the total for the year since it may exclude students who graduated in January 2016 and chose not to appear at Commencement.

The number of graduate degree recipients 225 is way up from last year when we had 177, with most of the growth in MAs.

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 24 Ph.D. students obtained jobs this year (versus 19 last year).

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 two from last year) with titles of assistant, associate or full professors, a number which is two below the number of professors in 2012.

http://www.bu.edu/econ/people/faculty/

 

Congratulations to all!

24 BU economics Ph.D.s accept jobs in academic, government and private sectors

Congratulations to the 24 current or recent Ph.D. students from BU Economics who have accepted jobs for this September. Recent placements from the department are linked here, as well as pasted below.

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

This year candidates selected 14 academic jobs, five government or central bank jobs, and five private sector jobs for their initial placement.

Everyone formally on the market this year accepted  a job offer.

Thank you, BU colleagues and outside letter writers, for your help with them getting a job.
Let me also thank the five BU staff members who helped with the application process:
Gillian Gurish, Norma Hardeo, Miriam Hatoum, Deb Kasabian, Gloria Murray.
Special thanks to Gillian Gurish for her excellent web page support to the job seekers.

Randy Ellis, Economics department placement officer

2016 PhD Placements

Economics PhD Accepted Job Offers

Amazon, Seattle, WA Jiaxuan Li
Amazon, Seattle, WA Fan Zhuo
Bank of Canada, Ottawa, Canada Guihai Zhao
Central Bank of Chile, Financial Policy Division, Chile (senior economist)  J. Felipe Cordova
Central Bank of Chile, Chile Patricio Toro
Columbia University, Graduate School of Business, NY (post doc), then Federal Reserve Bank, Board of Governors, DC Levent Altinoglu
Cornerstone Research, Boston MA Francois Guay
Cornerstone Research, Chicago IL Kavan Kucko
Duke University, Sanford School of Public Policy, Raleigh NC (post doc) Matt Johnson
ECARES, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium (post doc) Ben Solow
Ernst & Young, NYC Mengmeng Li
Harvard Medical School, Department of Health Care Policy, Boston MA (asst. prof.) Tim Layton
Harvard Medical School, Mass General Hospital, Disparities Research Unit, Boston MA (lecturer/research scientist) Ye Wang
Harvard Medical School, Mass General Hospital, Disparities Research Unit, Boston MA (post doc) Mirk Fillbrunn
Holy Cross, MA (visiting asst. prof.) Dan Schwab
London School of Economics, Department of Social Policy and   Imperial College, School of Public Health, Health Economics Group, London UK (joint position, post doc) Sara Machado
Peking University, Marketing, Guanghua School of Management, China (asst. prof.) Ying Lei
Reserve Bank of India, Center for Advanced Financial Research and Learning, Mumbai India (research director) Apoorva Javadekar
Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, School of Economics, China (asst. prof.) Yao Shu
Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, School of Finance, China (asst. prof.) Ei Yang
Texas A&M, Department of Political Science, TX (asst. prof.) Benjamin Ogden
US Census Bureau, Center for Economic Studies, MD Elisabeth Perlman
Wellesley College, Department of Economics, MA (lecturer) Alex Poterack
Xiamen University, Department of Economics and Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), China (asst. prof.) Shuheng Lin

What do BU undergraduates do when they graduate?

I am often asked by undergrads and MA students what BU students do when they graduate. For the first time that I know of, BU has published a relatively complete description and list of the places where they get jobs, or go to graduate school or  volunteer.  It is discussed in the new CAS Dean Ann Cudd’s newsletter which is linked here.

A Note from Dean Cudd: Preparing our Undergraduates for the ‘Real World’

Of particular interest is the pdf file listing where undergrads are working and what their job title is.

CLASS OF 2014: Post-Graduation First Destination Profile

From now on, this list will be one of the first places I suggest undergrad job seekers look for possibilities in the US, abroad, and to consider BU alumni to network with.

In addition to being their placement officer, I help maintain the list of recent BU placements of our Ph.D. students which is linked here.

Recent Ph.D. job placements.

By the way, it is also not too late for alumni from our Ph.D. program to interview and hire our candidates on the job market. (Another impressive group.) They are linked here.

Current Ph.D. job candidates.

Separately, in the last two days, I met with one undergraduate and two MA students during office hours, all who happened to be from China.  All three said that the BU program was much harder than the courses their friends were taking elsewhere as undergraduates or Master’s students. While they were in part complaining about too much work at BU, all of them were also grateful that they are getting a solid education and being challenged. It makes it a good investment. I told them to tell their friends in China and elsewhere. It also made me feel proud that BU has not succumbed to  the rampant grade inflation and work deflation that is common elsewhere.

Randy

 

You should get a large SSD hard drive

This email will interest anyone who is processing very large data files, such as 5 GB or more. Or, if you are frustrated with how long your Window’s updates and other IO intensive tasks take. (Most Apple users are probably already using SSD drives.)

In October the hard drive on my Windows Desktop failed (not entirely: it just became erratic), so I had to buy a replacement.

Old hard Drive: 1 Terabyte, spinning drive 7200 RPM, 2011 vintage
New hard drive: 1 Terabtye SSD solid state drive, 2015 Only $389 at Microcenter (some are cheaper now).

The BU IT department was able to clone my original hard drive so that I did not have to reinstall any of the software. It ran from the time I turned it on, except that it was much much faster. How much faster? Five to ten times faster on IO bound tasks. These graphs show the difference.

oldvsnew

Various N

Times using mostly 0-1 binary regressors are much faster than continuous variables, since they can be compacted so nicely.

This graph is just illustrating that SAS can handle very big matrices well, although the sample sizes were fixed at 10k.

various kIf you are doing a lot of computationally intensive work on moderate size data, then faster CPU, multiple processors, and more RAM is critical. If you are processing Big Data, where the data is larger than your memory, then fast hard drives are the key. SSD drives are 5-10 times faster for most IO tasks.

You can also upgrade your laptop to a SSD drive with lots of capacity. New laptops with SSD and adequate memory will be faster on big data than your desktop with conventional hard drive. I am planning to get one to upgrade my old laptop. I will try to do a better job benchmarking before and after with that upgrade.

For sale at MicroCenter.com (Cambridge) near BU.

I purchased:
Samsung 850 EVO Series 1TB SATA III 6Gb/s mSATA Internal Solid State Drive Single Unit Version MZ-M5E1T0BW
Now $399.99, and was as low as $319. I predict prices to go down for Black Friday next week, and that prices were increased to ready for that “sale”.
“The MZ-M5E1T0BW from Samsung utilizes innovative 3D V-NAND Technology for incredible Read/Write Performance with enhanced endurance and reliability, giving you the most evolved SSD for Ultra-thin Laptops and PCs”

One review, probably by an employee…:
“All I can say is if you have an available mSATA slot open- just do it! That old spinning HD is killing your battery life! They only last a couple of years before they crash!! This is a solid state disk drive – No moving parts to wear out. Especially if you’re accident prone like me and drop it. SSD’s do not have head crashes like spinning hard drives.
The biggest bang for the buck is the performance! the read and write speeds are instantaneous! No waiting at all. Those Microsoft updates that take hours now take minutes. The mSATA drive is very easy to install. The bay is usually under the keyboard (Two screws to remove – Google it for instructions)- just get disk cloning software and follow the instructions. Remove the old spinning piece of rust and you’re off to the races! You can even get an external case to put your old hard drive in and use it for a backup. This little upgrade may breath new life into that old laptop – saving you from having to buy a newer one for a couple of more years…. I’m sure the laptop manufacturers don’t want to hear that!”

You will also need a mounting bracket to hold it in place. I used for a normal 3.5” slot:
http://www.microcenter.com/product/445921/850_EVO_Series_1TB_SATA_III_6Gb-s_mSATA_Internal_Solid_State_Drive_Single_Unit_Version_MZ-M5E1T0BW
Kingwin Internal Dual 2.5″ HDD/SSD to 3.5″ Plastic Mounting Kit
http://www.microcenter.com/product/396605/Internal_Dual_25_HDD-SSD_to_35_Plastic_Mounting_Kit?rf=Add-Ons%3EDrive+Rails%3E

Cheaper now is:
Crucial BX100 1TB SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5″ Solid State Drive CT1000BX100SSD1
$309.99 in-store only
http://www.microcenter.com/product/443434/BX100_1TB_SATA_III_6Gb-s_25_Solid_State_Drive_CT1000BX100SSD1

“Outlast and outperform your hard drive. Boot up almost instantly. Load programs in seconds. And accelerate demanding applications with ease. It all starts with ditching your hard drive. Engineered to outperform a hard drive and deliver cost-effective performance, the Crucial BX100 leverages advanced flash memory technology and moves your computer beyond the outdated storage limitations of spinning discs. By transmitting data in a digital manner rather than having to seek it out on a spinning platter, the Crucial BX100 is over 15x faster, 2x more reliable, and 2x more energy efficient than a typical hard drive.”

You will also need an adapter kit it make it fit in the larger size 3.5″ hard drive bays in most PC desktops. Such as

Vantec Dual 2.5″ to 3.5″ Hard Drive Mounting Kit $6.49
http://www.microcenter.com/product/398011/Dual_25_to_35_Hard_Drive_Mounting_Kit?rf=Add-Ons%3EDrive+Rails%3E

Talk to the staff about the computer you are putting the new hard drive into to get the right adappter kit.

Get help with installing it if you are not experienced. BU IT took less than a day (three hours) to install mine once it was purchased.

 

Denmark’s Social Capitalism and Switzerland’s Federal Democracy

With Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both mentioning Democratic Socialism in Denmark, it is interesting to read about what it actually is.

Here is one link with one persons discussion.

Denmark sounds pretty wonderful to me

Switzerland

I just returned from Switzerland which is not democratic socialism, but rather a federalist direct democracy centered on capitalism much like the US.

The Swiss seem to be doing many things right.

SOLOTHURN

The small city of Solothurn (pop 16,000) we stayed at had the following features. (Based on my visit, augmented by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solothurn)

A train, at least six bus lines and an electric trolley – for a city of 16,000!

Trains that runs on weekends almost as regularly as weekdays. Twice an hour on its two lines on Sunday mornings.

Hundreds (thousands?) of locals from the town using trains to get to the local cable car and go for hikes in the Alps on a Sunday morning in November.

23% foreign national residents

No driving in the center of the city. Only pedestrians or local residents and deliveries.

At least seven museums: art museum, rock carving museum, castle arsenal museum, nature museum, pinball museum, puppet museum, history museum

Trash containers every 100 feet along most public sidewalks.

Two pedestrian-only bridges across the Aare river (good crossword answer)

Bicycle parking for over 100 bikes at the train station.

No large supermarkets or malls that I saw.

 

WORK?

Unemployment rate of 4.6% in 2010.

Minimum wage of $20 to $25 depending on canton. In May a national referendum to raise it to the equivalent of $24.70 narrowly failed.

Only 40.3% of the people use a car to get to work (40% walk or ride a bike, while 20% use public transport).

Considered the richest country in the world.

 

TAXES?

Median tax rate for a single person earning > $150,000 is 22% in 2011.

8% value added tax (national) plus a canton rate.

.3 to .5% property tax (national) (notice the decimal point)

Corporate profit tax of 8.5 (national) with some more by cantons (= states)

Overall fiscal rate for Switzerland was 38.5% in 2002.

Health (from Wikipedia on 11/12/15) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland

Swiss citizens are universally required to buy health insurance from private insurance companies, which in turn are required to accept every applicant. While the cost of the system is among the highest it compares well with other European countries in terms of health outcomes; patients who are citizens have been reported as being, in general, highly satisfied with it.[151][152][153] In 2012, life expectancy at birth was 80.4 years for men and 84.7 years for women[154] — the highest in the world.[155][156] However, spending on health is particularly high at 11.4% of GDP (2010), on par with Germany and France (11.6%) and other European countries, and notably less than spending in the USA (17.6%).[157] From 1990, a steady increase can be observed, reflecting the high costs of the services provided.[158] With an ageing population and new healthcare technologies, health spending will likely continue to rise.[158]

 

Like Denmark, Switzerland seems to run on trust.

This all sounds pretty attractive to me. Why can’t we look at successes in Europe more and imitate them?

BU ranked 41 overall, 24th in Economics, by US News and World Report

Since I have blogged about rankings in the past – here and here, I thought I would blog about BU’s latest rankings by US News and World Report and elsewhere.

BU was ranked 41, up one position in the 2015 as top US Colleges and Universities.

This ranking is across all fields, and is based mostly on survey results.

BU rankings in various subsets by USN&WR are linked here.

In Economics, BU was only ranked #24 by USN&WR, tied with Johns Hopkins, and just behind Brown, CMU, Duke, Maryland, Rochester.

This lower than hoped ratings of the department is not so surprising if you look at the USN&WR methodology:

“Rankings of doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities are based solely on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to academics in each discipline.”

Peer assessments tend to change very slowly over time and our image before 2000 still enters into peoples ranking.

Economics had a 25 percent response rate from the department heads and directors of Graduate studies to whom they sent questionnaires.

BU tends to do better when using citations (currently ranked 12 by REPEC in the US behind Yale, Brown and Michigan, but ahead of U. Penn)

Another ranking is by QS World Universities where we are ranked 18 in the US 47th in the world, just behind Duke, Michigan, UCSD and Brown.

“The rankings highlight the world’s top universities in 36 individual subjects, based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact (full methodology here)”

The AEA own list of rankings, features several older ones.

iHEA Milan attracts twenty BU current and former students, faculty and visitors

Among the 1400 worldwide attendees, BU was again well represented at the International Health Economics Association biennial meetings in Milan Italy, 2015 with 20 current and former students, faculty and visitors present. Present were:

Osea Giuntella, Giulia La Mattina, Francesco Decarolis, Ana Balsa, Daniel Maceira, Julie Shi,  Michal Horny, Randy Ellis, Arturo Schweiger, Wenjia Zhu, Matilde Machado, Hsienming Lien, Jitian Sheu, Sara R Machado, Kathleen Carey, Alan B Cohen, Adam H Shapiro, Monica Galizzi, and  Mead Over.

Hope to see all of you in Boston iHEA 2017.

 

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2015 Economics graduates!

Please celebrate the students who earned 482 Boston University degrees in Economics at Commencement over the weekend. This year the program contained:

22 Ph.D. recipients

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

305 BA recipients (including BA/MA)

This represents a total of 482 degrees! Up from 463 in 2014.

These numbers undercount the total for the year since it may exclude students who graduated in January 2014 and chose not to appear at Commencement.

The number of graduate degree recipients (177) is down from last year when we had 234.

Last year (2014) there were 17 PhDs, 207 Master’s degree recipients, and 256 BA recipients.

Altogether 19 Ph.D. students obtained jobs this year (versus 23 last year). This is an undercount since some obtained jobs directly. 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 40 regular faculty (up two) with titles of assistant, associate or full professors, a number which matches 2012.
http://www.bu.edu/econ/people/faculty/

Congratulations to all!

Ellis SAS tips for experienced SAS users

If you are a beginning SAS programmer, then the following may not be particularly helpful, but the books suggested in the middle may be. BU students can obtain a free license for SAS to install on their own computer if it is required for a course or research project. Both will require an email from an adviser. SAS is also available on various computers in the economics department computer labs.

I also created a Ellis SAS tips for new SAS programmers.

I do a lot of SAS programming on large datasets, and thought it would be productive to share some of my programming tips on SAS in one place. Large data is defined to be a dataset so large that it cannot be stored in the available memory. (My largest data file to date is 1.7 terabytes.)

Suggestions and corrections welcome!

Use SAS macro language whenever possible;

It is so much easier to work with short strings than long lists, especially with repeated models and datasteps;

%let rhs = Age Sex HCC001-HCC394;

 

Design your programs for efficient reading and writing of files, and minimize temporary datasets.

SAS programs on large data are generally constrained by IO (input output, reading from your hard drives), not by CPU (actual calculations) or memory (storage that disappears once your sas program ends). I have found that some computers with high speed CPU and multiple cores are slower than simpler computers because they are not optimized for speedy hard drives. Large memory really helps, but for really huge files it can almost almost be exceeded, and then your hard drive speeds will really matter. Even reading in and writing out files the hard drive speeds will be your limiting factor.

This implication of this is that you should do variable creation steps in as few datastep steps as possible, and minimize sorts, since reading and saving datasets will take a lot of time. This requires a real change in thinking from STATA, which is designed for changing one variable at a time on a rectangular file. Recall that STATA can do this efficiently since it usually starts by bringing the full dataset into memory before doing any changes. SAS does not do this, one of its strengths.

Learning to use DATA steps and PROC SQL is the central advantage of an experienced SAS programmer. Invest, and you will save time waiting for your programs to run.

Clean up your main hard drive if at all possible.

Otherwise you risk SAS crashing when your hard drive gets full. If it does, cancel the job and be sure to delete the temporary SAS datasets that may have been created before you crashed. The SAS default for storing temporary files is something like

C:\Users\”your_user_name”.AD\AppData\Local\Temp\SAS Temporary Files

Unless you have SAS currently open, you can safely delete all of the files stored in that directory. Ideally, there should be none since SAS deletes them when it closes normally. It is the abnormal endings of SAS that cause temporary files to be saved. Delete them, since they can be large!

Change the default hard drive for temporary files and sorting

If you have a large internal secondary hard drive with lots of space, then change the SAS settings so that it uses temp space on that drive for all work files and sorting operations.

To change this default location to a different internal hard drive, find your sasv9.cfg file which is in a location like

“C:\Program Files\SASHome\x86\SASFoundation\9.3\nls\en”

“C:\Program Files\SASHome2-94\SASFoundation\9.4\nls\en”

Find the line in the config firl that starts -WORK and change it to your own location for the temporary files (mine are on drive j and k) such as:

-WORK “k:\data\temp\SAS Temporary Files”

-UTILLOC “j:\data\temp\SAS Temporary Files”

The first one is where SAS stores its temporary work files such as WORK.ONE where you define the ONE such as by DATA ONE;

The second line is where SAS stores its own files such as when sorting a file or when saving residuals.

There is a reason to have the WORK and UTIL files on different drives, so that it is in generally reading in from one drive and writing out to a different one, rather than reading in and writing out on the same drive. Try to avoid the latter. Do some test on your own computer to see how much time you can save by switching from one drive to another instead of only using one drive.

Use only internal hard drives for routine programming

Very large files may require storage or back up on external hard drives, but these are incredibly slow. External drives are three to ten times slower than an internal hard drive. Try to minimize their use for actual project work. Instead, buy more internal drives if possible. You can purchase additional internal hard drives with 2T of space for under $100. You save that much in time the first day!

Always try to write large datasets to a different disk drive than you read them in from.

Do some tests copying large files from c: to c: and from C: to F: You may not notice any difference until the file sizes get truly huge, greater than your memory size.

Consider using binary compression to save space and time if you have a lot of binary variables.

By default, SAS stores datasets in  a fixed rectangular dataset that leaves lots of empty space when you use integers instead of real numbers. Although I have been a long time fan of using OPTIONS COMPRESS=YES to save space and run time (but not CPU time) I only recently discovered that

OPTIONS COMPRESS=BINARY;

is even better for integers and binary flags when they outnumber real numbers. For some large datasets with lots of zero one dummies it has reduced my file size by as much as 97%! Standard variables are stored as 8 bytes, which have 8*256=2048 bits. In principle you could store 2000 binary flags in the space of one real number. Try saving some files on different compression and see if your run times and storage space improve. Note: compression INCREASES files size for real numbers! It seems that compression saves space when binary flags outnumber real numbers or integers;

Try various permutations on the following on you computer with your actual data to see what saves time and space;

data real;           retain x1-x100 1234567.89101112; do i = 1 to 100000; output; end;run; proc means; run;

data dummies; retain d1-d100 1;                                do i = 1 to 100000; output; end; proc means; run;

*try various datasteps with this, using the same or different drives. Bump up the obs to see how times change.

 

Create a macro file where you store macros that you want to have available anytime you need them. Do the same with your formats;

options nosource;
%include “c://data/projectname/macrofiles”;
%include “c://data/projectname/allformats”;
options source;

Be aware of which SAS procs create large, intermediate files

Some but not all procs create huge temporary datasets.

Consider: PROC REG, and PROC GLM generates all of the results in one pass through the data unless you have an OUTPUT statement. Then they create large,uncompressed, temporary files that can be a multiple of your original file sizes. PROC SURVEYREG and MIXED create large intermediate files even without an output statement. Plan accordingly.

Consider using OUTEST=BETA to more efficiently create residuals together with PROC SCORE.

Compare two ways of making residuals;

*make test dataset with ten million obs, but trivial model;

data test;
do i = 1 to 10000000;
retain junk1-junk100 12345;  * it is carrying along all these extra variables that slows SAS down;
x = rannor(234567);
y = x+rannor(12345);
output;
end;

Run;    * 30.2 seconds);
*Straightforward way; Times on my computer shown following each step;
proc reg data = test;
y: model y = x;
output out=resid (keep=resid) residual=resid;
run;  *25 seconds;
proc means data = resid;
run;  *.3 seconds;

*total of the above two steps is 25.6 seconds;

proc reg data = test outest=beta ;
resid: model y = x;
run;                     *3.9 seconds;
proc print data = beta;
run;  *take a look at beta that is created;
proc score data=test score=beta type=parms
out=resid (keep=resid) residual;
var x;
run;       *6 seconds!;
proc means data = resid;
run;  .3 seconds;

*total from the second method is 10.3 seconds versus 25.6 on the direct approach PLUS no temporary files needed to be created that may crash the system.

If the model statement in both regressions is

y: model y = x junk1-junk100; *note that all of the junk has coefficients of zero, but SAS does not this going in;

then the two times are

Direct approach:    1:25.84
Scoring approach:  1:12.46 on regression plus 9.01 seconds on score = 1:21.47 which is a smaller savings

On very large files the time savings are even greater because of the reduced IO gains; SAS is still able to do this without writing onto the hard drive in this “small” sample on my computer. But the real savings is on temporary storage space.

Use a bell!

My latest addition to my macro list is the following bell macro, which makes sounds.

Use %bell; at the end of your SAS program that you run batch and you may notice when the program has finished running.

%macro bell;
*plays the trumpet call, useful to put at end of batch program to know when the batch file has ended;
*Randy Ellis and Wenjia Zhu November 18 2014;
data _null_;
call sound(392.00,70); *first argument is frequency, second is duration;
call sound(523.25,70);
call sound(659.25,70);
call sound(783.99,140);
call sound(659.25,70);
call sound(783.99,350);
run;
%mend;
%bell;

Purchase essential SAS programming guides.

I gave up on purchasing the paper copy of SAS manuals, because they take up more than two feet of shelf space, and are still not complete or up to date. I find the SAS help menus useful but clunky. I recommend the following if you are going to do serious SAS programming. Buy them used on Amazon or whatever. I would get an older edition, and it will cost less than $10 each. Really.

The Little SAS Book: A Primer, Fifth Edition (or an earlier one)

Nov 7, 2012

by Lora Delwiche and Susan Slaughter

Beginners introduction to SAS. Probably the best single book to buy when learning SAS.

 

Professional SAS Programmer’s Pocket Reference Paperback

By Rick Aster

http://www.amazon.com/Professional-SAS-Programmers-Pocket-Reference/dp/189195718X

Wonderful, concise summary of all of the main SAS commands, although you will have to already know SAS to find it useful. I use it to look up specific functions, macro commands, and optoins on various procs because it is faster than using the help menus. But I am old style…

Professional SAS Programming Shortcuts: Over 1,000 ways to improve your SAS programs Paperback

By Rick Aster

http://www.amazon.com/Professional-SAS-Programming-Shortcuts-programs/dp/1891957198/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417616508&sr=1-1&keywords=professional+sas+programming+shortcuts

I don’t use this as much as the above, but if I had time, and were learning SAS instead of trying to rediscover things I already know, I would read through this carefully.

Get in the habit of deleting most intermediate permanent files

Delete files if either

1. You won’t need them again or

2. You can easily recreate them again.  *this latter point is usually true;

Beginner programmers tend to save too many intermediate files. Usually it is easier to rerun the entire program instead of saving the intermediate files. Give your final file of interest a name like MASTER or FULL_DATA then keep modifying it by adding variables instead of names like SORTED, STANDARDIZED,RESIDUAL,FITTED.

Consider a macro that helps make it easy to delete files.

%macro delete(library=work, data=temp, nolist=);

proc datasets library=&library &nolist;
delete &data;
run;
%mend;

*sample macro calls

%delete (data=temp);   *for temporary, work files you can also list multiple files names but these disappear anyway at the end of your run;

%delete (library =out, data = one two three) ; *for two node files in directory in;

%delete (library=out, data =one, nolist=nolist);   *Gets rid of list in output;

 

 

Ellis SAS tips for New SAS programmers

There is also a posting on Ellis SAS tips for Experienced SAS programmers

It focuses on issues when using large datasets.

 

Randy’s SAS hints for New SAS programmers, updated Feb 21, 2015

  1. ALWAYS

    begin and intermix your programs with internal documentation. (Note how I combined six forms of emphasis in ALWAYS: color, larger font, caps, bold, italics, underline.) Normally I recommend only one, but documenting your programs is really important. (Using only one form of emphasis is also important, just not really important.)

A simple example to start your program in SAS is

******************
* Program = test1, Randy Ellis, first version: March 8, 2013 – test program on sas features
***************;

Any comment starting with an asterisk and ending in a semicolon is ignored;

 

    1. Most common errors/causes of wasted time while programming in SAS.

a. Forgetting semicolons at the end of a line

b. Omitting a RUN statement, and then waiting for the program to run.

c. Unbalanced single or double quotes.

d. Unintentionally commenting out more code than you intend to.

e. Foolishly running a long program on a large dataset that has not first been tested on a tiny one.

f. Trying to print out a large dataset which will overflow memory or hard drive space.

g. Creating an infinite loop in a datastep; Here is one silly one. Usually they can be much harder to identify.

data infinite_loop;
x=1;
nevertrue=0;
do while x=1;
if nevertrue =1 then x=0;
end;
run;

h. There are many other common errors and causes of wasted time. I am sure you will find your own

 

  1. With big datasets, 99 % of the time it pays to use the following system OPTIONS:

 

options compress =yes nocenter;

or

options compress =binary nocenter;

binary compression works particularly well with many binary dummy variables and sometimes is spectacular in saving 95%+ on storage space and hence speed.

 

/* mostly use */
options nocenter /* SAS sometimes spends many seconds figuring out how to center large print outs of
data or results. */
ps=9999               /* avoid unneeded headers and page breaks that split up long tables in output */
ls=200;                /* some procs like PROC MEANS give less output if a narrow line size is used */
 

*other key options to consider;

Options obs = max   /* or obs=100, Max= no limit on maximum number of obs processed */
Nodate nonumber /* useful if you don’t want SAS to embed headers at top of each page in listing */
Macrogen     /* show the SAS code generated after running the Macros. */
Mprint   /* show how macro code and macro variables resolve */
nosource /* suppress source code from long log */
nonotes   /* be careful, but can be used to suppress notes from log for long macro loops */

;                       *remember to always end with a semicolon!;

 

  1. Use these three key procedures regularly

Proc contents data=test; run; /* shows a summary of the file similar to Stata’s DESCRIBE */
Proc means data = test (obs=100000); run; /* set a max obs if you don’t want this to take too long */
Proc print data = test (obs=10); run;

 

I recommend you create and use regularly a macro that does all three easily:

%macro cmp(data=test);
Proc Contents data=&data; Proc means data = &data (obs=1000); Proc print data = &data (obs=10); run;
%end;

Then do all three (contents, means, print ten obs) with just

%cmp(data = mydata);

 

  1. Understand temporary versus permanent files;

Data one;   creates a work.one temporary dataset that disappears when SAS terminates;

Data out.one; creates a permanent dataset in the out directory that remains even if SAS terminates;

 

Define libraries (or directories):

Libname out “c:/data/marketscan/output”;
Libname in “c:/data/marketscan/MSdata”;
 

 

Output or data can be written into external files:

Filename textdata “c:/data/marketscan/textdata.txt”;

 

  1. Run tests on small samples to develop programs and then Toogle between tiny and large samples when debugged.

A simple way is

Options obs =10;
*options obs = max; *only use this when you are sure your programs run.
 

OR, some procedures and data steps using End= dataset option do not work well on partial samples. For those I often toggle between two different input libraries. Create a subset image of all of your data in a separate directory and then toggle using the libname commands;

 

*Libname in ‘c:/data/projectdata/fulldata’;
Libname in ‘c:/data/projectdata/testsample’;

 

Time spent creating a test data set is time well spent.

You could even write a macro to make it easy. (I leave it as an exercise!)

 

  1. Use arrays abundantly. You can use different array names to reference the same set of variables. This is very convenient;

 

%let rhs=x1 x2 y1 y2 count more;
Data _null_;
Array X {100} X001-X100; *usual form;
Array y {100} ;                     * creates y1-y100;
Array xmat {10,10} X001-X100; *matrix notation allows two dimensional indexes;
Array XandY {*} X001-X100 y1-y100 index ; *useful when you don’t know the count of variables in advance;
Array allvar &rhs. ;     *implicit arrays can use implicit indexes;
 

*see various ways of initializing the array elements to zero;

Do i = 1 to 100; x{i} = 0; end;
 

Do i = 1 to dim(XandY); XandY{i} = 0; end;

 

Do over allvar; allvar = 0; end;   *sometimes this is very convenient;

 

Do i=1 to 100 while (y(i) = . );
y{i} = 0;   *do while and do until are sometimes useful;
end;

 

run;

  1. For some purposes naming variables in arrays using leading zeros improves sort order of variables

Use:
Array x {100} X001-X100;
not
Array x {100} X1-X100;

With the second, the alphabetically sorted variables are x1,x10,x100, x11, x12,..,x19, x2,x20 , etc.

 

  1. Learn Set versus Merge command (Update is for rare, specialized use)

 

Data three;   *information on the same person combined into a single record;
Merge ONE TWO;
BY IDNO;
Run;

 

  1. Learn key dataset options like

Obs=
Keep=
Drop=
In=
Firstobs=
Rename=(oldname=newname)
End=

 

  1. Keep files being sorted “skinny” by using drop or keep statements

Proc sort data = IN.BIG(keep=IDNO STATE COUNTY FROMDATE) out=out.bigsorted;
BY STATE COUNTY IDNO FROMDATE;
Run;

Also consider NODUP and NODUPKEY options to sort while dropping duplicate records, on all or on BY variables, respectively.

 

  1. Take advantage of BY group processing

Use FIRST.var and LAST.var abundantly.

 

USE special variables
_N_ = current observation counter
_ALL_ set of all variables such as Put _all_. Or when used with PROC CONTENTS, set of all datasets.

 

Also valuable is

PROC CONTENTS data = in._all_; run;

 

  1. Use lots of comments

 

* this is a standard SAS comment that ends with a semicolon;

 

/*   a PL1 style comment can comment out multiple lines including ordinary SAS comments;

* Like this; */

 

%macro junk; Macros can even comment out other macros or other pl1 style comments;

/*such as this; */ * O Boy!; %macro ignoreme;   mend; *very powerful;

 

%mend; * end macro junk;

 

  1. Use meaningful file names!

Data ONE TWO THREE can be useful.

 

  1. Put internal documentation about what the program does, who did it and when.
  2. Learn basic macro language; See SAS program demo for examples. Know the difference between executable and declarative statements used in DATA step

 

17. EXECUTABLE COMMANDS USED IN DATA STEP (Actually DO something, once for every record)

 

Y=y+x (assignment. In STATA you would use GEN y=x or REPLACE Y=X)
 
Do I = 1 to 10;
End; (always paired with DO, can be nested nearly unlimited deepness)

 

INFile in ‘c:/data/MSDATA/claimsdata.txt’;               define where input statements read from;
File out ‘c:/data/MSDATA/mergeddata.txt’;             define where put statements write to;

 

Goto johnny;      * always avoid. Use do groups instead;

 

IF a=b THEN y=0 ;
ELSE y=x; * be careful when multiple if statements;
CALL subroutine(); (Subroutines are OK, Macros are better)

 

INPUT   X ; (read in one line of X as text data from INFILE)
PUT   x y= / z date.; (Write out results to current LOG or FILE file)

 

MERGE IN.A IN.B ;
BY IDNO;         *   Match up with BY variable IDNO as you simultaneously read in A&B;

Both files must already be sorted by IDNO.

SET A B;                                           * read in order, first all of A, and then all of B;

UPDATE   A B; *replace variables with new values from B only if non missing in B;

 

OUTPUT out.A;      *Write out one obs to out.A SAS dataset;
OUTPUT;                *Writes out one obs of every output file being created;

DELETE;   * do not output this record, and return to the top of the datastep;

STOP;                               * ends the current SAS datastep;

 

18. Assignment commands for DATA Step are

only done once at the start of the data step

 

DATA ONE TWO IN.THREE;

*This would create three data sets, named ONE TWO and IN.THREE

Only the third one will be kept once SAS terminates.;

Array x {10} x01-x10;
ATTRIB x length =16 Abc length=$8;
RETAIN COUNT 0;
BY state county IDNO;
Also consider  
BY DESCENDING IDNO; or BY IDNO UNSORTED; if grouped but not sorted by IDNO;
DROP i;   * do not keep i in final data set, although it can still be used while the data step is running
KEEP IDNO AGE SEX; *this will drop all variables from output file except these three;
FORMAT x date.;   *permanently link the format DATE. To the variable link;

INFORMAT ABC $4.;

LABEL AGE2010 = “Age on December 31 2010”;
LENGTH x 8; *must be assigned the first time you reference the variable;
RENAME AGE = AGE2010; After this point you must use the newname (AGE2010);
OPTIONS NOBS=100; One of many options. Note done only once.

 

19. Key Systems language commands

LIBNAME to define libraries
FILENAME to define specific files, such as for text data to input or output text

TITLE THIS TITLE WILL APPEAR ON ALL OUTPUT IN LISTING until a new title line is given;

%INCLUDE

%LET year=2011;

%LET ABC = “Randy Ellis”;

 

20. Major procs you will want to master

DATA step !!!!! Counts as a procedure;

PROC CONTENTS

PROC PRINT

PROC MEANS

PROC SORT

PROC FREQ                      frequencies

PROC SUMMARY      (Can be done using MEANS, but easier)

PROC CORR (Can be done using Means or Summary)

PROC REG       OLS or GLS

PROC GLM   General Linear Models with automatically created fixed effects

PROC FORMAT /INFORMAT

PROC UNIVARIATE

PROC GENMOD nonlinear models

PROG SURVEYREG clustered errors

None of the above will execute unless a new PROC is started OR you include a RUN; statement.

21. Formats are very powerful. Here is an example from the MarketScan data. One use is to simply recode variables so that richer labels are possible.

 

Another use is to look up or merge on other information in large files.

 

Proc format;
value $region
1=’1-Northeast Region           ‘
2=’2-North Central Region       ‘
3=’3-South Region               ‘
4=’4-West Region               ‘
5=’5-Unknown Region             ‘
;

 

value $sex

1=‘1-Male           ‘
2=‘2-Female         ‘
other=‘ Missing/Unknown’

;

 

*Three different uses of formats;

Data one ;
sex=’1’;
region=1;
Label sex = ‘patient sex =1 if male’;
label region = census region;
run;

Proc print data = one;

Run;

 

data two;
set one;
Format sex $sex.; * permanently assigns sex format to this variable and stores format with the dataset;
Run;

Proc print data = two;
Run;

Proc contents data = two;
Run;

*be careful if the format is very long!;

 

Data three;
Set one;
Charsex=put(sex,$sex.);
Run;

*maps sex into the label, and saves a new variable as the text strings. Be careful can be very long;

Proc print data =three;
Run;

 

Proc print data = one;
Format sex $sex.;
*this is almost always the best way to use formats: Only on your results of procs, not saved as part of the datasets;
Run;

 

If you are trying to learn SAS on your own, then I recommend you buy:

The Little SAS Book: A Primer, Fifth Edition (or an earlier one)

Nov 7, 2012

by Lora Delwiche and Susan Slaughter

Beginners introduction to SAS. Probably the best single book to buy when learning SAS.

Re-envisioning Ebola, including updated story about Nigeria from Kas Nwuke

Arlene Ash, Professor and Division Chief, Biostatistics and Health Services Research, at UMass Medical School, has compiled a useful series of original thoughts, emails, and links about Ebola which I am broadcasting and reposting on my blog site here.

This posting repeats some of the information already posted in my earlier blog:

Ebola is being contained in Nigeria

The original article by Kas Nwuke is now linked (with permission) as a pdf and includes linked references on my web site. (It is 6 pages – updated to include two pages of references.)

Containing Ebola: A success story from an “unexpected” place?

From Arlene Ash:

Friends and Colleagues,

Here’s what I [Arlene Ash] sent previously with some updates.

I now have Mead Over’s permission to circulate his text that is included below, plus sharing the link to his Twitter log: @MeadOver.

Also, I have added the text from yesterday’s NYT editorial “Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola,” since non-subscribers may not be able to get it themselves on-line.  The full text, with links and commentary, is very interesting, and I think important.

These are, indeed, extraordinary times – and, I firmly believe, they offer an extraordinary opportunity to discard old, dysfunctional paradigms – if only we can seize it.

Arlene

_

Last weekend I [Arlene Ash] wrote:

Re-envisioning Ebola as an opportunity

Friends, If you like this idea as well as I do, perhaps you can help make it “go viral.”

  •  I believe it would be cheaper to stop Ebola in Africa than to try to seal our borders against it as it spreads unchecked.
  • I believe that taking a leadership role in stopping Ebola would do a great deal for our self-esteem as a nation, and for our regard in the world.
  • I believe that cost-effectiveness calculations could make a strong case for a “war on Ebola” as the best kind of war that we could wage. I propose we could do more to combat ISIS and protect America by working with the world community to prevent the spread of Ebola in Africa than by any level of commitment of troops and weapons to the enflamed Middle East.

I want America to re-envision Ebola as an opportunity to demonstrate what great things we can do when we bend ourselves to the task.

Of course we are all busy, but perhaps it takes only a little help from many people to spread a really good idea.

Thought for the day. Please grow it and pass it along.

_

I got back some very interesting feedback which I would like to share:

From Randy Ellis (a success story in Nigeria, with lessons for the rest of the world):

Amid so much negative and scary news about Ebola, this research paper on the experience of Nigeria where it has not spread widely after arriving by airplane gives great hope. I recommend it if you have time (It is 6 pages).

Containing Ebola: A success story from an “unexpected” place? [Now linked instead of attached as a pdf]

The author, Kasirim Nwuke  is a BU Ph.D. Here is his bio from one web site.

http://www.elearning-africa.com/profiles/profile_popup.php?address_id=595692&lang=4

_

Then a follow-on from Mead Over, author of a World Bank report (Twitter log  @MeadOver):

This is indeed a good story with details that go beyond the information our World Bank report (in the box on page 29) on the efforts of Senegal and Nigeria that I co-authored on October 7 and blogged on Friday:

http://www.cgdev.org/blog/understanding-world-banks-estimate-economic-damage-ebola-west-africa

http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2014/10/20270083/economic-impact-2014-ebola-epidemic-short-medium-term-estimates-west-africa

The box on page 29 of the WB report was requested by JYK after he sat next to Goodluck Jonathan at the UNGA meeting last week and President Jonathan told him that 1,000 Nigerian public health workers were involved in the contact tracing including almost 300 Nigerian doctors.  This is remarkable not only for the level of effort, but also in comparison to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea each of which had fewer than 100 doctors before the crisis.  In Nigeria I have heard that the polio eradication workers are the ones who were redeployed to do the Ebola contact tracing.  Other countries don’t have the polio program because they don’t have polio.  So even a relatively wealthy country like Ghana may have trouble emulating Nigeria’s success.

I like the point made in the article that Nigeria showed courage in announcing the danger far and wide and rolling out a massive public health effort to contain it.  This was before the rest of the world was taking the epidemic as seriously as they are today, and thus the measures could well have been opposed by economic interests.  (Parallel to HIV:  In the early days of the HIV epidemic, business interests in Thailand opposed the admission that HIV was a problem.  In “Confronting AIDS” we attribute Thailand’s energetic and remarkably successful “100% condom program” partly to the fact that the country was under a military dictatorship for 6 months and the “benevolent dictator” saw the wisdom of opposing the economic interests in order to start that program.)

When I spoke on Ebola at American University the other evening, one of the other panelists was an anthropologist who had recently returned from Sierra Leone.  She also reported the “Ebola handshake” and other “self-isolation behavior from that country.  Epidemiologists are hoping that such behavior, developing in response to the news and the public information campaign, will reduce the reproductive rate of the epidemic.  But we have not seen a deceleration in Liberia or Sierra Leone yet.

Another implication of the author’s account and of the Nigerian and Senegalese public health expenditure amounts reported in the box of the World Bank report is that several West African countries are increasing government spending in response to the outbreak (as is the US).  Our World Bank report does not include the possible stimulus effect of this spending on national economies.  This spending may offset some of the reduction in aggregate demand due to aversion behavior, and thus reduce the economic impact below our estimates.  However, as I say at the end of my blog, unless the epidemic begins to decelerate soon, our “High Ebola” estimate may fall short of estimating the total impact.  And I hope that when Charles Kenny and I join CDC and others in asserting this is still a small problem inside the US, we are not being overly optimistic.  As here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jCWkDYwN2g; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=113kLL3pZQQ

One frustrating aspect of the report by Kasirim Nwuke is the lack of references or hyperlinks [AA: they are now attached in a separate file.]  Even our World Bank report did better.  I agree totally with his conclusion that Nigeria is not yet “safe”.  Each day is another roll of the dice.  In one sense, Nigeria was lucky that they detected the first case on entry.  Next time they may not be so lucky.

_

In response, Kas Nwuke KNwuke@uneca.org wrote (on 10/18/14):

Going through the materials, I have come to know that Nigeria’s preparations started much earlier. It started once the outbreak in Guinea and reached full steam after the July ECOWAS Heads of State Summit.  That Summit discussed Ebola in the sub-region and resolved that member States of ECOWAS should be prepared to contain it.  Nigeria according to the Health Minister made, after the Summit, the very first financial donation of $3.5 million US to the three countries.  Back home, the Health Minister briefed the Commissioners for Health in the 36 States of the Federation and asked for increased vigilance.

 

You will find this additional information in the references.

 

In my essay, I had given the number of Nigerians who have volunteered to go to Liberia and Sierra Leone as 200.  I have since learned that the number is actually 591.  In addition, Nigeria is also providing crash courses to health personnel from the three most affected countries.

 

I am sure that lots more will be written about Nigeria experience.  I hope that the lesson can be of value to resource constrained countries on how to handle/tackle epidemics in the future.

 

(I must with regret inform you that Nigeria’s election politics has now entered the Ebola debate.  Rivers State and Lagos State are controlled by the opposition.  Electioneering campaign for next year’s election has started and the ruling PDP and the opposition APC is each seeking to claim credit for the success in containing the spread of Ebola.  The Rivers State Governor has just disclosed – see the hyperlink – that the state spent N1.106 billion – more than $6 million – to tackle Ebola.)

 

With best wishes,

 

Kas

Also, some inspiring information about a UMass colleague (Steven Hatch) now in Liberia:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/world/africa/pursuing-a-calling-that-leads-to-west-africa.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/world/africa/ebola-liberia-west-africa-epidemic.html

and a NYT “conspicuous success story” about Senegal, that points to the so far very positive Nigerian experience as well.

Also,

NYT, October 19 Op-Ed: “Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola” (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/opinion/cubas-impressive-role-on-ebola.html?_r=0)

Cuba is an impoverished island that remains largely cut off from the world and lies about 4,500 miles from the West African nations where Ebola is spreading at an alarming rate. Yet, having pledged to deploy hundreds of medical professionals to the front lines of the pandemic, Cuba stands to play the most robust role among the nations seeking to contain the virus.

Cuba’s contribution is doubtlessly meant at least in part to bolster its beleaguered international standing. Nonetheless, it should be lauded and emulated.

The global panic over Ebola has not brought forth an adequate response from the nations with the most to offer. While the United States and several other wealthy countries have been happy to pledge funds, only Cuba and a few nongovernmental organizations are offering what is most needed: medical professionals in the field.

The Cuban health sector is aware of the risks of taking on dangerous missions. Cuban doctors assumed the lead role in treating cholera patients in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake in 2010. Some returned home sick, and then the island had its first outbreak of cholera in a century. An outbreak of Ebola on the island could pose a far more dangerous risk and increase the odds of a rapid spread in the Western Hemisphere.

Cuba has a long tradition of dispatching doctors and nurses to disaster areas abroad. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Cuban government created a quick-reaction medical corps and offered to send doctors to New Orleans. The United States, unsurprisingly, didn’t take Havana up on that offer. Yet officials in Washington seemed thrilled to learn in recent weeks that Cuba had activated the medical teams for missions in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

With technical support from the World Health Organization, the Cuban government trained 460 doctors and nurses on the stringent precautions that must be taken to treat people with the highly contagious virus. The first group of 165 professionals arrived in Sierra Leone in recent days. José Luis Di Fabio, the World Health Organization’s representative in Havana, said Cuban medics were uniquely suited for the mission because many had already worked in Africa. “Cuba has very competent medical professionals,” said Mr. Di Fabio, who is Uruguayan. Mr. Di Fabio said Cuba’s efforts to aid in health emergencies abroad are stymied by the embargo the United States imposes on the island, which struggles to acquire modern equipment and keep medical shelves adequately stocked.

In a column published over the weekend in Cuba’s state-run newspaper, Granma, Fidel Castro argued that the United States and Cuba must put aside their differences, if only temporarily, to combat a deadly scourge. He’s absolutely right.

 

Ebola is being contained in Nigeria

Amid so much negative and scary news about Ebola, this research paper on the experience of Nigeria where it has not spread widely after arriving by airplane gives great hope. I recommend it if you have time (It is 6 pages – updated to include references.).

Containing Ebola: A success story from an “unexpected” place?

The author, Kasirim Nwuke  is a BU Ph.D. Here is his bio from the elearning-aftrica web site.

http://www.elearning-africa.com/profiles/profile_popup.php?address_id=595692&lang=4

Kasirim Nwuke

Kasirim Nwuke is Chief, New Technologies and Innovation at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has thought in a number at a number of higher education institutions in the United States of America including Tufts University, Medford, MA; Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, and Northeastern University, Boston, MA. He been a Research Associate at Harvard University School of Public Health and the a Fellow in African Studies at the African Studies Centre, Boston University. He has held different positions at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and as Senior Economic Adviser to the Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Kasirim is the author (or lead author) of several research papers and reports and policy briefs on African economic development.  Among books to which he has been a contributing author is “AdricaDotEdu: IT Opportunities and Higher Education in Africa” Maria Beebe et al. Kasirim holds a PhD in Economics from Boston University, Boston, MA.

Former BU professor and World Bank senior economist Mead Over has also been blogging on ebola in west africa. Here is one of his recent blogs.

http://www.cgdev.org/blog/understanding-world-banks-estimate-economic-damage-ebola-west-africa

http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2014/10/20270083/economic-impact-2014-ebola-epidemic-short-medium-term-estimates-west-africa

 

 

 

BU well represented at ASSA meetings in 2015

As would be expected since the Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) meetings are in Boston this January, BU is well represented on the ASSA program. After searching and scanning through the program for current and former students and current faculty, I identified 81 BU affiliate names on the program, whether as authors, discussants or presiding. This includes 17 of our regular BU economics faculty. The full list with affiliations is shown below. Note that his reflects not only economics department members, but also SMG, SPH, Political Science, Law or whatever may be the current affiliation.

In 2014, when the meetings were in Philadelphia, there were 70 BU affiliates participating.
This count is almost certainly an undercount, since recognizing the names of BU alumni is imprecise. I apologize for missing some names.

If one restricts the count to only names of current BU affiliates then there are 57 names affiliated with BU, which is ahead of BC (32) and Brown (21) but well behind our neighbors of Harvard (270) and MIT (152). We seem to rank about 15th. We still have a ways to go!

As usual (always?) there will be a BU reception at the meetings. This year it will be Sunday January 4 6-8 p.m. in the Westin Hotel. Look in the program for the exact room.

It is not too early to plan on submiting for the next ASSA meetings:

January 3-5, 2016 (Sunday, Monday & Tuesday) San Francisco, CA Hilton San Francisco

Preliminary Program for 2015 is linked here.

https://www.aeaweb.org/Annual_Meeting/index.php

BU affiliates, with duplicate names signifying each role time a name appears on the program.:

Ahmed Galal      Economic Research Forum and former Finance Minister of Egypt
Alfredo Burlando             University of Oregon
Alisdair McKay   Boston University
Andrew F. Newman       Boston University and CEPR
Andrew F. Newman       Boston University and CEPR
Angela Dills         Providence College
Angela Dills         Providence College
Angela Dills         Providence College
Austin Frakt        Boston University
Berardino Palazzo            Boston University
Berardino Palazzo            Boston University
Berardino Palazzo            Boston University
Carola Frydman                Boston University
Carola Frydman                Northwestern University
Cathie Jo Martin               Boston University
Ching-to Albert Ma         Boston University
Claudia Olivetti  Boston University
Claudia Olivetti Boston University
Daniele Paserman           Boston University
Dara Lee Luca    Harvard University and University of Missouri
Dara Lee Luca    University of Missouri and Harvard University
Dirk Hackbarth Boston University
Evgeny Lyandres              Boston University
Francesco Decarolis        Boston University
Giorgos Zervas Boston University
Giulia La Mattina              University of South Florida
Gustavo Schwenkler      Boston University
Hiroaki Kaido      Boston University
Ivan Fernandez-Val         Boston University
Jae W. Sim          Federal Reserve Board
James Rebitzer                 Boston University
Jerome Detemple           Boston University
Jianjun Miao      Boston University
Jing Guo               American Institutes for Research
Julie Shi                Harvard University
Julie Shi                Harvard University
Julie Shi                Harvard University
Kathleen Carey                 Boston University
Kathleen Carey                 Boston University
Kehinde Ajayi    Boston University
Kehinde Ajayi    Boston University
Kehinde Ajayi    Boston University
Kehinde Ajayi    Boston University
Keith Marzilli Ericson       Boston University
Keith Marzilli Ericson       Boston University
Kevin Gallagher                Boston University
Kevin Gallagher                Boston University
Kevin Lang          Boston University
Kevin Lang          Boston University
Koichiro Ito         Boston University
Koichiro Ito         Boston University
Koichiro Ito         Boston University
Kristopher Gerardi          Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Kristopher Gerardi          Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Leslie Boden      Boston University
Marc Rysman     Boston University
Marc Rysman     Boston University
Marc Rysman     Boston University
Marcel Rindisbacher       Boston University
Martha Starr      American University
Megan MacGarvie           Boston University
Pasquale Schiraldi            London School of Economics
Pasquale Schiraldi            London School of Economics
Phillip H. Ross    Boston University
Randall Ellis         Boston University
Robert Margo    Boston University
Rodolfo Prieto   Boston University
Rui Albuquerque              Boston University
Samuel Bazzi      Boston University
Sean Horan         Université de Montréal
Shinsuke Tanaka              Tufts University
Shinsuke Tanaka              Tufts University
Shulamit Kahn   Boston University
Silvia Prina           Case Western Reserve University
Simon Gilchrist Boston University
Simon Gilchrist Boston University
Stefania Garetto              Boston University
Timothy Layton                 Boston University
Yorghos Tripodis               Boston University
Yuan Tian             Boston University
Yuping Tsai          Centers for Disease Control and Prevention