Akcigit Awarded NSF CAREER Grant


The University of Chicago Department of Economics is pleased to announce that Ufuk Akcigit has been selected to receive the National Science Foundation CAREER grant, the organization's most prestigious junior faculty award. The CAREER grant supports early-career faculty who "exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through [their] outstanding research, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations." Akcigit, whose recent work has focused on economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship, will be Principal Investigator on the grant entitled, “CAREER – Understanding Economic Growth:  Firms, Inventors, and Ideas.” Akcigit joined the Department of Economics faculty in 2015, and also serves as Director of Graduate Placement.

Timothy S. Fuerst, 1962-2017

Timothy S. Fuerst

The Department of Economics is saddened to announce that Timothy S. Fuerst, AM'87, PhD'90, passed away on February 21 at the age of 54. He was the William and Dorothy O’Neill Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame. Fuerst conducted research on monetary theory and policy, with a special focus on business cycles. His research was published in numerous scholarly journals, and according to the RePEc database, his work ranks in the top 5 percent of the most-cited contemporary economists. Fuerst also served as senior economic adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Voena Receives 2017 Sloan Fellowship

Alessandra Voena

We are very pleased to announce that Alessandra Voena has been named a 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow. The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise, and are awarded to recognize distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. Alessandra Voena is a labor and development economist whose research focuses primarily on the economics of the family. Her recent work includes examining the effects of United States welfare reform on marriage and divorce, household decision-making around fertility and education, and the economic consequences of cultural norms around marriage in sub-Saharan Africa, India and Asia. She has recently published research in American Economics Review, including work on the important role of German-Jewish emigrants on U.S. innovation.

Akcigit, et al. Measure Immigrants' Contribution to American Innovation

In their new NBER working paper, Ufuk Akcigit and collaborators John Grigsby and Tom Nicholas study the "macro and micro-level aspects of the relationship between immigration and innovation," and construct a measure of the "foreign-born expertise" effect on US innovation and the labor market. The researchers show that technology fields which had a prevalence of immigrant inventors between 1880 and 1940 produced more patents and citations between 1940 and 2000. Their results also find that although immigrant inventors were more productive during their life cycles than native-born inventors, their labor income was significantly lower.

Citing their study in a Bloomberg Quint article on the Executive Order on Immigration's impact on the tech sector, columnist Leonid Bershidsky offers this insight: "[i]mmigrant creativity is not just a resource for today; it's what has created America's innovation edge, and what will maintain it in the future. And one never knows where the people who lay the foundation of that future edge will come from."

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