UChicago to Convene 6th Science of Philanthropy Initiative Conference

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The Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics is pleased to announce the sixth Science of Philanthropy Initiative (AFE2019) conference returns to the University of Chicago on September 11-12. This year's keynote speakers will be James Andreoni, University of California at San Diego, John Glier, Gretzenbach, Glier and Associates, and Abigail Marsh, Georgetown University. The Science of Philanthropy Initiative (SPI2019) and Advances with Field Experiments (AFE2019) conferences will convene sequentially this year, on September 11-12 and September 12-13, respectively, with Prof. James Andreoni presenting a shared keynote talk on September 12.

The conference is presented in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Hartsook Companies. SPI is an initiative started by John List, Michael Price and Anya Samek in 2012 to encourage experimental (field and lab) research on charitable giving. In addition to providing an avenue for research discussions, another aim of the conference is to bring together researchers studying charitable giving with practitioners in the field of philanthropy. This year's organizers are Luigi Butera, Copenhagen Business School; Christopher Clapp, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics at the University of Chicago; Sara Konrath, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; John List, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics at the University of Chicago; Amir Pasic, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; Rich Steinberg, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; and Mark Wilhelm, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Interested in presenting your research at SPI2019? Please complete and submit the SPI 2019 Presenter Application Form online by June 30, 2019. Learn more at https://economics.uchicago.edu/content/spi-conference-2019

Advances with Field Experiments 2019 Conference Returns to UChicago

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The Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics is pleased to announce the Advances with Field Experiments (AFE2019) conference will return to the University of Chicago on September 12-13. This year's featured keynote speakers are James Andreoni, University of California at San Diego, Nava Ashraf, London School of Economics, and Michael Price, University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Business. AFE2019 is organized by John List, Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, University of Chicago, and Robert Metcalfe, Boston University Questrom School of Business.

The Advances with Field Experiments 2019 conference will gather a group of academics to present the best and most innovative new work using field experiments to address economic questions. Previous Advances with Field Experiments conferences convened in 2011, 2016, 2017, and 2018. All types of field experiments, including natural, framed, and artefactual field experiments, are encouraged. In particular, we strongly encourage Ph.D. students to participate.

Interested in presenting your research at AFE2019? Please complete and submit the AFE 2019 Presenter Application Form online by June 30, 2019. Learn more at https://economics.uchicago.edu/content/advances-field-experiments-2019

JPE Awards 2019 Lucas Prize

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The Journal of Political Economy has announced the winners of this year's Robert E. Lucas Jr. Prize: Klaus Desmet, Dávid Krisztián Nagy, and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, for their paper "The Geography of Development" (Journal of Political Economy 126 [3]: 903‒83). Most economic geography models (including classic urban models) treat dynamics by comparing steady states of the model. Yet, transition dynamics are important to analyze the regional consequences of the decline in the rust belt in the United States, the rise of China as a global power, or the impact of climate change. If mobility is costly, the spatial adjustment in response to a given shock may occur slowly and amenities need to be built over time, with important ramifications for welfare calculations.

The paper provides some of the first applied theory research to make progress on modeling transition dynamics in spatial sorting models, and incorporates two components to spatial sorting dynamics: endogenous local productivity growth and sluggish mobility. It also makes a methodological contribution by finding a tractable way to incorporate mobility frictions into spatial sorting models.

The Lucas Prize is awarded biannually for the most interesting paper in the area of Dynamic Economics published in the Journal of Political Economy in the preceding two years. The prize was established in 2016 on the occasion of the celebration of Lucas’s seminal contributions to economics and his Phoenix Prize award.

Heckman Study: Education, Nutrition Improve Language Skills for Children in Rural China

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We found a very substantive impact on their language development, even among fairly young children...These are aspects that we know are important to a child’s long-term trajectory. Early spoken language is a precursor and predictor of later life development.

A groundbreaking study by University of Chicago scholars could have a profound impact on the lives and futures of children in poverty-stricken communities of rural China. Prof. James Heckman, a pioneering economist and Nobel laureate, led an innovative early childhood trial that evaluated the long-term impact of providing nutritional support and psychosocial stimulation to at-risk children in China—tens of millions of whom are left alone in their rural communities when their parents travel to urban areas for work.

As part of the Rural Education and Child Health project (ChinaREACH), Heckman and fellow UChicago scholars worked with the China Development Research Foundation to collect data on child health, development and home environment. They found children who received both nutritional and educational interventions showed significant advances in language skills, as well as social and emotional development. “We found a very substantive impact on their language development, even among fairly young children,” said Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College, whose groundbreaking work on the benefits of early childhood education has helped shaped the field.

Learn more about the ChinaREACH Project and Prof. James Heckman's research work at cehd.uchicago.edu.

Torgovitsky Awarded NSF CAREER Grant

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The Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics is pleased to announce that Alexander Torgovitsky has been awarded 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." Torgovitsky, whose recent work has focused on developing new methodologies for estimating demand and identification of causal effects, will be Principal Investigator on the grant entitled, “CAREER – Identification as Optimization.” The goal of the proposed research is to widen the choice of available methodology in a way that gives researchers more flexibility in exploring the assumptions-conclusions frontier. Torgovitsky joined the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics faculty in 2017. (Photo courtesy Alex Torgovitsky)

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