Sunday, September 27, 2020

H. O. Stekler Research Program on Forecasting

November 5, 2020, 12:30 pm - 2 pm ET (Virtual): Launch event for the H. O. Stekler Research Program on Forecasting at George Washington University. Panelists will include Neil Ericsson, Fred Joutz, Prakash Loungani, and Tara Sinclair. Please email to register (no cost) and receive a Zoom link to join the meeting online. 

60-Second Lecture

I hope you can join us...

60-Second Lectures | September 30, 2020

Watch on Twitter and Facebook (@pennsas)

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - Noon, Philadelphia time

Every spring and fall, Penn Arts & Sciences faculty take a minute to share their perspectives on a variety of topics. The theme for our talks this semester is “Social Institutions During Social Distancing.”

Social isolation, economic hardship, and questioning of our government and collective response to the pandemic has combined with reinvigorated demands for racial justice during these challenging times. These circumstances have led many of us to think more deeply about the glue that holds us together as a society. In this series we’ve asked faculty to share their observations on our social institutions, the role they play, and whether they’re working.

Faculty Speaker:
Entering the Pandemic: The Joint Progression of COVID-19 and Economic Growth in the U.S.
Francis Diebold, Paul F. and Warren Shafer Miller Professor Social Sciences and Professor of Economics, Finance, and Statistics

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

New Econometric Society Fellows

What a wonderful new crop for 2020.  Special congratulations to my Penn colleagues Dirk Krueger and Jesús Fernández-Villaverde!

September 22,

The Society is pleased to announce the election of 46 new Fellows of the Econometric Society.

Manuel Amador, University of Minnesota
Isaiah Andrews, Harvard University
Raouf Boucekkine, Aix-Marseille Université
Moshe Buchinsky, University of California, Los Angeles
Aureo de Paula, University College London
Melissa Dell, Harvard University
Peter DeMarzo, Stanford University
Habiba Djebbari, Aix-Marseille Université
Matthias Doepke, Northwestern University
Federico Echenique, California Institute of Technology
Chris Edmond, University of Melbourne
Joan María Esteban, Barcelona GSE
Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, University of Pennsylvania
Christopher J. Flinn, New York University
Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, Goethe University Frankfurt
Alfred Galichon, New York University Paris
Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, University of California, Berkeley
Kaddour Hadri, Queen’s University Belfast
Marina Halac, Yale University
Charles I. Jones, Stanford University
Emir Kamenica, University of Chicago
Greg Kaplan, University of Chicago
Maxwell King, Monash University
Dirk Krueger, University of Pennsylvania
Gilat Levy, London School of Economics
Francesca Molinari, Cornell University
Massimo Morelli, Bocconi University
Jessica Pan, National University of Singapore
Alessandro Pavan, Northwestern University
Thomas Philippon, New York University
John K.H. Quah, Johns Hopkins University and National University of Singapore
Imran Rasul, University College London
Stephen J. Redding, Princeton University
Ernesto Schargrodsky, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
Martin Schneider, Stanford University
Carl Shapiro, University of California, Berkeley
Margaret Slade, University of British Columbia
Rodrigo Soares, Columbia University
Chad Syverson, University of Chicago
Adam Szeidl, Central European University
Steve Tadelis, University of California, Berkeley
Satoru Takahashi, National University of Singapore
Fernando Vega-Redondo, Bocconi University
Heidi Williams, Stanford University
Steven R. Williams, University of Melbourne
Muhamet Yildiz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Society is grateful for the work of its 2020 Fellows Nominating Committee (Liran Einav (Chair), Daron Acemoglu, Martin Cripps, Gabrielle Demange, Ignacio Lobato, Rosa Matzkin, and Hélène Rey) and for all the nominations initiated by its members.


Friday, September 18, 2020

Climate Week at Penn

Check out Climate Week at Penn. My part is the Energy Economics and Finance seminar in the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, Wednesday 9/23, on Arctic Sea Ice. The direct link is here. Delighted to be a part of both the seminar and Climate Week -- what a nice combination!

Friday, September 11, 2020

Lawrence R. Klein at 100

On Monday I'm speaking at Lawrence R. Klein's 100th birthday conference, generously hosted by the University of Costa Rica.  (Alas, only virtually via Zoom, and of course without Larry, who departed in 2013.)  My gratitude and admiration continue to grow.

Here's a lightly-edited update of some 2014 memorial remarks of mine:
I owe an immense debt of gratitude to Larry Klein, who helped guide, support, and inspire my career for more than three decades. Let me offer just a few vignettes.
Circa 1979 I was an undergraduate studying finance and economics at Penn's Wharton School, where I had my first economics job. I was as a research assistant at Larry's firm, Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates (WEFA). I didn't know Larry at the time; I got the job via a professor whose course I had taken, who was a friend of a friend of Larry's. I worked for a year or so, perhaps ten or fifteen hours per week, on regional electricity demand modeling and forecasting. Down the hall were the U.S. quarterly and annual modeling groups, where I eventually moved and spent another year. Lots of fascinating people roamed the maze of cubicles, from eccentric genius-at-large Mike McCarthy, to Larry and Sonia Klein themselves, widely revered within WEFA as god and goddess. During fall of 1980 I took Larry's graduate macro-econometrics course and got to know him. He won the Nobel Prize that semester, on a class day, resulting in a classroom filled with television cameras. What a heady mix!

I turned down other offers and stayed at Penn for graduate studies, moving in 1981 from Wharton to Arts and Sciences, home of the Department of Economics and Larry Klein. My  decision to stay at Penn, and to move to the Economics Department, was largely due to Larry's presence there. During the summer following my first year of the Ph.D. program, I worked on a variety of country models for Larry's Project LINK, under his supervision and that of another leading modeler in the Klein tradition, Peter Pauly.  It turned out that the LINK summer job pushed me over the annual salary cap for a graduate student -- $6000 or so 1982 dollars, if I remember correctly -- so Larry and Peter paid me the balance in kind, taking me to the Project LINK annual meeting in Wiesbaden, Germany. More excitement, and also my first trip abroad.

Both Larry and Peter helped supervise my 1986 Penn Ph.D. dissertation, on ARCH modeling of asset return volatility. I couldn't imagine a better trio of advisors: Marc Nerlove as main advisor, with committee members Larry and Peter (who introduced me to ARCH). I then took a job at the Federal Reserve Board, with the Special Studies Section led by Peter Tinsley, a pioneer in optimal control of macro-econometric models. Circa 1986 Larry had more Ph.D. students at the Board than anyone else, by a wide margin. Surely that helped me land the Special Studies job. Another Klein student, my good friend Glenn Rudebusch, also went from Penn to the Board that year, and we wound up co-authoring a dozen articles and two books over some  thirty-five years. 

I returned to Penn in 1989 as an assistant professor. Although I have no behind-the-scenes knowledge, it's hard to imagine that Larry's input didn't contribute to my invitation to return. Those early years were memorable for many things, including econometric socializing. During the 1990's my wife Susan and I had lots of parties at our home for faculty and students. The Kleins were often part of the group, as were Bob and Anita Summers, Herb and Helene Levine, Bobby and Julie Mariano, Jere Behrman and Barbara Ventresco, Jerry Adams, and many more. I recall a big party on one of Penn's annual Economics Days, which that year celebrated The Keynesian Revolution, Larry's landmark 1947 monograph.

The story continues, but I'll mention just one more thing. I was honored and humbled to deliver the Lawrence R. Klein Lecture at the 2005 Project LINK annual meeting in Mexico City, some 25 years after Larry invited a green 22-year-old to observe the 1982 meeting in Wiesbaden.

I have stressed guidance and support, but in closing let me not forget inspiration, which Larry also provided for three decades, in spades. He was the ultimate scholar, focused and steady, and the ultimate gentleman, always gracious, a gentle giant.
Thanks Larry. We look forward to working daily to honor and advance your legacy.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Really useful mini-book.  Thanks Jennifer and David.  Free until Sept 10.


Monday, August 31, 2020

More on: Ed George at 70 Looks Better than I Looked at 45

I may have jumped the gun.  I had assumed that the plan was to stay 2020 but going virtual.  Maybe not.  Maybe 2021 physical.  We'll see.  Keep checking the link.

Ed George at 70 Looks Better than I Looked at 45

Check him out:  So unfair.  Nevertheless I hope you will put my esteemed colleague's 70th birthday conference on your calendar and join the online festivities.  His contributions are diverse and powerful. In many respects his work defines modern applied Bayesian analysis, as well as the modern interface of statistics and machine learning. I am immensely grateful for his leadership in research, in seminars, at dinners, and much more.  His inspirational positivity runs through it all.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Big Data: Updated Historical Note and New BBC Podcast

Updated historical note, "On the Origin(s) and Development of "Big Data": The Phenomenon, the Term, and the Discipline", here.  BBC podcast here.

Behind the buzzwords

On High-Dimensional, Non-Linear, Non-Gaussian Continuous-Time Likelihood Evaluation

Tired of trying to beat the particle filter into submission?  Life has gotten a lot easier, at least for evaluating DSGE model likelihoods in continuous time.  See the concluding section of the new and insightful survey, "Estimating DSGE Models: Recent Advances and Future Challenges" by Fernández-Villaverde and Guerrón-Quintana, which echoes section 5.1 of  "Financial Frictions and the Wealth Distribution", by Fernández-Villaverde, Hurtado and Nuño (FVHN).  FVHN show how to take advantage of the mathematical structure of a continuous-time DSGE model to evaluate its associated likelihood with almost no computational effort.  In particular, solution of the Kolmogorov forward equation (the key to likelihood evaluation; see Lo (1987)) simply amounts to transposing and inverting a sparse matrix already computed when solving the model, which makes likelihood evaluation trivial and lightening-fast.