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Chris Udry's Working Paper, "The Fading Treatment Effects of a Multi-Faceted Asset-Transfer Program in Ethiopia"

June 14, 2023 – from Northwestern University
The researchers study the long-run effects of a big-push “graduation” program in Ethiopia in which very poor households received a one-time transfer of productive assets (mainly livestock), technical training, and access to savings accounts. After seven years, treatment effects on wealth and consumption remain economically meaningful but dissipated relative to the two- and three-year results. Treatment effects on other outcomes attenuated further. Based on absolute wellbeing (e.g., food security) not dropping, the authors argue that the treatment effect dissipation is driven primarily by improved living standards for control households, rather than losses of the previously accrued benefits for the treatment households.

Silvia Vannutelli Featured in UChicago's Not Another Politics Podcast

June 7, 2023 – from University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy
We’ve become deeply familiar with stimulus checks in the last few years, but what isn’t clear is what affect these transfers may have on elections. Could stimulus checks be enough for citizens to change their votes to the party handing out the money and if so, is this a way for politicians to buy votes?Northwestern Professor of economics Silvia Vannutelli explores these questions in a paper titled “The Political Economy of Stimulus Transfers”. She looks at stimulus payments in Italy in 2014 and uncovers some surprising findings. Not only did these transfers appear to “purchase” some votes, but the effect seem to persist into the future.


Silvia Vannutelli's Working Paper, "Government Audits"

May 3, 2023 – from Northwestern University
Audits are a common mechanism used by governments to monitor public spending. In this paper, the researchers discuss the effectiveness of auditing with theory and empirics. In their model, the value of audits depends on both the underlying presence of abuse and the government’s ability to observe it and enforce punishments, making auditing most effective in middling state-capacity environments. Consistent with this theory, they survey all the existing credibly causal studies and show that government audits seem to have positive effects mostly in middle-state-capacity environments like Brazil. The authors present new empirical evidence from American city governments, a high-capacity and low-impropriety environment. Using a previously unexplored threshold in federal audit rules and a dynamic regression discontinuity framework, they estimate the effects of these audits on American city fina


Undergraduate student Jessica Bradford selected for Expanding Diversity in Economics Summer Institute 2023

April 20, 2023 – from University of Chicago Becker Friedman Institute
The EDE program was launched by BFI in 2021 and aims to increase diversity in economics through finding and supporting outstanding undergraduates who are interested in the field. Through the EDE Summer Institute, BFI and the Hutchins Center are dedicated to fostering a new generation of academics and professionals who draw on the tools of economics to offer new perspectives and research ideas, and eventually make a positive impact in the world. It recognizes the necessity of diversifying the study of economics and expanding the range of voices in the field.

Northwestern Team Wins First Place in UChicago Econometrics Game

April 2, 2023 – from University of Chicago Econometrics Game
The Econometrics Game, held annually by the University of Chicago, is a fast-paced competition where teams of one to four undergraduate students from universities across the US and internationally are given 13 hours with a dataset to devise and answer a question of economic importance. Northwestern's team, including Erica Ewing Zhou, Naoki Ito, Aren Soner Yalcin, and Natan Tesfahun, tied with Harvard to place first with their paper "Impacts of Pandemic Instruction Mode on High School Education Outcome: Evidence from Illinois."



Benjamin Golub and Piotr Dworczak Tenured

February 9, 2023 – from Northwestern University
Northwestern honored 92 faculty members who earned tenure in 2020, 2021 and 2022 during a Feb. 6 ceremony in Evanston.





Seven Department of Economics Faculty named to the 2021-2022 Associated Student Government Faculty & Administrator Honor Roll

October 31, 2022 – from Associated Student Government
Every year, the Associated Student Government (ASG)asks the undergraduate student body to nominate faculty and administrators they believe have made an exceptional impact on their academic journey at Northwestern University. This year, Economics Department's Eric Schulz, James Hornsten, Mark Witte, Maxim Sinitsyn, Richard Walker, Sara Hernández-Saborit, and Sidonia McKenzie are recognized for their impact.

Four Faculty Members Tenured and Promoted

October 21, 2022 – from Northwestern University
Congratulations to Piotr Dworczak and Benjamin Golub for their tenureship, and Lori Beaman and Mar Reguant for their promotions to full professor.

Ian Savage Guests on the Infrastructure Show Podcast about Railroad and Vehicle Conflict

October 1, 2022 – from The Infrastructure Show
Railroads and motor vehicles can come into conflict at level, or at-grade crossings. Such conflicts almost always lead to deadly consequences. In this podcast we consider the trend in rail grade crossing crashes, and the differences that crossing control devices, education, and other policies might make toward mitigating this risk.