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News: Academic Year 2013-14

Northwestern advances to National Finals of the College Federal Reserve Challenge

On November 25 2013, a team of Northwestern undergraduates won the regional contest against 13 other universities to advance to the national finals of the College Federal Reserve Challenge. The competition involved two rounds, where each the team had to present a discussion of about the state of the economy and proposing Federal Reserve responses to it, and then taking questions from a panel of Federal Reserve economists. Northwestern’s team traveled to compete for the national championship at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, DC on December 2nd, 2013, where they received an honorable mention. The 2013 overall winner was Harvard University. The Northwestern team consisted of Nikhil Byanna, Yuxuan Chen, Jonathan Cohen, Kyle Isaacson and Ranjodh Singh, and was advised by Professor Mark Witte.

Aviv Nevo Elected Fellow of the Econometric Society

Professor Aviv Nevo has been elected as a Fellow of the Econometric Society. The Department now has 16 faculty members elected as Fellows of the Econometric Society, with a further five Fellows among the economists in the Kellogg School of Management. Professor Nevo is currently on leave from Northwestern as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economic Analysis at the United States Department of Justice, where he is the head of the group that provides economic analysis for all civil enforcement, regulatory proceeding, and competition advocacy matters.

Leon N. Moses 1924-2013

The Department is sad to announce the passing of Emeritus Professor Leon Moses. Professor Moses was a faculty member at Northwestern from 1959 to his retirement in 2005. He is remembered for the high standard of his teaching particularly in the undergraduate intermediate microeconomics course. He was also well known for his research in transportation and urban economics and regional science. Find out further details on his contributions to these fields.

Nemmers Prize Again a Predictor of Nobel Prize

Once again the Nemmers Prize proved to be a good predictor of the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics. Lars Peter Hansen, the 2006 holder of the Nemmers Prize, was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for 2013. The Nemmers Prize in Economics has been awarded by Northwestern University every two years since 1994 to recognize work of "lasting significance" by an economist who had yet to win a Nobel Prize. Six of the ten holders of the prize were subsequent winners of the Nobel Prize. The current holder, Daron Acemoglu, returns to visit Northwestern University in the Spring of 2014.

Distinguished Teaching Assistants Honored

The Department's Distinguished Teaching Assistant Awards for 2012-13 were presented in October 2013. The winners are John Farragut, Yana Gallen, Bridget Hoffmann, Alex James, Sebastian Kohls, Andreas Kropf, Christian Lund, Teddy Mekonnen, Sangyoon Park, Assaf Patir, Ricardo Pique Cebrecos, Juan Prada Sarmiento, Chris Romeo, Yi Sun, Thiago Teixeira Ferreira, and Ariell Zimran. These awards are given to the top third of our Teaching Assistants, based on student and faculty evaluations

Robert Eisner Memorial Fellowship

In October 2013, a fellowship in honor of our late colleague Robert Eisner was presented. For 2013-14 the Fellowship was awarded to Laura Doval. This fellowship is awarded annually to a graduate student who has distinguished him- or herself in both teaching and research. She received her award from Department Chair Igal Hendel (left).

Susan Bies Research Prizes

The annual Susan Schmidt Bies Prizes for Doctoral Student Research on Economics and Public Policy were awarded in October 2013. The awards are given to the best public policy papers presented as part of the Economics 501 Graduate Student seminar. The winners for 2012-13 were Arlene Chu (left) for a paper on how households lower the prices that they pay at grocery stores during downturns by increasing their coupon usage, sale purchasing, buying larger sizes and buying generic products; and Yana Gallen (right) for a paper on how workers anticipate unemployment by saving more than workers in the same firm who ultimately keep their jobs during a mass layoff. The prizes were generously donated by alumna Susan Schmidt Bies (PhD, 1972). Her professional career included serving on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Please Welcome Our New Faculty

In Fall 2013 we welcomed three new faculty members. Assistant Professor Treb Allen (pictured) specializes in international trade and development economics. Senior Lecturer Jeffrey Lewis is a labor economics and public finance economist. Most recently he was a faculty member at Cornell University. Recent NU PhD Scott Ogawa has joined the faculty as a lecturer. His research interests are in the economics of education and experimental economics.

Introducing our new Department Management

Professor Igal Hendel (pictured) is the new Department Chair for a three-year term starting September 1, 2013. Professor Wojciech Olszewski is now the Director of Graduate Studies.

Faculty honored for their teaching

The Associated Student Government’s Faculty Honor Roll for 2012-13 included Jim Hornsten, Eric Schulz, Mark Witte and Richard Walker for their work in the classroom, and Ronald Braeutigam in his administrative role.

Nemmers Prize winner returned in Spring 2014

Daron Acemoglu, the 2012 winner of the Nemmers Prize in Economics, returned to Northwestern for a second visit in May 2014. During his Spring 2013 visit, he delivered his Nemmers Prize lecture "State Building: A Political Economy Perspective." You can view a video of the lecture. Following the lecture was a two-day conference. You can read the papers from the conference here.

Stanley Reiter (1925-2014)

The Economics Department is sad to announce the passing of long time faculty member Stanley Reiter on August 9, 2014 at the age of 89. Professor Reiter had been a faculty member at Northwestern from 1967 to his retirement in 2007. You can read more about his life and work on his profile page.

Charles Manski elected Fellow of the British Academy

Charles Manski has been elected as a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. The British Academy is an independent national academy of Fellows elected for their eminence in research and publication. It is the UK's expert body that supports and speaks for the humanities and social sciences. The award announcement can be read at the British Academy's website.

Mokyr and Gordon debate economic progress

Joel Mokyr (right) and Robert Gordon (far right) offered opposing views in the future of economic progress in the June 15, 2014 edition of the Wall Street Journal.

Joel Horowitz awarded Honorary Degree

Joel Horowitz was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Humboldt University of Berlin in June 2014. The degree citation indicated "the excellent quality of his publications and the interdisciplinary nature of his scientific philosophy and research. He is one of the very best scientists in his field, both in his home country and internationally. This is evident through his first-rate list of publications which have appeared in high-ranking internationally recognized journals."

Martin Gaynor receives Alumni Award

Martin Gaynor (PhD, 1983) received a Northwestern Alumni Association Award in April 2014. These annual awards recognize "those whose accomplishments have reflected positively not only on their own abilities, but also on Northwestern University." Professor Gaynor is a professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and is on assignment to the U.S. government as Director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission. He is also one of the founders of the Health Care Cost Institute, an independent nonprofit dedicated to advancing public knowledge about US health care utilization and spending, and served as the first chair of its governing board. Click here for more information.

Departmental Awards for Graduating Undergraduate Seniors

In June 2014 the Department of Economics awarded prizes at a graduation day luncheon to honor our outstanding undergraduate seniors.

Frederick S. Deibler Awards for Excellence in Economics Classes

Frederick S. Diebler Awards for Superior Honors Theses

Robert Eisner Award for Excellence in Economic Research

Nemmers Prize Winner Returned to Campus

Daron Acemoglu the 2012 winner of the Nemmers Prize in Economics, returned to Northwestern for the second of his two visits in May 2014. During his visit he gave a short course on "Political Economy, Institutions and Development." More information can be found here.

Jean Tirole is 2014 Recipient of Nemmers Prize

Northwestern University is pleased to announce the awarding of the 2014 Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics to Jean Tirole, chairman of the Foundation Jean-Jacques Laffont / Toulouse School of Economics and scientific director of the Institute for Industrial Economics, University of Toulouse Capitole in France. The award was made “based on his various contributions to economic theory and its application to finance, industrial organization and behavioral economics." The biennial honor is bestowed on an outstanding economist who has yet to win the Nobel Prize. Professor Tirole will visit Northwestern next year, give a public lecture and participate in a conference on his work. The formal announcement can be read here. The winner of the 2012 Nemmers Prize Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will be making his second visit to campus in May 2014.

Christina Romer Presents Bies Lecture

Christina Romer, who served from January 2009 until September 2010 as Chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, presented the Susan Bies Lecture on Economics and Public Policy on Monday April 7. She is a faculty member at the University of California at Berkeley. Her talk was titled: "The Aftermath of Financial Crises: It Doesn't Have to be Terrible." A video of the talk can be viewed on-line.

Dale Mortensen 1939-2014

The Department of Economics is sad to announce the passing of longtime faculty member and Nobel Laureate Dale Mortensen on January 9, 2014. Professor Mortensen joined the Department in 1965. A memorial service was held in the Alice Millar Chapel on the Evanston Campus on Friday, January 31st. For more information on Professor Mortensen including links to his work, the Nobel Prize, obituaries and the memorial service, see: