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Article by Professor Perron Passes 10,000 Cite Mark

By Gillian Gurish
November 12th, 2014 in Departmental News.

Pierre Perron’s most-cited article, “Testing for a unit root in time series regression,” has now crossed the 10,000 cite mark. Published in 1988 in Biometrika, the paper, from Professor Perron’s thesis, now has 10,012 cites and is the third most cited paper in the history of Biometrika.

Overall, Professor Perron has a remarkable 38,074 cites with nine papers with over 1000 cites each (and a tenth at 992!). Check out his impressive record here on Google Scholar.

Professor Christophe Chamley Named Economic Theory Fellow by SAET

By Gillian Gurish
September 25th, 2014 in Departmental News.

Professor Christophe Chamley has been named as an Economic Theory Fellow by the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory.  The Society’s stated purpose is to “advance knowledge in theoretical economics and to facilitate communication among researchers.”  The Society’s other Fellows include 24 Nobel Prize winners, including Kenneth Arrow, Edward Prescott, Robert Lucas, Alvin Roth, and Amartya Sen.

Learn more about the SAET at their website:

Professor Robert Margo elected President of EHA

By Gillian Gurish
September 15th, 2014 in Departmental News.

Professor Robert Margo has been elected President of the Economic History Association.   He was elected at the annual meeting September 12-14, 2014, in Columbus, OH.

The Economic History Association, established in 1940, is the leading association on this subject and publishes The Journal of Economic History, the top field journal for economic history which is published by Cambridge University Press.  Professor Margo will be giving the annual Presidential Address at their September 2015 annual meeting.

Economics Faculty Openings for Fall 2015

By Gillian Gurish
September 15th, 2014 in Departmental News.

The BU Department of Economics is hiring for three junior faculty and two senior faculty positions for Fall 2015. Please visit the Faculty Openings page for further information.

BU Professor Margo to give public lecture in November: “Obama, Katrina, and the Persistence of Racial Inequality”

By Gillian Gurish
August 13th, 2014 in Departmental News.

Professor Robert Margo will give a public lecture November 13 entitled “Obama, Katrina, and the Persistence of Racial Inequality” as part of a series sponsored by the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University.  The series, entitled “Economic Racism in Perspective: Past and Present in the US and Germany,” includes three public lectures and a conference bringing together 25 scholars from around the world.

Margo’s lecture is at 7 pm, November 13, at the Florence and Chafetz Hillel House at Boston University, 213 Bay State Road.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

See the full lecture series schedule here.

BU Economics PhD Student Elisabeth Perlman awarded Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation

By Courtney Sullivan
August 5th, 2014 in Departmental News, Graduate Programs News, PhD Student Achievements.

BU Economics PhD Student Elisabeth Perlman was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. The grant was awarded to support her work on the paper “Dense Enough To Be Brilliant: Patents, Urbanization, and Transportation in Nineteenth Century America”, part of her dissertation titled “Three Papers on the Expansion of Information and Transportation Networks in Nineteenth Century America”.

Additional information about the National Science Foundation’s Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship Program is available at

BU Economics PhD student William Johnson appointed 2014-15 Growth Lab Fellow

By Courtney Sullivan
July 21st, 2014 in Departmental News, Graduate Programs News, PhD Student Achievements.

PhD student William Johnson has been invited to join Harvard University’s Center for International Development as a Growth Lab Fellow for the 2014-15 academic year. This appointment is intended to encourage collaboration between Johnson, other Growth Lab Fellows, and the staff of the Center for International Development.

BU Economics PhD student Matthew Johnson awarded Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy grant

By Courtney Sullivan
July 21st, 2014 in Departmental News, Graduate Programs News, PhD Student Achievements.

PhD student Matthew Johnson received a grant from the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, a Washington, DC, based think tank. The grant is together with Michael Toffel at the Harvard Business School and David Levine at the University of California, Berkeley. Their project is to develop a low cost randomized control trial to provide a clearer understanding of the impact of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and inspections. As a by-product, they will identify the types of workplaces where OSHA inspections are more or less effective and generate other insights to improve the targeting of OSHA efforts in the future.

The grant was awarded as part of a nation-wide competition for research on randomized control trials. Johnson’s proposal was one of three funded by the Coalition. The competition and Johnson’s project were discussed in an article in the New York Times July 15, 2014, and on the White House Office of Science and Technology blog July 9, 2014.

IED’s Rosenstein-Rodan Prize awarded to Mirko Fillbrunn, Anusha Nath, and Nate Young

By Courtney Sullivan
July 10th, 2014 in Graduate Programs News, Institute for Economic Development, PhD Student Achievements.

The Institute for Economic Development awards the Rosenstein-Rodan Prize for the best original research on development economics or a related discipline among PhD students. This year there was an extraordinarily large number of high quality submissions, making the problem of selection particularly difficult. The papers were read and evaluated by a committee of six IED faculty affiliates comprising Kenny Ajayi, Sam Bazzi, John Harris, Bob Lucas, Dilip Mookherjee, and Andy Newman.

The 2014 Rosenstein-Rodan prize will be shared by three students:

Mirko Fillbrunn: “Strategic Voting and Ballot-Order Effects”

Anusha Nath: “Political Competition and Elite Capture of Local Public Goods”

Nate Young: “The Effect of Formal Banking on Real Economic Outcomes: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Analysis in India”

Mirko’s paper studies the phenomenon of ballot-order effects where the order in which candidates appear on the ballot matters for election outcomes. He develops a number of alternative theories for explaining this, and uses data from local California elections to discriminate between them empirically.

Anusha’s paper studies the allocation of spending across different local public goods by Members of Parliament in India out of a discretionary fund they control. She provides evidence that local elites exert disproportionate influence on these allocations, which is moderated by political competition.

Nate’s paper studies the effect of a banking regulatory reform in India implemented in 2006-7. He uses evidence to show that the reform had a significant impact on spatial allocation of branches by commercial banks, on deposits and loans, with consequent impacts on agricultural productivity and industrial investment.

MA Students Admitted to Top PhD Programs

By Courtney Sullivan
May 16th, 2014 in Graduate Programs News, MA Student Achievements.

Boston University MA graduates often go on to top PhD programs, but this year’s PhD placements are particularly remarkable.  Numerous students had difficult but enviable choices to make from multiple admission offers before settling on their final destinations.  Among the PhD programs our students will be joining next year are University of Chicago, New York University, University of Wisconsin, University of California at Los Angeles, Georgetown University, McGill University, the University of California at Davis, Purdue University, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, the School of Public Health at Harvard, and, of course, Boston University.