Third Annual Cato Papers on Public Policy Conference

June 6, 2013 1:15 PM to 6:00 PM EDT June 7, 2013 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring: Jeffrey Miron, Harvard University and Cato Institute; Paul Willen, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Ross Levine, University of California, Berkeley; Yona Rubinstein, London School of Economics; James Hamilton, University of California, San Diego; Giovanni Peri, University of California, Davis; and Chad Sparber, Colgate University.

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Conference Schedule ǀ Registration

The Cato Papers on Public Policy is a volume of innovative articles by recognized national experts on contemporary economic and public policy issues–with a particular focus on critically evaluating the limits of government policies. In conjunction with the volume’s creation, which will be published in November, the papers are initially presented and discussed at a public conference by the authors, a distinguished group of discussants, invited academics from around the country, local economists from government and think tanks, and members of the public. The topics that will be discussed at this year’s Conference include:

  • Evaluating the “crisis consensus,” a slate of policies designed to prevent foreclosures and the accompanying losses to investors and homeowners.
  • Analyzing how a more competitive U.S. financial system influences the economic opportunities of families and the decisions regarding the education of children.
  • Examining the growth of federal liabilities, which are often not included in popularly reported numbers when assessing the gross federal U.S. debt.
  • The effect of the aggregate increase in federal H1B visas on job creation and productivity at the local level.

Conference Schedule

Thursday, June 6
1:15 – 1:30 PM Introduction and Welcome

Jeffrey Miron, Harvard University and Cato Institute

1:30 – 3:00 PM Off‐​Balance Sheet Federal Liabilities

James D. Hamilton, University of California, San Diego

James D. Hamilton received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a professor at the University of California, San Diego since 1992 and served as Chair of the Economics Department from 1999 to 2002. He is the author of Time Series Analysis, the leading text on forecasting and statistical analysis of dynamic economic relationships. He has done extensive research on business cycles, monetary policy, and oil shocks, and has frequently been a research adviser and visiting scholar with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve as well as individual Federal Reserve banks. 

Phil Swagel
, University of Maryland
Douglas Holtz‐​Eakin, American Action Forum.

3:00 – 3:30 PM Break

3:30 – 5:00 PM Finance and Economic Opportunity

Ross Levine, University of California, Berkeley
Yona Rubinstein, London School of Economics

Ross Levine currently holds the Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance at the University of California at Berkeley. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Milken Institute and an advisor to the World Economic Forum. He received his B.A. in economics from Cornell University in 1982, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He completed his Ph.D. at UCLA in 1987. Upon completion of his doctorate, he began work as an economist for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. From 1990 to 1997, he was a principal economist at The World Bank. He became an associate professor at the University of Virginia in 1997 and was granted tenure two years later. From 1999 to 2005, he was the Curtis L. Carlson Professor of Finance at the University of Minnesota. In 2005, he was hired by the Department of Economics at Brown University, where he taught an undergraduate course on financial institutions and an advanced seminar on financial regulation. In February 2010, he debated the merits of financial innovation with Joseph Stiglitz, the 2001 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, in an online series for The Economist. He was hired by Berkeley in 2012 but remains an advisor to the United States Treasury, Federal Reserve System, and the International Monetary Fund.

Yoni Rubenstein is an Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Brown University. She is as well a Research Fellow, IZA — Institute for the Study of Labor and a Research Affiliate, Center for Economic Policy Research. She received her M.A. in Economics (cum laude) and Ph.D. in Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Raquel Fernandez
, New York University
Erica Field, Duke University

5:00 – 6:00 PM Wine and Cheese Reception

Friday, June 7
8:00 – 8:30 AM Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 AM Evaluating Policies to Prevent Another Foreclosure Crisis: An Economist’s View

Paul Willen, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Paul Willen is a senior economist and policy advisor in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. His research focuses on household financial management; recently he has spent much of his time studying mortgage markets. His research appears in the Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Theory, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Urban Economics, the NBER Macro Annual, the Brookings papers on Economic Activity, and elsewhere. Willen’s research on the origins of the subprime crisis has appeared in scholarly journals and has been cited in virtually every major newspaper in the United States. Prior to joining the Boston Fed in 2004, he was on the faculty at Princeton and the University of Chicago. He has also been a visiting member of the faculty at MIT in each of the last three years. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University.

Parag Pathak
Neng Wang, Columbia University

10:00 – 10:30 AM Break

10:30 – 12:00 PM The H1B Effect on Local Jobs and Productivity

Giovanni Peri, University of California, Davis
Chad Sparber, Colgate University

Giovanni Peri is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Davis and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also a CESifo Research Fellow. He is Associate Editor of Regional Science and Urban Economics, the Journal of Urban Economics and of the Journal of Population Economics. He has published in several academic journals including the Review of Economic Studies, The Review of Economics and Statistics, the European Economic Review and the Journal of International Economics. He has done research on Human Capital, Growth and technological Innovation. More recently he has focused on the impact of international migrations on labor markets, housing markets and productivity of the receiving countries and on the determinants of international migrations. In the summer 2007 he received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Grant for the Study of International Migration and its impact in the US. In 2009 he has received a World Bank Grant for the study of return migration in Europe. Peri obtained his Ph.D. in Economics at U.C. Berkeley. He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in May 2011.

Chad Sparber is an Associate Professor of Economics at Colgate University. His research agenda has focused upon the skills and composition of the American workforce, with an emphasis on the effects of racial diversity and the causes and consequences of immigration. Though his initial work adopted a macroeconomic perspective, he as increasingly borrowed insights and tools from labor economics, urban economics, international trade, and public economics. He eared his PhD and MA from the University of California‐​Davis.

Danny Shoag
, Harvard University
Jeff Smith, University of Michigan.