Institute to celebrate Heckman’s contributions to economics at weekend conference

Leading economists from around the world will gather for a conference on campus Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 to celebrate the contributions of economist James Heckman. The conference, titled “Bridging the Gap Between Economic Theory and Economic Practice,” is being organized by the Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.

Sessions will be held from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 5, and from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 6 in Room C25 in the Charles M. Harper Center at Chicago Booth. Registration and additional information are available at institute’s website.

Heckman is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. His research integrates econometrics, economic theory and policy analysis.

“This conference celebrates his lasting and ongoing contributions by bringing together Jim and many of his former students and collaborators who have been influenced by his work,” said Lars Hansen, the David Rockefeller Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and Director of the Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics. “The presentations span substantive and methodological research across the many subfields of economics and the social sciences more broadly in which he has pushed the frontier.”

Speakers and topics for Nov. 5 include Martin Ljunge, Assistant Professor, University of Copenhagen, who will present “Sick of the Welfare State? Adaptation in the Demand for Social Insurance”; Petra Todd, Alfred L. Cass Term Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, who will present “Aligning Learning Incentives: An Experiment in Mexican High Schools to Improve Mathematics Achievement”; Marcelo Dabós, a scholar at Universidad de Belgrano, Buenos Aires, will present “The Fading Link? A New Empirical Analysis of the Relationship Between Financial Development and Economic Growth”; and Pedro Carneiro, Reader (Associate Professor) at University College London, whose topic is yet to be announced.

Talks on Nov. 6 will include Robert Miller, Professor at Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, speaking on “Promotion, Turnover and Compensation in the Executive Market”; Salvador Navarro, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, on “Identification and Estimation of Time-Varying Treatment Effects: How the Timing of Grade Retention Affects Outcomes”; Christopher Flinn, Professor of Economics, New York University, on “An Estimable Model of Search with Schooling and Capital Investment”; and Hidehiko Ichimura, Professor of Economics, University of Tokyo, presenting “Estimation of Models with Incomplete Data by Combining Two Data Sets.” Tom MaCurdy, Professor of Economics, Stanford University, and Ricardo Barros, Instituto de Pesquisa Economica Aplicada, Brasília, Brazil, also will make presentations.

Heckman will close the conference with his talk on “Generalized Roy Model and the Cost-Benefit Analysis of Social Programs,” as well as concluding remarks.

—William Harms