News & Announcements

Is media driving Americans apart?

December 7, 2017

In an Op Ed at the New York Times on Dec. 6, economics professor Jesse Shapiro, with co-authors Levi Boxell and Matthew Gentzkow, discuss the role of social media in the increasing polarization of American voters. They point out that the role of social media can be exaggerated, since it is still not the main news source for more than a relatively small slice of the U.S. population, and polarized views are also stoked by competing television stations and other sources. Moreover, the media don't operate independently of larger forces. They conclude by stating "the factors that likely matter the most are those that have caused the real experiences of Americans to diverge."

Photo credit: iStock.com/MaryLB

Jesse Shapiro Elected Fellow of the Econometric Society

November 27, 2017

Professor Jesse Shapiro, George S. and Nancy B. Parker Professor of Economics, has been named a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a professional organization founded in 1930 to promote theoretical and quantitative approaches "penetrated by constructive and rigorous thinking similar to that which has come to dominate in natural sciences." Fellows represent the highest authority of the Society, electing its officers, council, and new fellows in annual elections conducted in the autumn. Only five other members of Brown's currently serving faculty enjoy the distinction of election to Fellow of the Econometric Society. Shapiro earned his Ph.D. at Harvard in 2005 and taught at the University of Chicago, including at its Booth School of Business, until joining Brown's Department of Economics in 2014. He is well known for his research on the economics of the media and other topics, and was until recently an editor of the Journal of Political Economy, one of the top general interest journals of the economics profession.

2014 Nobel prize-winning economist Jean Tirole gives 2017 Garonzik Lecture

October 20, 2017

In awarding him the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2014, the Nobel committee called economist Jean Tirole of Toulouse University “one of the most influential economists of our time” and cited especially his work on the regulation of industries dominated by one or a few large firms. Tirole delivered this year’s Garonzik Lecture at Brown on Oct. 27. The event took the form of a conversation with Tirole regarding his new book, Economics for the Common Good, with Brown’s Merton P. Stoltz Professor of Economics, Glenn Loury. Topics included climate change, unemployment, financial regulation, the moral limits of markets, digitization, and why most people don’t like economics.

This year’s Nobel Prize in economics boosts “behavioral economics,” a field well represented at Brown

October 12, 2017

When the Nobel committee announced the awarding of this year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences earlier this week to the University of Chicago’s Richard Thaler, it was also recognizing the growing importance of behavioral economics, a field that’s gained considerable strength in Brown’s Economics Department during the past few years. Indeed, the Nobel committee’s background document cites papers by three members of our department, Professors Justine Hastings and Jesse Shapiro and Associate Professor John Friedman, as evidence of the influence that Thaler and behavioral economics have had. Brown also has faculty in the areas of economic theory and experimental economics whose research and teaching include behavioral approaches, with courses on behavioral or behavioral and experimental economics offered at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. Professor Geoffroy DeClippel’s Economics 1820 (Behavioral Economics) course has 86 undergraduate students enrolled this semester. The Nobel committee’s recognition of behavioral economics finds Brown well positioned to be part of this intellectually exciting trend.

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