News & Announcements

Benjamin Nadareski of R3 delivers Bernard I. Fain Lecture on Distributed Ledger Technology and the Foundations of Finance

March 29, 2018

On Friday April 6, the Department of Economics presented the Bernard I. Fain Lecture, delivered this year by Benjamin Nadareski. Nadareski is a member of the Global Business Development team of, an enterprise software firm working with over 100 banks, financial institutions, regulators, trade associations, professional services firms and technology companies to develop a distributed ledger platform designed specifically for financial services. His talk was titled "Distributed Ledger Technology and Blockchain: Redefining the Foundations of Finance." The Fain Lecture honors the memory of Bernard I. Fain, a member of the Brown University class of 1952. A video of the talk can be found here.

Matthew Turner’s “iron law of traffic jams” cited by The Economist

January 30, 2018

In an article titled Why driverless cars may mean traffic jams tomorrow, The Economist (January 20, 2018) cites research by Brown's Matthew Turner and co-author Gilles Duranton of the University of Pennsylvania as identifying a "fundamental law of road congestion," to wit: building more highways attracts more driving and drivers, thus failing to alleviate congestion. "The technology of driverless cars may make us safer and more productive, but not necessarily less traffic-bound", states The Economist.

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."

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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.

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