News & Announcements

Trump appealed to less internet-connected Republicans than past candidates, Shapiro and others find

August 6, 2018

An article published in the journal PLOS-ONE on July 18 is drawing media attention. In the article, Brown's Jesse Shapiro and Stanford University co-authors Levi Boxell and Matthew Gentzkow, present an analysis of voters in the 2016 presidential election in which they develop several lines of evidence that the internet may have been less important in driving voters to cast ballots for Donald Trump than many have suggested. Specifically, they find that the proportion of internet users who are Trump voters was lower than had been the case for previous Republican candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain, and that Trump's appeal was as great or greater among those least connected to online information sources.  Writer Will Oremus's discussion of the article in the July 24 issue of Slate magazine can be found here.

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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