2014-15 Economics Department Newsletter, Vol. 24
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Economics Department Newsletter

April 22, 2015
In This Edition:
  • Seminars
  • ECON Preregistration Advising Hours
  • Employment Opportunities

Thursday, April 23;  4:00pm, Griffin 6
CDE Seminar:  “Understanding and improving the efficiency of aid-funded AIDS treatment” by Mead Over, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development

Pertinent Reading:
The Cost and Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Strategies to Expand Treatment to HIV-Positive South Africans:  Scale Economies and Outreach Costs

About the speaker:  Mead Over holds the positions of Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, Research Professor, Public Policy, College of William and Mary researching economics of efficient, effective, and cost-effective health interventions in developing countries. After serving in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso (1967-69), he completed a PhD in economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and then taught at Williams College (Assistant Professor) and at Boston University (Associate Professor), before joining the World Bank in 1986.  For 20 years at the World Bank and since 2006 at the CGD, most of his work is on the economics of the AIDS epidemic. After work on the economic impact of the AIDS epidemic and on cost-effective interventions, he co-authored the Bank’s first comprehensive treatment of the economics of AIDS in the book, Confronting AIDS: Public Priorities for a Global Epidemic (1997,1999). His most recent book is Achieving an AIDS Transition: Preventing Infections to Sustain Treatment (2011) in which he offers options, for donors, recipients, activists and other participants in the fight against HIV, to reverse the trend in the epidemic through smarter use of HIV-prevention incentives at all levels. His previous publications include The Economics of Effective AIDS Treatment: Evaluating Policy Options for Thailand (2006). Other papers explore the importance of cost functions for projecting the cost of scaling up interventions and the economics of preventing and of treating malaria and the economic impact of the AIDS and Ebola epidemics. In addition to ongoing work on the determinants of adherence to AIDS treatment in poor countries, he is working on the measurement and explanation of the efficiency of health service delivery in poor countries and on optimal contracting for health service delivery when costs are imperfectly known. 
Mead Over served from 2011-2014 on the first Scientific Advisory Board of the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and currently serves on the Steering Committee of the HIV/AIDS Modeling Consortium funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Monday, April 27;  4:00pm, Griffin 6
Economics Department Seminar:  Growth, Welfare, and Inequality under Basic Income/Flat Tax by Alexis Toda, University of California, San Diego

From the abstract:  "This paper studies the effect of an unconditional cash transfer financed by a flat-rate consumption tax on economic growth, welfare, and inequality. The model economy is populated by a continuum of agents (entrepreneurs) who invest capital in projects that are subject to aggregate and idiosyncratic investment risks. Agents choose the portfolio of projects and effort. By redistributing the tax revenue as a lump sum transfer (basic income) to all agents, the government effectively increases the asset span and allows better risk sharing and the reallocation of capital to high return entrepreneurial activities. The optimal tax policy balances the trade-off between risk sharing and moral hazard, and we show through numerical examples that a moderate basic income/flat tax can achieve both higher growth and welfare. We also characterize the stationary wealth distribution in closed-form, which is double Pareto."


Tuesday, April 28;  4:00pm, Griffin 6
Economics Department SeminarEarly Childhood Education by MOOC: Lessons from Sesame Street by Phillip Levine, Wellesley College

ECON Preregistration Advising Hours:

Please refer to the following schedule or listing on the Registrar's site to determine faculty availability for preregistration advising next week (Monday, April 27 - Thursday, April 30).  More information can also be found on the Office of the Registrar's main preregistration page.
Employment Opportunities:

Research Assistant - Washington Center for Equitable Growth
Washington Center for Equitable Growth is a research and grantmaking organization with an immediate opening for a Research Assistant.  This person will conduct research on economic inequality and growth, specifically helping with and conducting data analysis on the U.S. labor market and economic policy. Research topics will include analysis of policies that affect family economic security, work-family conflict, employment and income, and the relationship between income inequality and economic growth.  Students graduating this spring are encouraged to apply.
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