2014-15 Economics Department Newsletter, Vol. 1
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Economics Department Newsletter

September 9, 2014
About The Newsletter:

This is the first edition of the Economics Department Newsletter for the 2014-15 academic year. The newsletter is emailed approximately weekly during the academic year and is a way to alert you to what's happening in the economics department.  Here you will find out details about things such as upcoming seminars and events; internships, on-campus and external employment opportunities; opportunities to present undergraduate research; and other important department announcements.

You are receiving this if you are an Economics or Political Economy major or faculty member, or if you have shown an interest in the field by taking a class in either department this semester.  

Information on how to have your news, event or other information included in a future edition is included at the bottom of the page, along with information on how to unsubscribe.
In This Issue:
  • Seminars and Events
  • Employment Opportunities and Internships
  • Opportunities for Undergraduates to Publish Economic Research
  • Meet The Professor
Seminars and Events:

Wednesday, September 10;  4:00pm, Griffin 6
Economics Department Seminar:  “The Composition of Exports and Human Capital Acquisition”  by William Olney, Williams College Economics Department

From the abstract:  “This paper investigates whether the composition of a country's exports affects educational attainment. A simple model shows how trade alters the relative wage of skilled and unskilled labor which in turn changes the incentives to progress through school. These predictions are tested using data spanning forty-five years and more than a hundred countries.  Both the OLS and IV results indicate that exporting low-skill-intensive goods depresses average years of schooling, while exporting skill-intensive goods increases years of schooling. Consistent with theory, we also find support for non-monotonic educational responses to trade: exporting low-skill intensive goods is associated with less primary school while skill intensive exports increase secondary schooling.  Our findings provide insight into which types of exports are most beneficial for human capital formation and suggest that trade can exacerbate initial differences in factor endowments across countries."


Friday, September 12;  4:00pm, Griffin 6
Economics Department Seminar:  "Immigrant Locations and Native Residential Preferences in Spain: New Ghettos" by Albert Saiz, MIT department of Urban Studies

From the abstract:  “In this research project we are studying the impact of immigration on native residential mobility in a European context. Before the economic crisis, Spain received an inflow of immigrants roughly equivalent to ten percent of the population in only ten years. This amounted to the largest relative immigrant inflow in OECD countries. Immigrants in Spain had different geographic origins, hailing from European countries, Northern Africa, and Latin America. Their socio-economic status was also diverse, combining relatively-wealthy German retirees with low-skilled immigrants. What was the residential impact of such large inflow into metropolitan areas? Was there “native flight” out of the neighborhoods where immigrants clustered? How did measures of segregation –such as isolation and dissimilarity- changed in the country? We have obtained a massive data-set from the national registry, or Padron – everyone is required by law to register their address after moving to a new dwelling. Importantly, all immigrants in Spain need to be inscribed in this municipal registry in order to be eligible for visas, and illegal immigrants can also register.  Therefore, we are able to capture the residential dynamics of both legal and illegal immigrant inflows. We can identify the exact geo-location of the place of residence for each individual registered in the country – about 45 million- from 1999 to 2008. For each building in the country, we are also able to calculate accessibility to Points of Interest (POI) as geo-coded by navigation data vendors. With this information, we study the residential responses of natives at the very micro level –including across buildings. We are finding fascinating patterns that suggest that immigration and the consequent white-flight that engendered in central cities greatly spurred suburbanization in the larger metropolises.  Together with previous evidence on immigrants and housing prices in Spain during this period, our results suggest that the large surge in new construction in the suburbs of the largest cities were facilitated by the immigrant inflows in their central cities."
Employment Opportunities and Internships:

Williams Econ Research Jobs website
If you are interested in finding a job related to economic research or public policy, either after graduation or during the summer, the economics department has assembled a set of online resources to help you do that, including links to many job opportunities, and posted it at our Econ Research Jobs website, which can be found at the following URL:
Click through the links there to find all sorts of useful information on finding such jobs.

University of Chicago Behavioral Marketing seeks Full Time Research Assistant
University of Chicago Behavioral Marketing is looking for an individual to work as a full-time research assistant beginning in the fall of 2014 for a period of at least one year. The job will involve projects in behavioral science, psychology and marketing, with a focus on consumer financial decision making.  More information is available here.

National Bureau of Economic Research seeks Full-Time Research Assistants
NBER is looking to hire full-time research assistants to begin work in the summer of 2015. The RA position entails a one-year commitment.  A detailed job description can be requested here.

Aon Hewitt seeks actuarial analysts and interns
Aon Hewitt, a human resources consulting firm, seeks to hire college students for their Business Internship Program for the summer of 2015, or upcoming college graduates for full-time positions involving retirement-related actuarial analysis with their Launch/Early Career Development program. 
The positions are located in Waltham, MA and resumes should be submitted by September 19, 2014.  Further information can be requested at:  Retirement Actuarial Intern  and Full Time Retirement Actuarial Analyst.
Opportunities for Undergraduates to Publish Economic Research:

The Visible Hand, "Cornell's premier undergraduate economics journal"
The Visible Hand, Cornell Economics Society's biannual student-run publication, covers a wide range of economic issues and is inviting students to submit articles, past papers and original pieces of no specific topic or length.  Applicants should attach a Word document, indicate their major and college/university and email it to  The submission deadline is October 5, 2014.
Meet The Professor

Tara Watson has been at Williams for a decade and teaches courses on health disparities and econometrics, among others.  She is the director of research for the Economics department this year and is also chair of the Public Health program. Professor Watson studies health economics, urban economics, and economic demography, with a particular interest recently in the impacts of immigration enforcement.  Professor Watson enjoys hiking, traveling, vegetarian cooking, drinking coffee, and spending time with her three daughters.


How to get items included:
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