Ann Swidler studies the interplay of culture and institutions. She asks how culture works-both how people use it and how it shapes social life. Earlier work focused on American culture, especially the culture of love and marriage. She is best known for her books Talk of Love, and the co-authored works Habits of the Heart and The Good Society. Her classic article, “Culture in Action: Symbols and Strategies,” (American Sociological Review, 1986) has been cited more than 700 times. Swidler’s current research is on cultural and institutional responses to the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. She is interested in how the massive international AIDS effort in sub-Saharan Africa-the infusion of money, organizations, programs and projects-interacts with existing cultural and institutional patterns to create new dilemmas and new possibilities. Her interests also increasingly touch on political sociology, development, and the sociology of science and medicine. She has been funded on NICHD studies to explore the transmission of AIDS. This work has resulted in several publications that address how beliefs, values and attitudes can affect the ability to implement contemporary health behaviors.
Swidler brings a much-needed sociological perspective to questions of population health. (http://sociology.berkeley.edu/faculty/ann-swidler)
Luis Rosero-Bixby, who has joined us at Cal from the University of Costa Rica, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences as a foreign scholar.
Luis Rosero-Bixby is a leading scholar on the demography of Latin America, with particular expertise on Costa Rica. He was the founding director of the Central American Population Center at the University of Costa Rica; under his stewardship the center obtained international recognition as one of the leading population research centers in Latin America. Rosero-Bixby has published numerous internationally known articles on the determinants of family planning diffusion and the determinants of Costa Rica’s remarkably fast fertility decline in the 1960s. In recent years he has focused increasingly on understanding the mortality breakthrough that took place in Costa Rica in the 1970s, and determinants of Costa Rica’s exceptional health (with higher life expectancy than the U.S.); he has published extensively in this area with Will Dow. He and Dow have served as the PIs of the CRELES project (Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Ageing Study), which is a panel of about 3,000 Costa Ricans followed up since 2004. He has also worked with Ron Lee at Berkeley on the National Transfer Accounts (NTA) project; he established the Costa Rican NTA team, and is assisting the national NTA teams in El Salvador and Ecuador. The NTA results in Costa Rica, especially those related to fiscal challenges of public transfers, have been broadly disseminated and have received attention of policy makers at the highest levels of government, including Congress.
After early-retirement as full professor at the University of Costa Rica in 2011, he continues 100% focused on population research in Costa Rica and Latin America with joint appointments as research associate at the University of Costa Rica and UC Berkeley. (http://ccp.ucr.ac.cr/personal/lrosero.htm, en español)
Haas finance professor Ulrike Malmendier has been honored with one of the most prestigious awards the field of finance has to offer: the Fischer Black Prize. The American Finance Association grants this honor every two years to the world's top finance scholar under the age of 40.
The prize was established in 2002 in honor of Fischer Black, who was a co-inventor, along with Myron Scholes, of the first rigorous model of pricing financial options, work that later earned them the Nobel prize. The prize is modeled after the Fields Medal in mathematics and the Clark Medal in economics. The award recognized Ulrike's work in behavioral economics and finance, corporate finance, contract theory, and the history of the firm, particularly noting her work's originality and creativity. Read the full article in the UC Berkeley NewsCenter...
IBER’s donors and the John Carter Endowment make it possible for the Institute to award small Dissertation Research Awards (aka “mini-grants” to UC Berkeley Ph.D. students in Agricultural and Resource Economics, Demography, Economics, and Public Policy. See a list of Award Recipients for the Academic Year 2012-2013.
Xlab Director Professor Shachar Kariv and colleagues from transportation engineering have secured $60,000 to develop "Xmobile" -- GPS-capable smartphones used as a tool for social science. This technology will aid in gathering and analyzing commute information about large numbers of people. Kariv says, “I strongly believe this is the kind of startup that can become (a game-changer) like Facebook. It can really change the way we do social sciences.” Xmobile is rolling forward fast, with additional funding from CITRIS, a prototype built, and an experiment involving deducing where people buy their food expected to start this semester. Read the full article in the UC Berkeley NewsCenter...
According to the New York TImes, "Emmanuel Saez [UC Berkeley] and Thomas Piketty [Paris School of Economics] have spent the last decade tracking the incomes of the poor, the middle class and the rich in countries across the world. More than anything else, their work shows that the top earners in the United States have taken a bigger and bigger share of overall income over the last three decades, with inequality nearly as acute as it was before the Great Depression." Read the full article...
“Science, Intellectual Property, and Innovation" was the theme of the Spring 2012 conference of the All-UC Group in Economic History. the conference was held March 23-25 in Berkeley at the Haas School of Business and at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza. Conference sponsors include IBER, the Competition Policy Center, the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society, the Haas School, and of course the All-UC Group itself. Forty-five scholars attended, and all thirteen papers presented are available on the conference website.
CONGRATULATIONS TO PROF. EDWARD MIGUEL! The UC Berkeley Committee on Teaching has selected five recipients of the Distinguished Teaching Award for 2012. Professor Miguel has received an award for his superb teaching in the Department of Economics. A public recognition ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 26 at 5pm in the Zellerbach Playhouse. A reception follows in the Toll Room of the Alumni House.
CEGA Hosted Summit in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 2012
To promote the use of research by policy-makers in Congress, aid agencies, and NGOs, CEGA hosted a summit on Friday, March 2nd: "Ending Poverty through Education: New Evidence from India and Africa." The event was held at the University of California Washington Center in D.C. and was co-sponsored by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).
From the UC Berkeley News Center, August 10, 2011: "John Bellows... U.S. Treasury Department’s acting assistant secretary, has generated widespread buzz in finance and policy circles since finding a $2 trillion error in the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) calculations it used to support a historic decision to downgrade the nation’s credit rating." Bellows was a 2004 IBER Shapiro Fellow. Read the full article
Ronald Lee, Professor of Demography and Director of UC Berkeley's Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging, in collaboration with Andrew Mason, Professor of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa and Senior Fellow, Population and Health Studies, East-West Center, Hawaii, US, has edited a new book entitled Population Aging and the Generational Economy: A Global Perspective.
This ground-breaking book provides a comprehensive analysis of changes in population age structure across the globe and their effect on the macroeconomy. The result of a seven-year research project involving over 50 economists and demographers from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States, the book draws on a new and comprehensive conceptual framework – National Transfer Accounts – to quantify the economic lifecycle and economic flows across generations.
A book launch reception was held in New York on September 19, 2011. To read reviews and to order your copy of this important new work, please see the National Transfer Accounts website.
August 9, 2011: "Professor Emeritus Karlene Roberts has been honored with the Academy of Management’s 2011 Practice Impact Award in recognition of her nearly 30 years of risk management research. ... Since 1984 Roberts has been studying the design and management of organizations and systems of organizations in which errors can have catastrophic consequences. Her research examines organizations that have not experienced catastrophe as well as organizations that have had serious accidents in order to understand the management processes they should have engaged in." Professor Roberts is the Chair of IBER's Catastrophic Risk Managment Center (CCRM).
Read the full article...
From the UC Berkeley News Center: "John Bellows may not have the household-name recognition of Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernanke or Christina Romer. But the U.S. Treasury Department’s acting assistant secretary has generated widespread buzz in finance and policy circles since finding a $2 trillion error in the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) calculations it used to support a historic decision to downgrade the nation’s credit rating." Bellows was a 2004 IBER Shapiro Fellow. Read the full article...
IBER hosted the Behavioral Economics Annual Meeting (BEAM) on May 23rd and 24th in the Wells Fargo Room of the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. Participation was by invitation only, but the conference program and conference papers are on line for the public to access. Please see http://iber.berkeley.edu/behavioral_economics_conference/.
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