Weekly Announcements for Faculty, Staff, and Students

Thursday, April 17, 2014


  • EGSA spring picnic scheduled for Friday, April 25

    The annual EGSA spring picnic will be Friday, April 25, at the Maple Shelter in Brookside Park, 4:00-8:00pm. All are welcome; significant others, children, friends, family. The more the merrier!

    To help estimate how much food to provide, please fill out the following survey by by FRIDAY, APRIL 18.


    If you have problems with the link please email (zhixiama@iastate.edu) with the number of people who will be eating and any special dietary requirements (vegetarian, kosher, etc.).

  • Mark your calendar: retirement reception for Duffy and Kliebenstein

    Please join us in honoring Mike Duffy and Jim Kliebenstein, as the Department of Economics celebrates their upcoming retirements - Thursday, May 1, 3-4 PM, 368A Heady Hall. Faculty, staff, and students welcome!

  • Mark your calendar: farewell reception for Joe Herriges

    Faculty, staff, and students of the Department of Economics are invited to a special reception in honor of Joe Herriges to thank him for his years of service to the department. Tuesday, April 29, 2-3 PM, 368A Heady Hall.


  • Econ undergrads present research at Capitol

    Deepak Premkumar and Jennifer Horsager, department undergrads majoring in economics, presented their research at the Research in the Capitol, April 1. Undergraduate students from Iowa's three state universities displayed posters and described their research to legislators, reporters, and top university administrators at the annual event at the State Capitol building in Des Moines. (Participants from Iowa State University are pictured left.)

    Coordinated by the University Honors Program, all undergraduate students are eligible and encouraged to apply. Twenty research projects are selected each year to represent Iowa State. Submissions are evaluated by topic, relevance to legislative interests, and geographic representation.

  • Monday's Department Seminar: Jonathan Heathcote, FRB, Minneapolis

    "Optimal Income Taxation: Mirrlees Meets Ramsey," with Jonathan Heathcote, FRB Minneapolis, Monday, April 14, 4:10 PM-5:30 PM, 368A Heady Hall.

    Jonathan Heathcote has been a senior economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis since 2008. Between 2006 and 2008, he was an economist in the International Finance Division of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. From 2002 to 2008, he was on the faculty of the Department of Economics at Georgetown University, where he was promoted from assistant to associate professor in 2006. Jonathan has also served as an assistant professor at the Stockholm School of Economics and Duke University, and as a visiting assistant professor at the Stern School of Business, New York University. He has been a visiting lecturer at University College London, and a visiting scholar at both the Minneapolis and Atlanta Federal Reserve Banks.

    Heathcote received a B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics from Keble College, Oxford University, in 1993, and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. His work has appeared in several prestigious publications, including the Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of Monetary Economics, the International Economic Review, and the Journal of Economic Theory. He is currently an editor of the Berkeley Electronic Journal of Macroeconomics, and an associate editor of the Review of Economic Dynamics and the Journal of Monetary Economics. Heathcote's research currently focuses on understanding the evolution of cross-sectional inequality in wages, labor supply, income, consumption, and welfare.

    Abstract: We revisit a classic question in public finance: what structure of labor earnings taxation can maximize the social benefits of redistribution and public insurance while minimizing the social harm associated with distorting the allocation of labor input? The current tax and transfer system in the United States redistributes through a combination of tax rates that increase with income, coupled with transfers that decline with income. However, many authors have argued that a more efficient way to redistribute would be to move to a flat tax system, in which marginal tax rates are constant across the income distribution, and redistribution is achieved via non-means-tested transfers. In our preferred model specification, we find that moving to the optimal tax policy in the affine class is welfare reducing, while moving to the optimal fully non-linear Mirrlees policy generates only tiny welfare gains. These findings suggest that proposals for dramatic tax reform should be viewed with caution.

  • Alumnus Katherine Abraham to present on labor market, Tuesday

    "Addressing the Challenges of Today’s Labor Market," with Katharine G. Abraham, Tuesday, April 15, 8 PM-9 PM, Great Hall, Memorial Union.

    Katharine G. Abraham was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 to 2013. She has returned to the University of Maryland, where she is a faculty associate in the Maryland Population Research Center and a professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology. Abraham’s research has included work on employment and unemployment, labor market policy and the measurement of economic activity. She also served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1993 to 2001. Prior to that she held appointments in the Department of Economics, University of Maryland; the Brookings Institution; and the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists and of the American Statistical Association, holds an honorary doctorate from Iowa State University, and is a past vice president of the American Economic Association. She earned her BS in economics from Iowa State in 1976 and later a PhD in economics from Harvard University. National Affairs Series on Innovation and Women in STEM Series.

  • Former department administrator Ebert passes

    Wesley Ebert, long-time administrative coordinator for the Department of Economics, recently passed away at the age of 89 years. Following is a link to his obituary: http://www.chetryanmortuary.com/obituary/123900/Wesley-Ebert-of-Nevada-I...

  • Weekly media contacts for the Department of Economics

    Dave Swenson spoke with Ed Tibbetts, Quad City Times, regarding a proposed minimum wage increase in Illinois and how that would affect border city trade in the Quad Cities. Tibbetts additionally requested links to recent studies on the minimum wage and how a minimum wage increase affected workers who were near, but above the new minimum wage.

    Swenson also spoke with Hayley Bruce, Cedar Rapids Gazette, regarding a claim about the amount of public assistance afforded WalMart workers nationwide from an extrapolation of a study done in Wisconsin. He determined that there was no sound scientific basis for the amounts claimed and that they should not use the study as a news story source.

  • Weekly media contacts for the Department of Economics

    Dave Swenson spoke with Anne Carothers-Kay, Kent Darr, and Joe Gardyaz, Des Moines Business Record, on current indicators of metropolitan economic health and the relative performance of the several cities that constitute the Des Moines-West Des Moines metropolitan urbanized area.

    Marcia Zarley Taylor, editor, DTN/Progressive Farmer, about gains in Iowa rural areas over the past decade due to value-added farming and manufacturing activities that boosted farmers' incomes.

Conferences and Calls for Papers

Funding Opportunities

Job Opportunities

  • Economist, US Nat. Marine Sanctuary Fdn in support of Socioeconomic Program, Silver Spring MD USA

    Position Title: Economist

    The individual will work for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to support NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuary (ONMS) Socioeconomic Program http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/socioeconomic/welcome.html

    Location: Silver Spring, Maryland in NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

    Salary: $70,000 to $75,000 (12-month period) plus benefits.


    • Required - A minimum of a Master’s Degree in environmental and natural resource economics with two years of applied research experience. Must have experience with database management and statistical analysis using a statistical program like SAS, SPSS, LIMDEP, STATA or other statistical software. Experience with survey sampling and questionnaire design and with using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Power Point) with intermediate skills in Excel. Communications skills including experience in presenting research results, publications, participation in expert panels, developing web site content and content for social media.
    • Preferred - Experience with the IMPLAN input-output model and use with Geographic Information Systems.

    General Work Portfolio:

    • Capacity Building – Build ONMS Socioeconomic capacity through building public/private partnerships, finding sources of funding for research, and mentoring students;
    • Communications - work with ONMS web team to keep ONMS web site up to date with latest socioeconomic information and work with the ONMS Communications Branch on social media;
    • Agency Representation – Support and participate in NOAA or interagency work groups or serve as an advisor to members of such work groups on behalf of the ONMS
    • Public Engagement - Represent ONMS by responding to inquiries from the general public or other agencies or organizations, and to attend professional meetings to present research done at ONMS sites.

    Examples of Specific Duties:

    • Design and implement socioeconomic research and monitoring plans
    • Develop sanctuary characterizations/socioeconomic profiles of ONMS managed sites
    • Analyze socioeconomic impacts of management strategies and regulations
    • Integrate economic, human dimensions non-economic and ecological information for assessing ecosystem services and economic valuations
    • Prepare reports and recommendations regarding important socioeconomic considerations

    Special Notices: Current appointment can be 12 to 15 months with option for 12-month renewal and the long-term possibility of becoming a full-time government employee at NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

    Required documents: Cover letter, Curriculum Vitae, Sample of writing, List of References. Send to: LJ@nmsfocean.org L.J. Fletcher

  • Utilities economist position available