[gov3009-l] Applied Stats Workshop: Nakamura & Steinsson, Wed @noon, CBRSS

adiamond@fas.harvard.edu adiamond@fas.harvard.edu
Mon, 20 Oct 2003 01:18:41 -0400

Research Workshop in Applied Statistics 

Please join us this Wednesday @ noon at CBRSS, 
the Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences, 
34 Kirkland Street, Rm 22, for 

"Econometric Learning", presented by Emi Nakamura and Jon Steinsson. 

Draft of paper available at 

FROM THE PAPER: "Much economic analysis of decision-making focuses on how 
agents should maximize expected utility in the context of a known stochastic 
model. Yet, much of what makes decision-making hard is developing the 
appropriate model rather than optimizing once the model has been agreed upon.  
We provide a general framework for thinking about this aspect of economic 
behavior. We emphasize 3 main points. First, model choice is an important 
aspect of rationality when the true model is unknown. Second, modelling is a 
costly activity, and changes in the costs of modelling have important effects 
on peoples' decisions about which model to use. Third, one's choice of model 
often has externality effects on other people. As a consequence of these 
externalities, firms and governments often have an incentive to intervene in 
the model formation process. We follow in the footsteps of Savage (1954) and 
Hansen and Sargent (2000) in suggesting that microtheory and econometrics are 
not far apart as they might seem from the familiar dichotomy between empirical 
and theoretical research." 

As always, lunch will be provided. 

Contact information, the current schedule, and previous presentations may be 
found at the course web site: http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~gov3009/ 


The Research Workshop in Applied Statistics is a forum for graduate 
students, faculty, and visiting scholars to present and discuss work 
in progress and exchange ideas.  It is intended as a tour of Harvard's 
statistical innovations and applications with weekly stops in 
different disciplines such as economics, epidemiology, medicine, 
political science, psychology, public policy, public health, sociology 
and statistics.  The topics of papers presented in previous years 
included missing data, survey analysis, Bayesian simulation, sample 
selection, and models for election and portfolio choice. Faculty and 
student participants in the workshop present their current projects, 
and guest speakers also give occasional presentations. The workshop 
provides an excellent opportunity for informal interaction between 
graduate students and faculty from a variety of disciplines. Course 
credit is available for students as either an upper-level Government 
or Sociology class. Lunch is provided. 

If you are interested, note that all events are held at noon, in Room 22, 
Center for Basic Research in Social Sciences (CBRSS, 34 Kirkland St., this is 
the yellow building across the street from William James Hall). 
Contact information and previous presentations may be found at the course web 
site: http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~gov3009/ 

To join the gov3009 mailing list, send e-mail to 
gov3009-l-request@fas.harvard.edu with the following text message: 


Questions?  Please contact the workshop coordinator, Alexis Diamond, at