[gov3009-l] Fwd: Presentation this Wednesday

Justin Grimmer jgrimmer at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Feb 18 15:04:31 EST 2008

Dear Applied Statistics Community,

This Wednesday, 2/20, the applied statistics workshop welcomes Jim
Snyder, Arthur
and Ruth Sloan Professor of Economics and Political Science at MIT.  He will
be presenting "The Wealth of Political Office in the US, 1840-1870" work
that is joint with Pablo Querubin, Department of Economics, MIT.  Jim
provided the following abstract and the attached article:

The second half of the 19th century was known as a corrupt era in U.S.
politics.  Using the censuses of 1850, 1860 and 1870, we find the wealth of
all candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives during the
period 1840-1870.  We use this data to estimate several quantities of
interest, including:  How wealthy were these candidates compared to others
in the population at the time?  How did the wealth accumulation of these
candidates compare to others in the population?  How did the wealth levels
and accumulation vary by party?  How did those candidates who won a
congressional race by a close margin compare with those who lost by a close
margin?  This last quantity, which exploits a regression-discontinuity
approach, provides a good estimate of the monetary ``rents'' to a
congressional seat at that time.

As always, the workshop will convene at 12 noon with a light lunch and the
presentation will begin at 1215.  We are located in CGIS-Knafel, 1737
Cambridge St, room N-354.

Please Contact me with any questions

Justin Grimmer
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