Fazit – das Wirtschaftsblog

Fazit - das Wirtschaftsblog

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AEA Meeting: Inequality, Rating Agencies and Happiness: Interesting papers at the meeting

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The annual meeting of the American Economic Association starts in San Diego on Friday. It is hard to get an overview about the 180-page Meeting program. But fortunately there are some studies for which previews are already available – of these, I selected my favourites: the papers whose presentations (and discussions) I think will be more interesting. People who don’t attend the meeting will find a link to the presentation or abstract. Participants of the meeting will find information about the Where and When of the discussions.


Which studies do you find interesting? Please add your favorites in the comments!


The photo (by Cindy Devin, CC-by 2.0) shows the skyline of San Diego.

The photo (by Cindy Devin, CC-by 2.0) shows the skyline of San Diego.



The rise of inequality during the last decade stems – at least in a significant part – from rising wages in the financial sector. In the same panel, Emmanuel Saez will speak about top tax rates; he proposes 80 percent. Saturday, 10.15am, Hyatt, Elizabeth Ballroom A

Furthermore, Emmanuel Saez has thought about a way of finding socially optimal tax rates (together with Stephanie Stantcheva). Another approach considers whether talented people get an incentive to work in jobs with high positive externalities.  These papers are already presented on Friday, 10.15am, Hyatt, Manchester G

What are the reasons for growth in inequality? Daron Acemoglu, Gino Ganica and Fabrizio Zilibotti look at Offshoring. They say: Offshoring will decrease inequality again. Sunday, 8am, Hyatt, Cunningham A&B. We have a piece about this paper in German.

Business and Personnel economics:

CEOs with children pay their employees less generously, but the effects are better or even good for female children and female employees. Friday, 8am, Hyatt, Edward B

Do anonymous applications make the battlefield more even? In France, they do for gender issues, but migrants get even less chances. Friday, 2.30pm, Hyatt, Gibbons

Business school students who have many entrepreneurial peers become entrepreneurs less often, say Joshua Lerner and Ulrike Malmendier. But it is the unsuccessful ventures that are diminished. Sunday, 10.15am, Hyatt, Elizabeth Ballroom C

Financial Markets and Other Bubbles:

Nicholas Barberis about the psychology of “Black Swans”: There are many open questions. Friday, 10.15am, Hyatt, Elizabeth Ballroom A

Why are credit ratings so bad? Jens Hilscher and Mungo Wilson offer some answers: Systematic risk seems to be more relevant for ratings than specific company risk. Saturday, 8am, Marriott, Balboa & Mission Hills

Capital controls might divert money from the controlling country to other countries, thereby increasing the danger of bubbles in the other countries. By MIT and ECB researchers. Saturday, 2.30pm, Hyatt, Elizabeth Ballroom A

What do we know about CDS? They are not only used for hedging, but for speculation, too – and they seem to demolish the credit rating of their reference companies. Their advent was “largely detrimental”. Sunday, 1pm, Hyatt, Elizabeth Ballroom F


Why do we rescue banks from bankruptcy? Benjamin Chabot has estimated the cost of banking panics before banks were rescued. The costs were enormous. Friday, 12.30pm, Marriott, Point Loma

How can we recover from the Crisis? Robert Gordon has a very pessimistic view about future growth. In a panel discussion, he is joined by James Galbraith, Kenneth Arrow and others. Friday, 10.15am, Hyatt, Randle B

Sovereign Debt Crises and Policies: History and Future Prospects – a panel discussion with Simon Johnson, Kenneth Rogoff, Thomas Sargent. Friday, 2.30pm, Hyatt, Manchester B&

“Financial Frictions and Their Implications for Financial Stapility” are explored in a panel discussion e.g. with Viral Acharya, Markus Brunnermeier, and Randy Kroszner. Friday, 2.30pm, Marriott, Point Loma

Latin America realizes that the policy advice for the Euro Crisis was softer on austerity than that for Latin America earlier. A panel discussion with IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard and Carmen Reinhart. Saturday, 8am, Hyatt, Madeleine C&D

A panel about International Policy Coordination with Martin Feldstein, Robert Mundell, Kenneth Rogoff, and John Taylor: Saturday, 2.30pm, Hyatt, Manchester H&I

Monetary Policy:

Are Central Banks really independent? Thomas F. Cargill, Gerald O’Driscoll, Allan H. Meltzer and John Taylor weigh in. Friday, 10.15am, Hyatt, Manchester B&C

Should we be worried about Fed Independence? A panel discussion e.g. with Alan Blinder, Donald Kohn, and John Taylor. Friday, 2.30pm, Marriott, San Diego Ballroom A

Nobel Prize Winner Christopher Sims about Paper Money: Saturday, 4.40pm, Hyatt, Elizabeth Ballroom D&E


Are richer people happier, or are happier people richer? The latter seems to be a factor. Also: Money can help make people healthier. Friday, 2.30pm, Hyatt, Molly A&B

Does happiness depend on absolute or relative income? Angus Deaton and Arthur Stone say: hedonism depends on relative income, life evaluation rather on absolute income. Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers check whether there is a income satiation at all. Up to now, they have denied that. Sunday, 1pm, Hyatt, Manchester H&I

How to motivate teachers? By exploiting their loss aversion, propose Roland Fryer, Steven Levitt, John List and Sally Sadoff: Pay them in advance and have them give back their money if students do not improve sufficiently. Sunday, 10.15am, Hyatt, Elizabeth Ballroom G

Tolerance does not vary too much over time, as shown with intermarriage between Non-Jews and Jews by historians Nico Voigtländer and Hans-Joachim Voth. Sunday, 1pm, Hyatt, Molly A&B

Last year, John List, Ulrike Malmendier et al. found out that women seldom deny donations. This year, they ask: Why do Women (Not) Give More? Friday, 2.30pm, Hyatt, Gregory A&B


Financial Overvonfidence leads to increased trading, higher risk, and less diversification. By Christoph Merkle (University of Mannheim). Saturday, 2.30pm, Marriott, Marina Salon E

Some fund managers are better (or worse) than others. Three researchers from NYU propose measuring the skill of a fund manager in a new way: via stock picking in booms and market timing in recessions. Sunday, 10.15am, Marriott, Marina Salon F


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