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From the Chair

Happy New Year, Duke Economics alumni! Best wishes to you and yours in 2016. 

This year we are excited to invite you to the first ever Duke Economics Social, which will be held on April 15 during the Duke University Alumni Reunion weekend. Catch up and network with fellow alumni, faculty, and current students. To view the event information and RSVP, please visit this link. We hope to see you here in the spring!

The alumni newsletter is our way of helping you stay connected with the department and the Duke Economics community. To better serve your needs, please participate in this brief survey to let us know what types of content are important to you.

Craig Burnside
Chair, Duke Economics

Featured Stories

Fracking Brings Steep Drops in Home Values in Some Neighborhoods, But Not All

Home values decline steeply when fracking occurs in neighborhoods that use well water, says new research from Professor Chris Timmins and co-authors Lucija Muehlenbachs and Elisheba Spiller. But the outcome differs in neighborhoods that rely on piped water, where home values rise slightly after shale-gas drilling occurs.

Panhans and Singleton to Present Paper at the AEA Meeting

In a working paper they first released in May, Ph.D. students Matt Panhans and John Singleton sought to understand the shift toward empirical studies in economic research by examining the rise of quasi-experimental methods. Their research was a hit on SSRN and lit up the economics blogosphere.

Raghav Saboo (M.A. '16) and Team Win Duke Hult Prize Pitch Contest

Back in November six startup teams pitched a panel of judges to represent Duke University at the Hult Prize Regional Finals on Mar. 12, 2016. Dhoop Energy, the brainchild of second-year master's student Raghav Saboo (M.A. '16), was the winning pitch.

Duke Seniors Sweep the Carolina Hedge Fund Challenge for a Third Year

For the third consecutive year, a team of Duke seniors took the top prize at the Carolina Hedge Fund Challenge, winning $10,000 and free registration for the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation exam. 

In the News

Why a German Billionaire Says That Pledges Like Mark Zuckerberg's Are Really Bad

The Washington Post
Professor Charles Clotfelter wrote that the U.S. tax code "subsidiz(es) the gifts of high-income taxpayers the most," giving them a "disproportionate role in allocating public resources and influencing the directions that institutions will take.."

America's Economy Still Has a Big Problem

CNN
African American unemployment historically has been double white unemployment, and this disparity is getting worse, according to CNN. "The racial gap in unemployment is a profound index of the degree of employment discrimination in the nation's labor markets," Professor William Darity said.

The Country's Largest Private Health Insurer Throws a 'Tantrum' Over Lower Profits

LA Times
UnitedHealth, the country's largest private health insurer, recently said it may quit offering coverage through the system by 2017. In an interview with the LA Times, Professor Frank Sloan weighs in on the most cost-effective way to cover an entire population.

Forcing Schools to Hit the 'Reset' Button

NPR
As Congress attempts to overhaul No Child Left Behind, a paper co-written by alumnus Tom Ahn (Ph.D. '03) is one that could help lawmakers understand what is and isn't working.

Turkey Opposition Preps for Power Share With Party It Abhors

Bloomberg News
Selin Sayek Boke (M.A. '95, Ph.D. '99) believes Turkey's current leaders run a "vulgar, oppressive, statist economy," but her party is willing to work with them if the upcoming election fails to produce a majority

On Camera

Dancing Duke Economics Professor Overcomes Challenges

Professor Curtis Taylor, who celebrates his 16th anniversary at Duke Economics this year, has a visual impairment, but that doesn't stop him from living life on his own terms. Watch the Time Warner Cable News video about the inspirational professor.

What Is Causality?

What do we mean by saying something causes an effect to happen? Professor Matt Masten's "Causal Inference Bootcamp" videos are part of a series of educational modules developed by Duke University's Education and Human Development Incubator at Duke's Social Sciences Research Institute.

Department Updates

New Master's Program in Analytical Political Economy to Begin Fall 2016

The Departments of Economics and Political Science have been approved to offer a new joint master's degree program in analytical political economy, and applications are now being accepted for the 2016-17 academic year.

Faculty Honors & Awards

Professors Peter Arcidiacono, Charles Clotfelter, and Helen Ladd were ranked among the most influential scholars in the nation's dialogue on education in a list released by Education Week.

Professor Arnaud Maurel and his co-author won the 2015 Dennis J. Aigner Award and $5,000 for an empirical econometrics paper they published in 2013.

 
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