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UChicago Economics Events and Conversations

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago (BFI) serves as a hub for cutting-edge analysis and research across the entire UChicago economics community to uncover new ways of thinking about the field. Featuring conversations and lectures from premier BFI events, this podcast explores the latest economic insights and trends from leading voices in policy, business, the media, and academia, revealing how rigorous thinking shapes our understanding of the world.

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Economics Amplified: Rick Evans on How Computer Science is Transforming Economics

Richard Evans is a Senior Fellow in Computational Social Science at the University of Chicago, and Fellow here at the institute. Evans sees immense potential in the methods, practices, and even workflows that computer engineers have implemented in their own discipline, and is working to bring those skills into Chicago economics through his role both here at the institute and via the Masters in Computational Social Science, a graduate program he’s a part of. Evans spoke to us about how we can expect to see computation shape different aspects of economic study, as well as the ways that computer scientists and software engineers can teach economists how to work smarter.Music in this episode:—Auscultation: https://auscultation.bandcamp.com/album/spiritlandBoris Mann 2: https://soundcloud.com/boriscloud/acid-jazz-sunday


12 Oct 2016

Rank #1

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Economics Amplified: Building Policy Beyond Best Intentions

Amanda Agan is interested in the ways that laws and regulations play out in the real world, often yielding unintended consequences. She visited the institute this spring and spoke about her recent work to evaluate policies that eliminate questions about previous criminal convictions from job applications Advocates of these “Ban the Box” policies have argued that these laws could increase employment for minorities, but some economic theories imply that they could have negative consequences for minorities without records. Agan and her coauthors designed a field experiment to see if the policy performs as intended.


1 Aug 2016

Rank #2

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Economics Amplified: When Game Theory Gets Complicated

In today’s episode we talk with Ben Brooks, a research fellow at the Becker Friedman Institute interested in how incomplete information complicates classical game theory. This summer, Brooks organized a conference, bringing together experts in mathematical modeling, incomplete information and game theory. Researchers highlighted important developments in modeling information in auctions and continuous games, as well as the relationship between information and behavior in the era of the internet and big data.


17 Nov 2015

Rank #3

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Discussion Section with Kevin Murphy and James Heckman

In this episode, Murphy and James Heckman, Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, delve into the topic of human capital, focusing on how both education and early home life play a defining role in the development of a child, and talk about how the economics toolkit is influencing the work of social scientists outside the discipline.

1hr 23mins

28 Mar 2016

Rank #4

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Discussion Section Uncut: Edward Lazear

Edward P. Lazear is a labor economist and a founder of the field known as personnel economics. His research centers on employee incentives, promotions, compensation and productivity in firms. In this episode, Lazear and Kevin Murphy talk about the legacy of human capital and labor economics at the University of Chicago, as well Lazear’s experience crossing from academia to the Council of Economic Advisers and back again.

1hr 1min

19 Sep 2016

Rank #5

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Discussion Section with Kevin Murphy and Erik Hurst

In this episode, Murphy talks with Erik Hurst, V. Duane Rath Professor of Economics and the John E. Jeuck Faculty Fellow at Chicago Booth, to explore Hurst's perspective on the possible common ground between macro- and micro- economic perspectives and to evaluate labor market trends from the early 2000s leading up to today on the employee side of the manufacturing and housing industries.

1hr 18mins

28 Mar 2016

Rank #6

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Discussion Section Uncut: Nancy Stokey

In this episode, Murphy talks with Nancy Stokey, The Frederick Henry Prince Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, about the transformative effects that technology has on economies.

1hr 11mins

18 Dec 2017

Rank #7

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Discussion Section Uncut with Kevin Murphy and Casey Mulligan

In this episode, Kevin Murphy talks with Casey Mulligan, professor in economics at the University of Chicago. Mulligan examines microeconomic trends, including labor, through a macroeconomic lens, with a particular interest in how policy can inadvertently shape the labor market in unexpected ways.

1hr 19mins

23 Jun 2016

Rank #8

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Discussion Section with Kevin Murphy and Benjamin Brooks

In this episode, Murphy talks with Benjamin Brooks, a Becker Friedman Institute Research Fellow, about what drew Brooks to economics as his field of research, the nuances of understanding game theory, and the role of the Becker Friedman Institute in enriching the study of economics at the University of Chicago.

1hr 3mins

28 Mar 2016

Rank #9

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Discussion Section with Kevin Murphy and Chad Syverson

In this episode, Murphy gets concrete with Chad Syverson, the J. Baum Harris Professor of Economics at Chicago Booth, about how his engineering background influences his approach to economics, understanding the drivers of productivity, how it is measured, and what can be gleaned from past growth trends in predicting what may come.

1hr 25mins

1 Apr 2016

Rank #10