Prof. Zimmermann to speak in Colombia

Prof. Zimmermann has been invited to speak next month at the annual meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA) in Medellín (Colombia). LACEA has about 1000 members and its annual meetings are a large gathering where several prominent economists are invited to present the state of the art in their field.

Prof. Zimmermann will have a full session to discuss RePEc, the large bibliographic initiative in Economics he is helping lead. This project is particularly popular in Latin America, as it allows to access without subscription a bibliographic database, which also carries a large proportion of research that is freely available. In particular, Colombia has its own portal that allows journals and working paper coordinators to index their works in RePEc: DotEc.

IDEAS reaches one billion page views

IDEAS, the RePEc service displaying bibliographic data about research in Economics through the web, has recently reached 1 billion page views since inception in September 1997. Currently, the site serves over 20 million pages a month, which averages to about 8 pages a second. Not all this traffic is entirely legitimate though, as the spidering robots of the major Internet search engines keep the server quite busy. Along with users doing repeat views of the same page, this accounts for about 75% of traffic. Still, this means IDEAS should have reached now about a quarter billion page views by humans. To give an idea of what this represents: According to Alexa.com, the repec.org domain, of which IDEAS is the major traffic contributor, has about the same global traffic rank as the uconn.edu domain.

IDEAS is managed by Prof. Zimmermann and hosted by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Connecticut.

Prof. Zimmermann appointed to Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Prof. Zimmermann has been appointed to the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis as Assistant Vice President of Research Information. Beyond regular research activities, he will be involved in the information and data provision of the Bank, including its flagship FRED database.

Prof. Zimmermann will join the Bank after the Spring 2011 term.

UConn hosted RePEc Author Service reaches 25000 registered authors

The RePEc Author Service, which is hosted at the UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and managed by Prof. Zimmermann has just welcomed its 25,000th registered author. This service allows economists to build an on-line profile with all the works they have authored and that are listed in RePEc. A part from having this profile displayed and linked to from individual works on RePEc services like EconPapers and IDEAS, this allows authors to obtain monthly statistics about the popularity of their works, along with new citations discovered by the CitEc project. Collected data is also used to computed various rankings. Note that the 25,000 count only includes registered people who have at least one work listed in the profile. There are about 7,000 other registrations with empty profiles from people who have either overlooked this feature or not yet published some works. A listing of all registered authors is available on EconPapers and IDEAS.

Prof. Ross and Zimmermann to present at NBER Summer Institute

Every Summer, a select group of economists assembles over the span of four week for the NBER Summer Institute, presenting their latest research. The program is principally composed by affiliates of the NBER, but outsiders are also given the opportunity to attend, discuss and present. Two department faculty will be in attendance this year at the invitation-only event.

On July 23, Prof. Christian Zimmermann will be presenting “Unemployment Accounts versus Unemployment Insurance: A Quantitative Evaluation” (joint with Stéphane Pallage) in the Aggregate Implications of Microeconomic Consumption Behavior Workshop. On July 27, Prof. Stephen Ross will be presenting “Estimating the Effects of Friendship Networks on Health Behaviors of Adolescents” (joint with Jason Fletcher) in the Health Economics Workshop.

Prof. Zimmermann tours Europe

Prof. Zimmermann is in Europe giving a series of lectures in Italy, Portugal and Germany. His trip started in Rimini, Italy, where he presented at the Rimini Conference in Economics Finance. He then headed to Varenna, Italy, where he attended the NBER Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar. His Italy portion of the journey concluded in Florence, where he gave two seminars at the European University Institute.

In Portugal, he presented and then participated in the concluding panel of a workshop on research evaluation at the University of Minho, in Braga. In Germany, he first participated in a meeting of the scientific board of the International Data Service Center at IZA, in Bonn, and concluded his trip with a presentation at a workshop on macroeconomics at the University of Mannheim.

Maroula Khraiche defends thesis, heads to Colorado College

Maroula Khraiche defended her dissertation on Monday, June 7th 2010. Entitled “Essays on the Economics of Labor Migration,” her dissertation analyzes the macroeconomic effects of migration patterns that are influenced by different types of policy. In particular, she examines the popularity of temporary worker permits based on how the presence of temporary workers affects the earnings of various demographic groups within a host country. She also examines the implications of trade policy, and how reduced trade restrictions can result in increased migration from a country. Finally, she also considers how labor market policies such as the minimum wage can affect migration across sectors with a developing economy. In all her work, conducted under the supervision of her adviser, Prof. Christian Zimmermann, Maroula uses calibrated theoretical models to generate predictions, and then tests those predictions using empirical data.

Next year Maroula will be an Assistant Professor of Economics at Colorado College. Although she will undoubtedly miss the economics department here at UConn, Maroula is very excited about her new position and new department. We wish her the best of luck.

Shadow economies under the volcano ash cloud

PhD student Catalina Granda-Carvajal (advisor, prof. Zimmermann) has been invited to present last week in an international workshop in Germany, “Shadow Economy, Tax Policy and Labor Markets in International Comparison: Options for Economic Policy“. This workshop was held at the University of Potsdam, near Berlin, with the aim to demonstrate advances in the analysis of shadow economic activity and discuss how these can be used for better economic policies. Granda’s paper, entitled “The Unofficial Economy and the Business Cycle: A Test for Theories”, uses official data to establish a set of business cycle features and study how they vary across countries with the size of the unofficial sector, and compares these empirical regularities with the predictions of existing theories on macroeconomic fluctuations in economies featuring underground activities.

After having the chance to exchange ideas with young scholars and with some of the world experts in the field, Granda has been faced with the uncertainty imposed by the volcanic ash cloud in Iceland. Being stuck in Berlin has not been an easy situation; however, she reports “I have spent some time sightseeing, visiting museums and, overall, taking advantage of such a ‘forced tourism’. With plenty of history while trying to stand as a leader in arts and promoting Western values, now I understand why this city is one of the most exciting places in Europe. All in all, I cannot complain, but I cannot wait for the flight back to Storrs to share with my friends and colleagues how this experience has enriched my life and view of things.”

Prof. Zimmermann to speak at British Library event

Prof. Christian Zimmermann is to speak at the end of the week at a conference at the British Library in London on subject repositories. These are collections or works and research, like the DigitalCommons at the University of Connecticut, but for subjects instead of institutions. The two prime examples of subject repositories are arXiv for Physics and RePEc for Economics. Prof. Zimmermann will talk about the latter, in particular how it came to grow with very little resources.

The conference will in particular feature the official launch of a new online service for Economists, the Nereus lead EconomistOnline portal, which at this point relies heavily on data from RePEc. Prof. Zimmermann will conclude his European trip by giving further talks at the German universities of Cologne, Dortmund, Giessen and Darmstadt.

Department 16th in “blog reputation ranking”

According to a recent article in the Eastern Economic Journal, our department ranks 16th by reputation of their blogging faculty. The authors took a selection of the 85 most important economics blogs, then looked at the academic citation frequency of their regulator contributors. Prof. Richard Langlois, who regularly posts on Organizations and Markets ranks 9th by academic impact, and all by himself brings the department to a ranking of 16th. A possibly better ranking could have been in the cards if any of the blogs Prof. Christian Zimmermann contributes to had been included in the analysis: Against Monopoly, the RePEc blog and the NEP-DGE blog.