Current Series

Dondena Seminar Series
FALL 2017


All seminars (and light lunches!) will begin at 12:45 p.m. and be held in Room 3-e4-sr03, unless otherwise noted.

Titles and abstracts will be posted as they become available.


Download the series poster here.


September 18
Seth Zimmerman, University of Chicago

E-mail: Seth.Zimmerman@chicagobooth.edu

Heterogeneous Beliefs and School Choice Mechanism

This paper studies how welfare outcomes in centralized school choice depend on the assignment mechanism when participants are not fully informed. Using a survey of school choice participants in a strategic setting, we show that beliefs about admissions chances differ from rational expectations values and predict choice behavior. To quantify the welfare costs of belief errors, we estimate a model of school choice that incorporates subjective beliefs. We evaluate the equilibrium effects of switching to a strategy-proof deferred acceptance algorithm, and of improving households' belief accuracy. Allowing for belief errors reverses the welfare comparison to favor the deferred acceptance algorithm.

September 25
Jenny Trini, University of Chicago

E-mail: jennytrini@uchicago.edu

AIDS: An epidemic of uncertainty

The AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa is now nearly 40 years old. After a long battle, the standard metrics have started to point to good news: new infections are down, prevalence has stabilized, life-saving anti-retrovirals are becoming widely available, and AIDS-related mortality has declined. Using panel data from Tsogolo la Thanzi study collected in Balaka, Malawi between 2009 and 2015, I argue that in the wake of pandemic AIDS, an epidemic of uncertainty persists. AIDS-related uncertainty, I argue, is measurable, pervasive, and impervious to biomedical solutions. In Malawi, the consequences of uncertainty are salient to multiple domains of life including relationship stability, fertility, health, and well-being. Even as HIV is transformed from a progressive, fatal infection to a chronic and manageable condition, the accompanying epidemic of uncertainty remains central to understanding the demographic future of this part of the world.

October 2
Dominik Hangartner, ETH Zurich, London School of Economics

E-mail: D.Hangartner@lse.ac.uk


October 9
Luigi Pascali, Pompeu Fabra University

E-mail: luigi.pascali@upf.edu

Cereals, Appropriability and Hierarchy 

Conventional theory holds that hierarchies and states emerged following the Neolithic transition to agriculture as a result of increased land productivity, and that differences in land productivity explain differences in hierarchies between regions. We challenge this theory and propose that social hierarchy emerged where the elite were able to appropriate crops from farmers. In particular, we argue that cereals are easier to appropriate than most other foodstuffs. Therefore, regional variations in the suitability of land for the cultivation of different crop types can account for differences in the formation of hierarchies and states. Our empirical investigation supports such a causal effect of the cultivation of cereals on hierarchy, without finding a similar effect for land productivity.


October 16
Ted Mouw, University of North Carolina

E-mail: tedmouw@email.unc.edu


October 23
Patricia Funk, Università della Svizzera Italiana

E-mail: patricia.funk@usi.ch


October 30

Osea Giuntella, University of Pittsburgh

E-mail: osea.giuntella@pitt.edu

November 20

Diego Ramiro, CSIC Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas

E-mail: diego.ramiro@cchs.csic.es

November 27
Herman de Jong, University of Groningen

E-mail: h.j.de.jong@rug.nl


December 4
Zhenchao Qian, Brown University

E-mail: zhenchao_qian@brown.edu

December 11
Alexander Kentikelenis, University of Oxford

E-mail: alexander.kentikelenis@trinity.ox.ac.uk

Last updated 18 September 2017 - 09:18:15