Current Series

Dondena Seminar Series
Spring 2019

All seminars are in room 3.e4.sr03 from 12:45 — 14:00, except for the seminar on February 4, which will be held in room 3.b3.sr01.

Titles and abstracts will be posted as they become available.

The poster is available and you can download it here.


Room 3.b3.sr01


George Mason University


Title: Bones, Bacteria, and Break Points: The Heterogeneous Spatial Effects of the Black Death and Long-Run Growth

Abstract: The Black Death killed about 40% of Europe’s population between 1347-1352. Historical studies suggest that this mortality shock played a major role in shifting Europe onto a path to sustained economic growth. Using a novel dataset that provides information on the spatial variation in plague mortality at the city level, as well as a range of controls and various identification strategies based on the spread of the epidemic, we explore the short-run and long-run impacts of the Black Death on city growth. We find evidence for aggregate convergence. On average, cities recovered their pre-plague population within two centuries. However, there was considerable heterogeneity in the response to the shock, hence local divergence. The Black Death led to an urban reset: cities with better geographical and non-geographical endowments did relatively well, while other cities collapsed. In particular, our results emphasize the importance of trade networks in explaining urban recovery. Furthermore, the Black Death led to the creation of new cities in areas that were relatively less urbanized before it hit. Our analysis thus suggests that the Black Death may have permanently affected the spatial distribution and aggregate level of economic activity, potentially contributing to long run growth in Europe.

Noel Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Economics Department at George Mason University. He is also a member of the Center for the Study of Public Choice and a Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center. He earned his Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis under the supervision of Douglass North and John V.C. Nye. His interests lie at the intersection of economic history, development, and applied econometrics.




University of Essex


Title: Skills Accumulation with Malleable Ability: Evidence from a Growth Mindset Intervention (Joint with Adeline Delavande, Angus Holford and Sonkurt Sen)

Abstract: Existing research shows that students endowed with “growth mindset”; a belief that one’s intelligence and cognitive abilities are malleable so can be increased through effort, rather than fixed traits; are more likely to be academically successful. Interventions attempting to inculcate beliefs, particularly in groups with low academic performance, have therefore been posited as a way to improve, or close ethnic or social gaps in, students’ performance. However, the mechanisms through which the claimed benefits are found are poorly understood. In this paper we evaluate the effects of a randomized light touch intervention given to first year university students in the UK on a validated growth mindset scale, their subjective beliefs about the production function for educational performance, and various measures of study habits measured two months later, compared with baseline pre-treatment measures and a control intervention. We document a positive treatment effect on student grades, and show this to be consistent with students acting on a change in their subjective production technology to make an hour of study effort more efficient through increasing the proportion spent in active learning methods, and spacing out study of the same material.

Bio: Emilia Del Bono is a Professor of Economics at ISER, University of Essex. Her research agenda is focused on the nature, causes, and consequences of disparities in children’s human capital that lead to inequalities later on in life. She is a co-Investigator of the ESRC-funded Centre for Micro Social Change (MiSoC) with responsibility for coordinating research and impact activities in the area of “Families, Schools and Children”. She is working on the ESRC-funded project Inequality in Higher Education Outcomes in the UK, which features a new longitudinal study of higher university students. Her research also involves applying advanced statistical techniques for the analysis of secondary data - administrative or survey - with a view to uncover causal relationships and provide sound policy recommendations. She has published in many peer-reviewed journals, including American Economic Journal: Applied EconomicsEconomic JournalJournal of Labor Economics, and Journal of the European Economic Association.



University of Southern Denmark


Title: Onset of the old-age gender gap in survival

Abstract: Women outlive men almost anywhere in the world. The main explanations for the women’s advantage, which relate to favorable differences in sex hormones and more reckless behaviors of men, display their strongest effect at young-adult ages. Therefore, one would expect these ages to be the main contributors to the current gender gap in life expectancy. However, an account of the present status in low mortality countries reveals that the largest sex difference in mortality occurs at very old ages. As survival patterns at old age are becoming more and more important in driving the overall mortality trends, old ages are likely to become crucial components of the gender difference in life expectancy. The aim of this paper is to analyze the role of old ages over time in determining the gender gap in life expectancy, to identify the onset of the old-age driven gender gap in survival and to investigate differences between countries.

Virginia Zarulli is Associate Professor of Demography at the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics and at the Faculty of Business and Social Science, University of Southern Denmark. She earned her PhD in Demography at La Sapienza University of Rome, in joint supervision with the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. Her research lays at the intersection between Demography, Social Science and Biology, with special focus on aging and gender difference in survival.



University of the Basque Country

Title: Brave Boys and Play-it-Safe Girls: Gender Differences in Willingness to Guess in a Large Scale Natural Field Experiment

Abstract: We study gender differences in willingness to guess in a multiple-choice math test with about 10,000 participants, where in half of the questions both wrong answers and omitted questions score 0, and in the other half wrong answers score 0 but omitted questions score +1. Using a within-participant regression analysis, we find that female participants leave more omitted questions than males under both types of scoring rules, but when there is a reward for omitted questions, the gender difference gets even larger. This gender difference, which is stronger among high ability and older participants, has negative consequences for females in the final score and ranking. In a subsequent survey, female participants show lower levels of confidence and higher risk aversion, which could potentially explain this differential behavior. When both are considered, risk aversion shows to be the main factor in explaining the gender differential in the willingness to guess. A scoring rule that is gender neutral begs for non-differential scoring between wrong answers and omitted questions.

Nagore Iriberri is Ikerbasque Research Professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) since 2012. She got her Ph.D at the University of California, San Diego in 2006. She then moved to Spain, where she worked at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and got tenure in 2012. She works on Behavioral Game Theory, Experimental Economics and Gender Economics. Her research focuses on the study of initial responses to games, behavioral responses to relative performance feedback and gender differences in performance.



University of Southern Denmark

Title: Froebel’s gift: How the Kindergarten Movement changed the American family (TBC)

Abstract: American cities experienced a dramatic increase in kindergarten attendance at the turn of the 20th century. Kindergartens offered early childhood education to promote skills and to facilitate entry into primary school. Using newly-collected data on the roll-out of kindergartens across American cities, we evaluate its impact on family outcomes. We find that exposure to kindergartens significantly reduced the fertility of mothers whose children likely attended kindergartens. Kindergartens also increased the returns to education of potential attendants by increasing schooling relative to persons that were just too old to attend when the first kindergarten in a city was established. The fertility decline due to increased returns of education is consistent with a quantity-quality trade-off model that incorporates complementarities between kindergarten education and schooling. We further show that mothers and older siblings of potential kindergarten attendants benefited from kindergartens through spillover effects.

I am an Assistant Professor of Economics at the
Danish Institute for Advanced Study (D-IAS) and at the Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark (SDU). My research interests are in the fields of Economic History, Growth and Development, and Political Economy. In particular, my research investigates the relationship between education and fertility, the role of human capital in innovation and economic growth, the political and socioeconomic factors that affect the provision of public education. I am a CESifo and CEPR Research Affiliate and a CAGE Research Fellow. In the past years I have held visiting positions at the University of Munich, Brown University, University of Mannheim, and University of Bayreuth.


Joint with SPS


University of Southern California

Title: Unrealized Educational Expectations and Mental Health: Evidence from Malawi

Abstract: The rapid expansion of schooling across low-income countries, combined with intensive governmental and nongovernmental efforts to promote education, has encouraged youth in these contexts to form exceptionally high educational expectations, despite immense structural barriers to achieving them. Consequently, many young people’s educational expectations go unmet, driving concerns over the possible unintended consequences, including their elevated risk of mental health problems. At the same time, role transitions (e.g., marriage, parenthood) remain important elements of the transition to adulthood in many low-income countries, and thus may be a source of resilience—allowing youth to shift their identity away from education towards a new role. In this talk, I present results from a longitudinal survey that offers insight into the mental health implications of young women’s unmet educational expectations, and the possibility for motherhood to act as a buffer, in a low-income community in Malawi. 

I grew up in a small town in Virginia. As an undergraduate, I lived briefly in South Africa, and became interested in social inequality in the region. As a graduate student at Penn State, I began doing research in Malawi, and continue to do so today. During my postdoc at the University of Michigan, I developed collaborative ties with the Chitwan Valley Family Study in Nepal. After several years in Pennsylvania and a quick stop in Michigan, my family is enjoying the steady stream of sunshine that Southern California offers.



Boston University

Title:  Police violence, structural racism, and the health of black Americans

Abstract: Police killings of unarmed black Americans have been widely interpreted as a reflection of structural racism. Exploiting the quasi-random timing of these events, we document adverse spillover effects of these traumatic events on the mental health of other black Americans residing in the U.S. state where the killing occurred. We also find evidence of intergenerational transmission in the form of lower birth weights, consistent with a maternal stress response to these events.

Jacob Bor, ScD, SM, is Assistant Professor and Peter T. Paul Career Development Professor in the Departments of Global Health (primary) and Epidemiology. His research applies the analytical tools of economics to the study of population health, with a focus on HIV treatment and prevention in southern Africa. Current research interests include economic spillover effects of HIV treatment on patients, households, and communities; decision-making in HIV-endemic risk environments; population health impacts of social policy; and causal inference in public health research. For additional and up-to-date information: http://sites.bu.edu/jbor.



Autonomous University of Barcelona

Title: Who Sent You? Extreme Voting, Transfers and Bailouts in a Federation

Abstract: Lower-level governments often receive federal support through transfers or bailouts. We study how the regional or local ties of federal politicians can steer this process. We build a two-tier model of government, where regionally elected federal legislators bargain over federal support aimed at their own constituency. This leads to strategic voting on the regional level. Federal legislators are strategically elected to watch over the interests of their own region, cushioning shocks to local consumption and driving down borrowing costs. Lower-level legislators anticipate this, which sets the stage for regional overspending both if they receive annual grants, or when a bailout scheme is introduced during periods of crisis. As long as these federal co-funding schemes imply some degree of interregional redistribution, voters strategically select federal representatives with more extreme positions than the median voter. This prediction is confirmed by our empirical analysis, where we compare the political extremism of representatives elected to the EU Parliament with that of representatives elected to national Parliaments.

Bio: I'm an applied-theory economist, interested mainly in the simultaneous interdependence amongst Firms, Policy Makers and Voters/Consumers. In my research, I mix instruments and cover topics typical of Public Economics, Political Economy, Political Science and Industrial Organisation. I'm a Ramon y Cajal Fellow at Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) since 2018. I'm also a Research Affiliate at the Barcelona Economics Institute (IEB), at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (BGSE) and at MOVE.


Joint with SPS


Princeton University


Title: Police Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age

Abstract:  The digital age has transformed the ways that researchers are able to study social behavior. These new opportunities mean that the future of social research will involve blending together insights from social science and data science.  In this talk, I will describe several themes of this hybrid approach.  Further, I will illustrate many of these themes by describing the Fragile Families Challenge, a scientific mass collaboration designed to assess the limits of predictability of life outcomes and improve our understanding of these limits.  Using data from the Fragile Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a high-quality, birth cohort study that has followed about 5,000 mainly disadvantaged families for the past 15 years, 459 researchers built predictive models of six life outcomes, such as a child’s grades in school or whether the family would be evicted from their home.  Research participants in the Challenge could use any theoretical, statistical, or machine learning approach they wished and could draw on the more than 12,000 variables that had been measured about the child, parents, and family since the birth of the child.  Our empirical results have implications for social science theory, data, and methods and for algorithmic decision-making in high-stakes settings. 

Bio: Matthew Salganik is Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, and he is affiliated with several of Princeton's interdisciplinary research centers including the Center for Information Technology Policy and the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning. His research interests include social networks and computational social science.





Dondena Speakers: Leo Azzollini, Aart Liefbroer



Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen

Title: More Opportunity, More Cooperation? The Behavioral Effects of Birthright Citizenship on Immigrant Youth

Inequality of opportunity, particularly when overlaid with racial, ethnic, or cultural differences, increases the social distance between individuals, which is widely believed to limit the scope of cooperation. A central question, then, is how to bridge such divides. We study the effects of a major citizenship reform in Germany—the introduction of birthright citizenship on January 1, 2000—in terms of inter-group cooperation and social segregation between immigrant and native youth. We hypothesize that endowing immigrant children with citizenship rights levels the playing field between them and their native peers, with possible spill-overs into the domain of social interactions. Our unique setup connects a large-scale lab-in-the-field experiment based on the investment game with the citizenship reform by exploiting the quasi-random assignment of citizenship rights around its cut-off date. Immigrant youth born prior to the reform display high levels of cooperation toward other immigrants, but low levels of cooperation toward natives. The introduction of birthright citizenship caused male, but not female, immigrants to significantly increase their cooperativeness toward natives. This effect is accompanied by a near-closure of the educational achievement gap between young immigrant men and their native peers.

I am Professor of Economics at the University of Munich. I am also Director of the Center for Labor and Demographic Economics at the Ifo Institute.



New York University

Title: Trumping Hate on Twitter: Measuring the prevalence of online hate speech, with an application to the 2016 U.S. election TBC

Abstract: Despite a growing body of research devoted to defining and detecting online hate speech and extremist rhetoric, the existing scientific literature lacks a systematic framework for assessing how the content and popularity of these harmful messages change over time. We offer a new approach to measuring the real-time prevalence of online hate, using both context-specific data and data produced by a large random sample of users; employing multiple methods of text classification; and measuring not only the volume, but also the proportion, and number of unique users producing it. Here we apply our framework to test the widely-held proposition that Donald Trump's divisive 2016 campaign and election has popularized online hate speech and white nationalist rhetoric in the American Twittersphere. Highlighting the need for such a systematic approach---contrary to the conventional wisdom---our analysis of over one billion tweets demonstrates that online hate did not become more popular on Twitter either over the course of the campaign or in the aftermath of Trump's election.

Joshua A. Tucker is Professor of Politics, affiliated Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies, and affiliated Professor of Data Science at New York University. He is the Director of NYU’s Jordan Center for Advanced Study of Russia, a co-Director of the NYU Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) laboratory, and a co-author/editor of the award winning politics and policy blog The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post. His original research was on mass political behavior in post-communist countries. More recently, he has focused on the relationship between social media and politics, including partisan chambers, online hate speech, whether exposure to social media increases political knowledge, online networks and protest, disinformation and fake news, and Russian bots.  His research has appeared in over two-dozen scholarly journals, and his most recent book is the co-authored Communism’s Shadow: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Political Attitudes (Princeton University Press, 2017). Professor Tucker’s work on social media and politics has been funded by five philanthropic foundations and the National Science Foundation. Follow him  @j_a_tucker.



Princeton University

Title:  Student choices and the return to college major and selectivity

Abstract: This paper studies how the choice of college and major are related to life cycle earnings in a context where selection bias can potentially confound direct measurement. Three decades of ranked college applications and assignment data for the population of college students in Chile are linked to a decade of administrative tax data on earnings which allow for the study of student choices, college and major affect earnings. Application behavior, OLS earnings regressions and thousands of different RD earnings estimates are tied together using a parsimonious model of college major choice and earnings determination. After considering for the presence of selection bias, results stemming from the analysis suggest that there is considerable heterogeneity that is predictable across options. This heterogeneity can be explained by a combination of course content and observable comparative advantage given by interactions of major characteristics and student skills.


Bio: I am an applied microeconomist and my research focuses on the study of education markets. I design and evaluate public policies using a mix of experimental methods together with the estimation of structural microeconomic models of firm and consumer behavior. I work at Princeton University, where I have a joint appointment at the Economics Department and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. I am a member of the Industrial Relations Section and Education Research Section at Princeton University and a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research Industrial Organization and Education programs as well as an affiliate of the J-PAL network. A theme in my research agenda is to study education markets using tools from empirical industrial organization together with program evaluation tools typically used in labor and development economics. I use this combination of methods to provide credible evidence regarding the behavior of market participants first, and then use this as an input to estimate the best available equilibrium models of behavior to provide additional insights about the potential equilibrium effects of counterfactual policies. A second theme in my research agenda is to focus on working with governments and administrative offices that are currently designing or implementing policies that are relevant to my areas of interest. This relationship with policymakers will often present the opportunity to influence the design of the policy, both to potentially improve it based on prior evidence as well as to facilitate ex post evaluation.



Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Title: The Economics of Missionary Expansion: Evidence from Africa and Implications for Development

Abstract: In this paper we are explaining how economics affects the spread of religion (culture) and we show how estimations can be misled by not taking into account the dynamics. One of the most powerful cultural transformations in modern history has been the dramatic expansion of Christianity outside Europe. Recent, yet extensive, literature uses Christian missions established during colonial times as a source of exogenous variation to study the long-term effects of religion, human capital and culture in Africa, the Americas and Asia. We argue that the endogeneity of missionary expansion may be underestimated, thus questioning the link between missions and economic development. Using annual panel data on missions from 1751 to 1932 in Ghana as well as cross-sectional data on missions for 43 sub-Saharan African countries in 1900 and 1924, we show that: (i) locational decisions were driven by economic factors, as missionaries went to healthier, safer, and more accessible and developed areas, privileging the best locations first; (ii) these factors may spuriously explain why locations with past missions are more developed today, especially as most studies rely on historical mission atlases that tend to only report the best mission locations. Our study identifies factors behind the spatial diffusion of religion. It also highlights the risks of omission and endogenous measurement error biases when using historical data and events for identification.

Bio: Alexander Moradi is a Reader in Economics at the Department of Economics, University of Sussex. He has more than ten years experience conducting research and teaching development economics and economic history. His particular research focus is sub-Saharan Africa. He is a specialist in employing historical data to analyse health, living standards, urban development and the effects of trade on local populations. Alexander has published widely including in journals such as the American Economic Journal, The Economic Journal and Review of Economics and Statistics.



Vanderbilt University

Title: Partisan Procurement in the United States Federal Government

Abstract: The U.S. Federal Government spends huge sums buying goods and services outside the public sector. Given the sums involved, strategic government purchasing can have electoral consequences. In this paper, we suggest that more politicized agencies show favoritism to entrepreneurs in key electoral constituencies and to firms connected to political parties. We evaluate these claims using new data on United States government contracts between 2003 and 2015. We find that executive departments, particularly more politicized department-wide offices, are the most likely to have contracts characterized by non-competitive procedures and outcomes, indicating favoritism. Politically responsive agencies – but only those – give out more non-competitive contracts in battleground states. We also observe greater turnover in firms receiving government contracts after party change in the White House, but only in the more politicized agencies. We conclude that agency designs that limit appointee representation in procurement decisions reduce political favoritism.

David E. Lewis is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. His research interests include the presidency, executive branch politics and public administration. He is the author of two books, Presidents and the Politics of Agency Design (Stanford University Press, 2003) and The Politics of Presidential Appointments: Political Control and Bureaucratic Performance (Princeton University Press, 2008). He has also published numerous articles on American politics, public administration, and management in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political SciencePublic Administration Review, and Presidential Studies Quarterly. His work has been featured in outlets such as the Harvard Business ReviewNew York Times, and Washington Post. He is a member of the National Academy of Public Administration and has earned numerous research and teaching awards. Before joining Vanderbilt’s Department of Political Science, he was an assistant professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University, where he was affiliated with the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics. He began his academic career at the College of William and Mary, where he was an assistant professor in the Department of Government. He is the past president of the Southern Political Science Association. He serves on the editorial boards of Presidential Studies Quarterly and Public Administration. PhD. Stanford University.



Yale SOM

Title: The Labor Market for Teachers Under Different Pay Schemes

Abstract: Compensation of most US public school teachers is rigid and solely based on seniority. This paper studies the labor market effects of a reform that gave school districts in Wisconsin full autonomy to redesign teacher pay schemes. Following the reform, some districts switched to flexible compensation and started paying high-quality teachers more. Teacher quality increased in these districts relative to those with seniority pay due to a change in workforce composition and an increase in effort. I estimate a structural model of this labor market to investigate the effects of counterfactual pay schemes on the composition of the teaching workforce.

Bio: Barbara Biasi’s research is in the areas of labor economics and applied microeconomics, with a focus on education and creativity. Some of her recent research investigates the effects of changes in teachers’ pay on teachers’ labor markets and the effects of school finance equalization on long-run children’s outcomes, as well as the links between mental health and career outcomes and the links between copyright policies and the diffusion of scientific knowledge. Professor Biasi obtained her PhD from Stanford University.




University of Southern Denmark

Title: Human Capital Formation During the Second Industrial Revolution: Evidence from the Use of Electricity

Abstract: We test the hypothesis that early industrial technologies, the adoption of steam engines in particular, were introduced because they were labour-cheapening. We use a propensity score matching model on firm-level industrial census data from 19th-century France to try to identify the labour-market conditions that led to the adopting of steam technology as well as its subsequent effects on the demand for male, female and child labour and on their wage rates. Consistent with the idea that steam engines emerged for labour-cheapening purposes, our preliminary analyses show that the probability of receiving treatment, that is, that one or more firms in a given industry implemented steam technology, was significantly higher in districts where (i) industrial male labour productivity was relatively low, so that capital deepening would increase the productivity of male workers; (ii) female labour in agriculture was relatively cheap, so that male strength could be substituted for low-cost female labour and machine power; (iii) coal was relatively cheap, meaning that machine energy was inexpensive; (iv) other district-level industries had already adopted steam technology, so that technical expertise existed, making machine instalment-costs lower; and where (v) the population was better educated, thus facilitating the implementation of new technology. However, we also observe that steam technology was neither labour-saving nor skill-saving posterior to treatment. That is, the treated (steam-powered) firms used higher shares of female and child labour (meaning cheaper workers) than non-steam-powered firms; but because they also employed more workers on average (that is, steam technology turned out to be labour-augmenting) steam-operating firms actually used more male workers altogether. Steam-powered firms also paid significantly higher wages, both to male and female workers (but not to children). We interpret this as steam technology being skill-demanding on average, contradicting the traditional narrative that early industrial technologies were deskilling. Moreover, the average wage-bill over firm-value went up, contesting the argument that steam technology was ultimately labour-cheapening. Our findings highlight the multisided effects of general-purpose technological progress. On the positive side, steam technology meant rising firm value; higher male and female wages; and a growing demand for both male and female labour. On the negative side, steam-powered firms relied more heavily on child labour, and the male pay-raise associated with steam exceeded the female pay-raise suggesting that technological progress amplified gender wage inequalities.

Bio: I am a professor of economics at the University of Southern Denmark, a research fellow at the CEPR in London, a research associate of the CAGE in Warwick, and a research affiliate at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa. I have a doctoral degree in economics from the University of Copenhagen and one in economic history from Lund University. My research interests concern the forces that led to the wealth of nations. My studies consider England (the cradle of the industrial revolution), Italy (an industrial runner-up), and sub-Saharan Africa (a still-to-come region). I currently work on a project that investigates the impact of colonialism on gender inequality using historical marriage data from Africa; one that studies human capital formation using steam engines; and one that re-estimates 600 years of real wages in England. I also organise the Sound Workshop and the WEast Workshop.


Joint with SPS


Michigan State University


Title: Regime Change





Cornell University

Title: Ethnicity as an Institution and the Origins of Ethnic Orders

Abstract: This paper outlines an institutional framework for studying ethnic identity. The framework leans heavily on two theoretical literatures: constructivist theories of ethnic politics and institutions as equilbria. I propose that ethnic identity is best understood as a social institution, and use this framework to provide theoretical microfoundations for a conception of identity that is emergent, intersubjective, situational, and contested. To motivate this discussion, I draw on the case of Malays in contemporary Malaysia.


Thomas Pepinsky is Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. He specializes in comparative politics and international political economy, with a focus on emerging markets and a special interest in Southeast Asia. He is the author, most recently, of Piety and Public Opinion: Understanding Indonesian Islam (Oxford University Press, 2018, with R. William Liddle and Saiful Mujani), and his work also appears in the American Journal of Political ScienceInternational Studies QuarterlyJournal of DemocracyPolitical AnalysisWorld DevelopmentWorld Politics, and other venues. Currently, he is working on issues relating to identity, politics, and political economy in comparative and international politics. 



Dondena Speakers:TBD



National Cancer Institute

Title: Lung Cancer Risk Prediction and Assessment: application to the Lung Cancer Screening Trials

Abstract: In practice, the success of lung cancer screening program may depend on successful identification of individuals at high risk. Screening high-risk individuals may increase the benefit of lung cancer screening, reduce overall costs and improve the current poor survival from lung cancer. The aim of this study is to create a risk prediction model to identify individuals at different risks of lung cancer. We developed a tree classification model and constructed a stratification procedure to group subjects according to baseline information. We evaluate the sub-groups that benefit the most or the least from lung cancer screening test. We provide an intuitive selection procedure on identifying the risk of lung cancer. The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) x-ray arm data was used as the training dataset to generate the risk prediction model. The Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial data was used as the independent validation dataset. The proposed method developed in this study might be useful for investigating the difference between risk-based and outcome-based screening strategies in assessing targeted risk subgroups, and for planning and designing cancer screening and prevention trials.

Dr. Ping Hu received her B.S. in Mathematics from Beijing Institute of Technology, China. She received M.S. in Health Policy and Management and Sc.D. in Biostatistics from Harvard University, USA. She had her post-doctoral training at Department of Biostatistics, Harvard University. She worked on Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) at Dana Farber Cancer institute, during her doctoral program and as a post-doc. She went to Brown University as a faculty, and later moved to the Washington DC area. She has been working at National Cancer Institute (NCI) since 2000. She is a Statistician and China projects representative. In NCI, she has been working on the two-important early detection screening trials in the world: the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) randomized cancer screening trial as a key point person for lung component, and the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) as one of the statisticians who designed the trial. Her research interests include statistical modeling of early detection of disease and cancer screening, design and analysis of clinical trials, cancer risk prediction and assessment, survival analysis, nonparametric and semi-parametric methods.



Toulouse School of Economics

Title: Shocking Culture: World War I and Attitudes Toward Gender Roles Throughout a Century

World War I in France induced many women to enter the labor force after the war, a shock to female labor that persisted over the long run. I rely on this historical shock to women's working behaviors to explore mechanisms that underlie the process of cultural change. I attempt to build a measure of attitudes that is consistent across time and space throughout the twentieth century by using legislative behaviors of French députés on gender-issues bills. Preliminary results indicate that the war had enduring implications for attitudes toward gender roles.

I received a PhD in Economics from the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago in Spring 2018. In September 2018, I will join Toulouse School of Economics and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Toulouse (IAST) as an Assistant Professor of Economics. 

Last updated 27 May 2019 - 15:12:37