The AEA's 2023 Continuing Education Program will be held on January 8-10, 2023, at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.
Machine Learning and Big Data—Melissa Dell and Matthew Harding
Melissa Dell | Harvard University
Melissa Dell is the Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics at Harvard University. She is the 2020 recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded each year to an American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. In 2018, The Economist named her one of the decade’s eight best young economists, and in 2014 she was named by the IMF as the youngest of 25 economists under the age of 45 shaping thought about the global economy. Her research focuses on economic growth and political economy. She has examined the factors leading to the persistence of poverty and prosperity in the long run, the effects of trade-induced job loss on crime, the impacts of U.S. foreign intervention, and the effects of weather on economic growth. She has also developed deep learning powered methods for curating social science data at scale, released in the open-source package Layout Parser. This work supports many of her current projects, which rely on digitizing historical sources far too large for manual digitization. Professor Dell is a senior scholar at the Harvard Academy for Area and International Studies and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She received an AB in Economics from Harvard in 2005, an MPhil in Economics from Oxford in 2007, and a PhD in Economics from MIT in 2012. Before joining the Harvard Economics department in 2014, she was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.
Matthew Harding | University of California, Irvine
Matthew Harding is a Professor of Economics and Statistics at the University of California, Irvine. He is an Econometrician and Data Scientist who develops techniques at the intersection of Machine Learning and Econometrics to answer Big Data questions related to individual and firm behavior in areas such as energy, consumer finance, and health. He directs the Deep Data Lab which conducts research into cutting edge methods, inspired by recent advances in machine learning, for the analysis of “deep data”, large and information-rich data sets derived from many seemingly unrelated sources to provide novel economic insights to economics and business. Professor Harding focuses on developing triple-win strategies that balance individual and corporate welfare with broader policy and societal goals while maintaining a core focus on evaluating causal determinants. He has extensive experience working with industry leaders and regulators and advised major companies, agencies, and organizations. He is a Co-Founder of FASTLab.Global, a non-profit thought academy aimed at providing research and mentoring opportunities in areas of fair access and sustainable technologies for underprivileged minorities. Professor Harding is also a co-author of the best-selling textbook Modern Business Analytics: Practical Data Science for Decision-Making published by McGraw-Hill. He received a BA in Philosophy and Economics from University College London, an MPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Economics from MIT. Before joining UC Irvine, he taught at Stanford University and Duke University.
Techniques of Empirical Macroeconomics—Òscar Jordà and Karel Mertens
Òscar Jordà | Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, University of California, Davis
Òscar Jordà is Senior Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Professor of Economics at the University of California, Davis. Professor Jordà received his Ph. D. in economics from the University of California, San Diego in 1997. He began his career at the University of California, Davis and joined the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in 2011. Professor Jordà’s research addresses current issues in macroeconomics using historical data and novel empirical methods. His contributions span monetary policy, international finance and fiscal policy. He is currently exploring the role of private and public debt on the business cycle, asset prices and the fragility of the financial system, as well as their policy implications. Professor Jordà has also developed methods to study the chronology of the business cycle, the dynamics of macroeconomic systems, and forecasting. Professor Jordà serves on the boards of the International Journal of Central Banking, Journal of Applied Econometrics, and the Journal of International Economics, and has served on the boards of Empirical Economics, the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, the Journal of the Spanish Economic Association SERIEs, and the Journal of Econometric Methods.
Karel Mertens | Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Karel Mertens is senior economic policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve in 2017, he was Associate Professor of Economics at Cornell University and a visiting professor at Columbia University. His research is in applied macroeconomics, with a focus on the estimation of causal effects of fiscal and monetary policies, and the development of novel empirical methods. At the Federal Reserve, he supports the FOMC policy process and is a senior member in the Research Department. He is a Research fellow of the CEPR, and a former Research Associate of the NBER. He serves as Associate Editor of the American Economic Review and the Journal of the European Economic Association, and is a former editor of the BE Journal of Macroeconomics and a former associate editor of Quantitative Economics and Macroeconomic Dynamics. He received his PhD in Economics from the European University in Florence, Italy in 2007, and holds a Licentiaat in economics from Ghent University and an M.Sc. in Economics for the London School of Economics. He has been appointed International Francqui Professor Chair in Social Sciences for 2022-23 at the University of Namur.
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