February 19, 2009
Vol. 28 No. 10

current issue
archive / search
Chronicle RSS Feed

    First MFI workshop to build upon research on economics of family

    Leading economists from around the world will come to the University on Friday, Feb. 27 and Saturday, Feb. 28 to take part in the inaugural workshop of the Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, titled “New Economics of the Family.”

    “For our first conference, we decided to build on one of the strengths of Chicago,” said James Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, who organized the conference along with Christopher Flinn of New York University and Pierre-André Chiappori of Columbia University. “Gary Becker did pioneering work in this field, and we will bring the leading scholars in this area to look at the latest research on the family.

    “This will be high-quality, scientifically rigorous work that represents the best work in economics in this field,” he said. The workshop is one of four planned for this year.

    Becker, University Professor in Economics and Sociology, fundamentally changed the study of the family by showing how the discipline and tools of economics could help scholars understand the choices people make when they marry and have children. The scholars chosen for the workshop are engaged in the latest work to study the functioning of the family, “extending the now standard model in substantial ways and linking it to models of sorting and search in the labor market, some done by Rob Shimer of the faculty,” Heckman said.

    Established in 2008, the Institute will bring to campus its first group of visiting scholars this Quarter, and they will include Chiappori, the E. Rowan and Barbara Steinschneider professor of economics at Columbia University, who will speak at the upcoming workshop.

    The workshop begins at noon Friday, Feb. 27, with remarks from Lars Hansen, the Homer J. Livingston Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, who will discuss the institute and its goals. Philip Reny, the William C. Norby Professor and Chair of Economics, will introduce the workshop Saturday, Feb. 28. The two-day workshop will be held in the Swift Hall Common Room, first floor.

    Workshop discussion topics include “Endogenous Household Interaction,” “Marriage Market Equilibrium and Bargaining in Marriage,” “From Shame to Game in One Hundred Years: An Economic Model of the Rise in Premarital Sex and its De-Stigmatization,” “Matching by Categories,” “Testing Becker’s Positive Assortative Matching” and “Matching with Trade-offs: Revealed Preferences Over Competing Characteristics.”

    In a final session, Becker will summarize the new research on the economics of the family.

    Titles for upcoming MFI conferences include “Liquidity, Solvency and Bubbles in Financial Markets” (Thursday, March 19), “Heterogeneity in the Labor Market” (April), and “Finance and Development” (Wednesday, May 20-Thursday, May 21).

    For more information, visit http://mfi.uchicago.edu/.