Current events

Department meeting

The next Department meeting is scheduled for 24 July 2020, 11am to 12:30pm. Whether it will be an on-campus meeting or totally remote attendance will depend on the social distancing advice at that time.

Applied Young Economist Webinar (AYEW)

In mid-April, Ashani Amarasinghe (Monash Economics and SoDa Laboratories) started the Applied Young Economist Webinar (AYEW) (co-hosted with Ivan Yotzov from Warwick University).

The idea of the AYEW is to provide a platform for PhD candidates and Post-Doctoral researchers to connect, interact and engage with each other, while sharing their enthusiasm for the discipline of Economics. It brings together young economists located in various geographies, conducting empirical research in various fields of Economics, to one virtual location where their high-quality research and ideas can be shared with a broad audience - including faculty members - that extends beyond their home universities.

The webinar has evolved into a continuous global webinar series that runs two sessions per week (one for each major time zone). Ashani and Yvan have received a large number of submissions and most presentation slots for the remainder of the year are already booked out.

In less than two months, almost 500 people registered their interest and more than 50 webinars have been scheduled, with speakers from over 30 institutions across four continents. So far, the webinar had presenters from institutions such as Oxford, UPF, ANU, UWA, Hertie School, Bank of Mexico and Monash, and the upcoming list includes universities such as PSE, University of Melbourne, UNSW, Pittsburgh, IHEID Geneva, Vancouver, Frankfurt and Tilburg, to name a few.

All information, including details of upcoming presentations, can be found here. For any inquiries, contact Ashani directly (ashani.amarasinghe@monash.edu).

Asia-Pacific Prize in Economic History

Congratulations to Weijia Li, winner of the biennial Asia-Pacific Prize in Economic History for the best dissertation on Asia-Pacific economic history worldwide. Awarded by the Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, the prize recognises outstanding postgraduate research in economic history.

Weijia's dissertation, Meritocracy in Autocracies: Origins and Consequences was awarded by UC Berkeley in 2018. The dissertation studies both the economic consequences and historical origins of bureaucratic capacity. A novel dataset is used to trace the evolution of historical institutions over 1,300 years. New tools of text analysis are applied to the Twenty-Five Histories, the most important source of Chinese history. The dataset uncovers a key empirical regularity: a meritocratic bureaucracy arises only after emperors establish a strong ‘separation of powers’ among provincial officials, an institution that helps to solve the trade-off between loyalty and competence. The joint emergence of market economy and a meritocratic bureaucracy during the ‘Tang-Song Transition’, the watershed moment in Chinese history, is formally modelled. The model also sheds light on different paths of state development in historical China versus the Ottoman Empire.

A summary of the dissertation will appear in the July issue of Australian Economic History Review.

Lionel Frost
President, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand

Other events

  • Dyuti Banerjee’s publication 'Anticorruption reforms, tax evasion, and the role of harassment' published in Journal of Public Economic Theory, is among the top 10 per cent most downloaded papers.
  • Sascha Becker was appointed member of the Editorial Board of a newly founded journal, the Journal of Economics, Management and Religion (JEMAR)
  • Sascha Becker has been awarded the Excellence in Refereeing award from the Review of Economic Studies. "The winners of the Excellence in Refereeing Award for 2019 have been selected for their contribution in providing the journal with multiple timely, constructive, and insightful referee reports over the past year."
  • Giovanni Caggiano gave a professional development seminar at the Economic Society of Australia on 28 May on the topic of the macroeconomic effects of global uncertainty.
  • In April, Frank Wolak and Gordon Leslie delivered an online seminar to members of the Australian Energy Market Commission on designing electricity markets to integrate large amounts of intermittent renewable energy sources.
  • Congratulations to our former Honours student Mitch Harvey (class of 2018) who was awarded a full scholarship to study for a Ph. D in Political Economics at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Mitch did his honours thesis under the supervision of Giovanni Caggiano. After graduating in 2018, he worked for the Department as a teaching assistant, and took a Real Analysis class at Monash. Giovanni Caggiano, Chongwoo Choe, Vai-Lam Mui, Christis Tombazos and Liang Choon Wang wrote letters for him for his applications. We wished Mitch the best in his study in the years to come.