Glenn Ellison, who specializes in game theory and industrial organization, joined the Department as an Associate Professor (without tenure), effective July 1, 1994. Professor Ellison is an excellent teacher and very promising scholar who is helping to fill important roles in the Department.
Assistant Professor Alberto Bisin, who specializes in general equilibrium theory, joined the Department effective July 1, 1994. He is one of an exciting group of young theorists who have joined the Department in the last few years.
The Department conducted various searches to fill positions at the junior and senior levels during the year. We are delighted that Susan Athey and Jaume Ventura joined our faculty as assistant professors effective July 1, 1995. Professor Athey, who specializes in the areas of organization theory, contracts and industrial organization, received her Ph.D. from Stanford University. Professor Ventura, who specializes in international economics and macroeconomics, received his Ph.D. from Harvard. Professors Athey and Ventura were considered the most outstanding of the candidates on the job market this year.
The Department continues to be actively engaged in searches to fill three senior positions. During the year, search committees in international economics, labor economics, and economic theory evaluated potential candidates and made recommendations to the Department's Policy Committee. We expect to make two appointments in Fall 1995.
Associate Professor Ricardo Caballero, a macroeconomist, has been approved for promotion to the rank of Professor effective July 1, 1995. Associate Professor Nancy Rose, who holds a joint appointment with the Sloan School and specializes in the area of industrial organization, has also been approved for promotion to the rank of Professor effective July 1, 1995. Assistant Professor Jonathan Gruber, who specializes in public finance, was approved for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor (without tenure), effective July 1, 1995.
Associate Professor Roland Benabou has resigned from the Department to accept an offer from the Department of Economics at New York University.
Institute Professor Robert Solow has formally retired effective June 30, 1995. Professor Solow will continue to be active in his research and writing and have the title of Institute Professor, Emeritus. He will be a Senior Lecturer in Fall 1995 and teach a graduate course in macroeconomics.
Professor Stanley Fischer resigned his position as Department Head in August and took a two-year leave of absence to serve as the First Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund. He was replaced as Department Head by Professor Paul Joskow. Professor James Poterba in turn replaced Professor Joskow as Associate Department Head.
In addition to Professor Fischer, Professor Benabou and Assistant Professors David Genesove and Michael Kremer were on leaves of absence during the 1994-95 academic year. Professor Benabou was on leave at New York University. Professor Kremer was at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University and Professor Genesove was at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
There were six visiting faculty for all or part of this year. Professor Jean Tirole, of the University of Toulouse, taught a topics course in industrial organization. Professor R. Preston McAfee, of the University of Texas, taught two courses in the industrial organization sequence. Dr. Roger Brinner, Executive Director and Chief Economist at DRI/McGraw-Hill, taught the introductory macroeconomics course for the spring semester. Professor Avinash Dixit, of Princeton University, taught international trade during the fall semester. Associate Professor Joshua Angrist, of the Hebrew University at Jerusalem, taught in the graduate labor economics sequence and Associate Professor Gilles Saint-Paul, a researcher at DELTA in Paris, taught macroeconomic theory in the spring semester.
The Department maintains its concern with increasing the representation of women and minorities in the economics profession. All search committees have been instructed to make a special effort to identify outstanding women and minority candidates as an integral component of their search process. This year, as part of the recruitment process for junior faculty, the Department solicited/received 228 CVs. After the first screening, 57 files were retained. Of those, 31 were women. After a second screening, 32 (of which 9 were women, one of whom was a minority) candidates were selected for interviews. All candidates were interviewed by at least two members of the faculty. Subsequently, 6 candidates were invited to come to MIT and present a seminar. As a result of this exhaustive process, two offers were made and accepted. One of these offers was made to a woman, Susan Athey.
Undergraduate enrollment increased slightly this past year. There were 106 undergraduate majors in economics (including 25 double majors) and 139 undergraduate minors last year. The total enrollment in all undergraduate subjects in economics this year was five percent greater than last year.
The World Economy Lab (WEL), lead by Professor Dornbusch, continues to play a major role in the Department's effort to raise funds to support student and faculty research. This year WEL held two very successful conferences in October (New York City) and April (Washington, D.C.) to discuss major economic issues. Participants included leaders of business, government and industry, as well as many MIT alumni/ae. The WEL is also the home for research grants from the Ford Foundation and the German government. The WEL continues to be an important source of research support for graduate students and junior faculty in the Department.
This year the National Science Foundation made new or renewal awards to several of the Department's faculty; Professors Bai, Banerjee, Caballero, Newey, Smith, Ellison, and Holmström. Professors Blanchard, Diamond, Hausman, Poterba and Rose have NSF grants that are continuing. The National Institute on Aging made an award to Professor Costa. Professors Joskow and Schmalensee received a grant from the Department of Energy (through the CEEPR) to study the sulfur dioxide allowance trading program created by the Clean Air Act of 1990. Professors Eckaus, Joskow, Poterba, and Schmalensee are involved with the research activities of the Center for Energy Policy Research, a joint activity between the Department of Economics, the Sloan School, and the Energy Laboratory. Professor Piore received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (through the Industrial Performance Center) to pursue his research in understanding and improving industrial performance. Grants from the Ford Foundation and the German government are continuing and are being administered by the WEL.
The Department submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation Academic Research Infrastructure Program to provide funds to upgrade and expand the Department's computer infra-structure. A final decision will not be made until later in FY 95.
Paul L. Joskow
MIT Reports to the President 1994-95