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Bank of Canada announces winners of the second edition of The Governor’s Challenge: McGill Economics – Again!
A team from McGill Economics has won the Bank of Canada’s Governor’s Competition for the second year in a row. This year’s winning team consists of Eric Blachut, Jules Boudreau, Baptiste Cumin, Kurt Vogt Gwerder, and Ludovic van den Bergen. As was the case last year, the team’s academic advisers were Professors Francisco Ruge-Murcia and Christopher Ragan. Congratulations to all concerned! It’s a real tribute to McGill’s expertise in monetary policy. The award is only two years old so McGill is its only winner so far.
The Governor and the winning team, LtoR, Front row: Ludovic van den Bergen, Stephen Poloz (Governor of the Bank of Canada), Kurt Vogt Gwerder. Second row: Jules Boudreau, Prof. Francisco Ruge-Murcia, Eric Blachut. Back row: Prof. Christopher Ragan, Baptiste Cumin.
Jean-Marie Dufour, Econometric Society honoured
Jean-Marie Dufour, representing the Econometric Society was honoured for its 11th World Congress, held in Montreal in August 2015, with one of three Prix Club des Ambassadeurs du Palais des congrès de Montréal – Fonds de recherche du Québec, "qui reconnaissent le travail de chercheurs s’étant investis dans l’organisation de grands congrès scientifiques internationaux.” Félicitations à tous nos économtriciens et économitriciennes.
McGill returns to the Governor’s Challenge finals
This year’s McGill team in the Bank of Canada’s Governor’s Challenge has made it to the finals again. In last year’s first edition of the Challenge McGill's team won. Best of luck to team members Eric Blachut, Jules Boudreau, Baptiste Cumin, Kurt Vogt Gwerder, and Ludovic van den Bergen in the finals, to be held January 28, 2017 in Ottawa. Details here.
Ragan’s Commission wins Purvis Prize
Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, which Professor Chris Ragan chairs, has won the Purvis Prize of the Canadian Economics Association, awarded annually to “the authors of a highly significant, written contribution to Canadian economic policy.” The Commission's The Way Forward: A Practical Approach to Reducing Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions, for which it received the prize, has drawn widespread praise for its state-of-the-art discussion of how best to price the full costs of carbon use.
The prize honours Doug Purvis, a great Canadian economist and truly remarkable person who had a deep impact on everyone who knew him. Doug Purvis died tragically in 1993 at the age of 45 following a sporting accident. Prof. Ragan was Doug’s student while taking his M.A. at Queen’s and later his collaborator in several policy and academic ventures. It must be very satisfying for him and his colleagues on the Commission, many of whom also knew Doug Purvis, to be honoured in this way.
Fabian Lange wins best Canadian economics researcher award
At its annual meetings, held this year in Ottawa, the Canadian Economics Association has awarded Professor Fabian Lange its John Rae Prize for research excellence. The Award is given every two years to an economist based in Canada with the “best research record over the previous five years.” Previous winners include Jean-Marie Dufour, Larry Epstein, Daniel Trefler, Thomas Lemieux, Paul Beaudry, Michael Devereux and Yves Sprumont. The whole Department joins in congratulating Prof. Lange on this very prestigious award.
Kudos to Professors Davidson and Strumpf
To Professor Russell Davidson for winning the Faculty of Arts Award for Distinction in Research for 2015-16. Previous winners include Professors Ngo Van Long (from Economics), Vincent Pouliot (Political Science), John Hall (Sociology), Lydia White (Linguistics) and the late Bruce Trigger (Anthropology).
And to Associate Professor Erin Strumpf for being named a William Dawson Scholar. There are currently 45 Dawson Scholars in the University, including Associate Professor of Economics Markus Poschke. Professor Strumpf has a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health.
Conference honours Jean-Marie Dufour
On the weekend of May 7-8 CIREQ (Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative) honoured William Dow Chair in Political Economy Jean-Marie Dufour in this year of his 65th birthday. The conference website is here Of particular note (or notes!) is the musical tribute by Timothy Walsh, partner of conference co-organizer and tribute lyricist, Professor Victoria Zinde-Walsh. Professor Dufour’s milestone will also be recognized by a special Annals issue of the Journal of Econometrics.
Federal growth council has first meeting
Professor Chris Ragan joined Principal Suzanne Fortier at the first meeting of the Federal Minister of Finance’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth at Meech Lake, Monday, May 17. The Council is chaired by Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director of McKinsey and Company. According to a statement from the Minister’s office, “As its first order of business, [the Council] will be tasked with finding ways to overcome the challenges posed by an aging population as Canada seeks to achieve sustainable, long-term growth.” More available here.
Sylvain Leduc named Bank of Canada Deputy Governor
Department alum Sylvain Leduc, who took the Honours program from 1988-91 and then an MA in 1992-3, has been appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada, effective May 2016. After leaving McGill, Mr. Leduc, who was born in Montreal, went on to get his PhD in Economics at the University of Rochester. He has since held positions at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and, most recently, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, where he was Vice-President Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Research. The Bank of Canada’s announcement of the appointment is available here.
McGill Team Wins Bank of Canada Competition
A team of McGill Honours students—Simon Altman, Justine Schafer, Troy (Liam) Maclure, Valentyn Litvin, and Daniel Morrison—has won the Bank of Canada’s first-ever Governor’s Challenge The team had to simulate the role of monetary policy adviser to Bank of Canada Governor Steve Poloz. Twenty-two teams entered from across Canada. They were narrowed to five finalist teams in a competition by video conference in November (see below) and McGill’s team won the finals, which were held this past weekend in Ottawa. Congratulations to the team and to professor-coaches Christopher Ragan and Francisco Ruge-Murcia, who in a joint e-mail said "Our team did an outstanding job. Their presentation was well-crafted, thorough and interesting, and they answered the questions superbly. They were excited to be at the Bank and to have the opportunity to speak at length with the Governor, Stephen Poloz. We have been delighted to be involved with the entire exercise, and are naturally very proud of our team." See the official Bank of Canada announcement here.
Standing from left to right: Francisco Ruge-Murcia, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, Troy (Liam) Maclure, and Chris Ragan. Sitting from left to right: Justine Schäfer, Simon Altman, Valentyn Litvin, and Daniel Morrison
Watson on inequality
Here is a link to a podcast of Professor William Watson discussing his new book, The Inequality Trap: Fighting Capitalism Instead of Poverty, with Michael Enright, host of CBC Radio’s Sunday Edition. And here’s a link to his interview on TVOntario’s The Agenda, with Steve Paikin, which aired January 6, 2016.
McGill’s own unemployment rate
Well, not exactly. But Professor Fabian Lange has been a principal collaborator in the development of the Hornstein-Kudlyak-Lange Non-Employment Index, which the Richmond (Virginia) Federal Reserve Bank has announced it will be publishing monthly as an alternative to the standard unemployment rate. The non-employment index “includes all non-employed individuals and accounts for persistent differences in their labor market attachment.” You can read more about it here.