About the series
The Becker Brown Bag Series was created to provide an informal setting in which prominent economists can present cutting-edge research and engage MBA students in discussion. The talks highlight the practical use of economics for answering real-world questions pertinent to businesses and policy makers.
While the Becker Brown Bag Series is directed towards current MBA students, alumni, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend. Brown Bags occur one to two times per quarter, with most events being held at Chicago Booth’s Charles M. Harper Center.
“War Stories from the Man Who Brought Moneyball to Basketball”
- May 14, 2013
Mike Zarren – Assistant General Manager for the Celtics
“Life Expectancy, Medical Testing and Human Capital Investment”
- April 18, 2013
Emily Oster – Associate Professor of Economics
When facing a grim diagnosis of a life-shortening incurable disease, ignorance may be bliss—or at least a desirable— state and knowledge will change your life choices, according to research by Emily Oster, a faculty member with the Institute’s Chicago Price Theory Initiative.
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“A Converstion with Richard Thaler”
- Nov. 13, 2012
Richard H. Thaler – Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics. Professor Steven Levitt led the conversation with Thaler, a leader in the field of behavioral economics.
“Manufacturing Declines, Housing Booms, and the U.S. Labor Market During the 2000s”
- Oct. 16, 2012
Erik Hurst – V. Duane Rath Professor of Economics and the John E. Jeuck Faculty Fellow
“The Dismal State of the Supply of Kidneys for Transplants and What To Do About It”
- May 16, 2012
Gary Becker, University Professor in Economics, Sociology, University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Law School
“Ideological Segregation Online and Offline”
- April 19, 2012
Jesse M. Shapiro, Professor of Economics at the Chicago Booth School of Business
“A Conversation with Austan Goolsbee”
- February 16, 2012
Austan D. Goolsbee, the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics, returned to his faculty position at Chicago Booth after serving on the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama. Guided by questions from his colleague Steven Levitt, Goolsbee gave an honest and entertaining account of life in Washington's policy circles and provided a few bits of career advice in the latest talk in this series.
“The Fiscal Situation, Economic Recovery, and the Labor Market”
- Oct. 11, 2011
Lazear, the Jack Steele Parker Professor of Human Resources Management and Economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business and chair of the Becker Friedman Institute Board of Overseers, discussed the causes of and response to the 2007-08 financial crisis. He shared his experiences dealing with the crisis as chair of the the President's Council of Economic Advisers during this period, highlighting what actions helped, hurt, and had little impact.
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“Too Many Choices, Too Much Information?”
- Nov. 10, 2011
Emir Kamenica, Associate Professor of Economics, Chicago Booth School of Business
How many different varieties should a firm offer to its customers? How much information should it provide about the customers’ fit with its products? Kamenica will examine the implications of economic theory for these questions and finds that the answers can be counterintuitive: consumers might be better off when they are offered fewer products and a firm might find it profitable to keep consumers in (partial) dark about how well its product match the consumers' needs.
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