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Institute for New Economic Thinking

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Melissa Tartari of Yale University to be Awarded a Grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking


The Institute will fund Professor Tartariís project to conduct an explorative data collection project.

New York, NY, November 17, 2010 --(PR.com)-- The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), launched with a $50 million pledge from George Soros to promote changes in economic theory and practice through research grants, Task Force groups, academic partnerships, and conferences, announced that it has selected Melissa Tartari of Yale University to be awarded a project grant through the Institute’s Inaugural Grant Program to conduct an explorative data collection project. The grant program, along with other INET initiatives, was created in direct response to arguably the worst economic crisis in world history, and has been designed to encourage and support new economic thinking. Starting in 2011, INET will conduct two grant cycles annually.

The project aims to enhance our understanding of how endowments and subsequent opportunities and shocks explain the evolution of individual and family well being across generations. Professor Tartari plans to use INET’s funding to create a new data set based on linked 19th century archival sources pertaining to a single Italian town. The data will prove to have significant advantages when compared to the existing longitudinal data sets.

“This project is unique in that it has found data that spans generations in a small area. Understanding how the distribution of wealth and income changes across generations requires a consistency of data and that rarely exists in this world,” said Dr. Robert Johnson, Executive Director of INET. “To see the implications of this study will allow us to compare to many theoretical treatments of intergenerational equity and mobility.”

Professor Tartari has obtained a PhD in Economics from University of Pennsylvania in 2006; since then she has been an assistant professor of Economics at Yale University. Professor Tartari’s research fields are labor economics, economic history, and applied micro-econometrics.

“I am interested in answering two questions: (1) what are the determinants of the changes in well-being across generations? (2) is the evolution of the wealth distribution across generations accompanied by changes in family position? If so, what explains who the relative winners and losers are?,” said Professor Tartari,. “To answer these questions, I will use INET’s grant to digitize and link several 19th century Italian archival sources. The data collected will consist of lifetime histories of both demographic and economic outcomes, as well as income shocks, for a large sample of individuals. The individual-level data will then be paired with wealth and other information on the families of origin of these individuals at the time when they were children.”

INET’s Inaugural Grant Program has been designed to harness the new economic thinking we recognize as crucial to effecting change. The program was launched during the summer of 2010 and received more than 500 applications from around the world. 31 initiatives were selected to be awarded grants totaling $7 million. INET's Grant Program will continue with two similar grant cycles annually, the next one commencing in the spring of 2011.

For further details regarding INET’s Grant Program or additional projects and people to be awarded grants please visit the Institute’s website.

About the Institute for New Economic Thinking:
Launched in October 2009 with a $50 million commitment from George Soros and driven by the global financial crisis, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) is dedicated to empowering and supporting the next generation of economists and scholars in related fields through research grants, Task Force groups, academic partnerships, and conferences. INET embraces the professional responsibility to think beyond current paradigms. Ultimately, INET is committed to broadening and accelerating the development of innovative thinking that can lead to insights into and solutions for the great challenges of the 21st century and return economics to its core mission of guiding and protecting society. For more information please visit http://www.ineteconomics.org/

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Contact Information
Institute for New Economic Thinking
Bill Fallon
212 925 6900
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ineteconomics.org

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