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Stanford logoEvery summer, Stanford Economics hosts a series of workshop sessions in economic theory and mathematical economics. This program is known as the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Economics (SITE).

Each SITE session combines leading senior researchers in the topic area with economists newer to the field who would benefit from attending. We make a special effort to identify those economists and offer assistance to attend. Overseen by SITE Director Avner Greif, sessions are organized in a decentralized fashion by small groups of economists and other SITE associates, along with selected senior collaborators from outside Stanford.

SITE 2016

See session descriptions and paper deadlines listed below.

Presenting at a session

If you wish to present at a session, please submit your paper for consideration.

Attending a session

Sessions are open to all, but pre-registration is required: please complete the pre-registration form.
(Confirmed presenters do not need to register unless attending additional sessions.)


2016 Sessions and Call for Papers

Session 1: New Directions in Economic Geography

June 21-22, 2016

Deadline for Papers: March 28th

Organized by:

  • Dave Donaldson, Stanford University
  • Treb Allen, Northwestern University

This session will focus on the economics of interactions between geographical units, be they countries or regions / cities within countries. The goal is to bring together economists - from fields such as International Trade, Regional Economics, and Urban Economics - who are participating in the rapidly evolving understanding of such spatial interactions. We welcome papers that make theoretical and/or empirical advances in this area.

Session 2: International Trade Policy: Institutions and Economic Impacts

June 28-30, 2016

Deadline for Papers: April 1st

Organized by:

  • Kyle Bagwell, Stanford University
  • Nuno Limao, University of Maryland
  • Giovanni Maggi, Yale University
  • Robert Staiger, Dartmouth College

The current wave of economic globalization is characterized by a high degree of trade and investment liberalization and unprecedented international economic policy cooperation. There is a rich and vibrant body of research that seeks to illuminate the myriad effects on firms, workers and consumers of the growth in international trade and investment, but much less is known about the role of the policies and institutions that may underpin this growth. This workshop aims to help fill this gap by bringing together established and newer researchers studying the formation, interaction and economic impacts of international trade institutions. The workshop will disseminate work that addresses central economic policy questions including (i) What are the motives and economic effects of trade agreements? (ii) How are trade policies negotiated and enforced? (iii) How does the level and variability of trade policy affect investments and global production chains? (iv) How can we estimate and quantify the trade and welfare effects of agreements? (v) What are the economic effects of mega-regional agreements, e.g. the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, and their interaction with the World Trade Organization?

Session 3: Empirical Implementation of Theoretical Models of Strategic Interaction and Dynamic Behavior

July 11-13, 2016

Deadline for Papers: April 4th

Organized by:

  • Frank Wolak, Stanford University
  • John Rust, Georgetown University

The papers for this session are invited from the fields of empirical Industrial Organization (IO), Labor Economics, Public Finance, and Health Economics, Environmental and Energy Economics, and Development Economics. The unifying feature of the papers should be that they each contain a theoretical model of an economic interaction and an empirical implementation of this theoretical model using actual data. Popular topics for papers from previous years include - the empirical implementation of models of auction market equilibrium, discrete choice models of differentiated product demand and oligopoly equilibrium, dynamic models of individual and group behavior, and analysis of experiment data of policy interventions in circumstances of non-random assignment or self-selection. A clear link between the theoretical economic model and econometric model should be a hallmark of the papers presented.

Session 4: Computational Methods for Dynamic Economies and Games

August 1-3, 2016

Deadline for Papers: April 11th

Organized by:

  • Kenneth Judd, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  • Felix Kubler, University of Zurich
  • Thomas Sargent, New York University
  • Karl Schmedders, University of Zurich
  • Christopher Sleet, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Sevin Yeltekin, Carnegie Mellon University

Dynamic economies with heterogeneous agents are naturally high dimensional objects. Their quantitative analysis requires efficient and accurate optimization and approximation procedures. This session will include papers that develop numerical methods for dynamic heterogeneous agent competitive models with many agents and strategic models with finite agents. The primary focus will be on numerical solutions to contracting problems in discrete and continuous time, mean field games, dynamic recursive games and dynamic general equilibrium models. We seek applications to problems in industrial organization (e.g. firm dynamics and size distribution), finance (e.g. information percolation), and macroeconomics (e.g. income and wealth distribution, knowledge diffusion and growth, optimal social insurance).

Session 5: Dynamic Games, Contracts, and Markets

August 8-10, 2016

Deadline for Papers: April 18th

Organized by:

  • Simon Board, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Alessandro Bonatti, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Brett Green, University of California, Berkeley
  • Marina Halac, Columbia University
  • Andrzej Skrzypacz, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Takuo Sugaya, Stanford Graduate School of Business

The idea of this session is to bring together microeconomic theorists working on dynamic games and contracts with more applied theorists working in macro, finance, organizational economics, and other fields. First, this is a venue to discuss the latest questions and techniques facing researchers working in dynamic games and contracts. Second, we wish to foster interdisciplinary discussion between scholars working on parallel topics in different disciplines, in particular, helping raise awareness among theorists of the open questions in other fields. We’re aiming for a roughly even split between micro theory papers and papers from other areas such as economics finance, operations research, political economy, and related fields. Specific topics likely to be covered include repeated and stochastic games, dynamic optimal contracts, dynamic market pricing, reputation, search, and learning and experimentation.

Session 6: New Models of Financial Markets

August 15-17, 2016

Deadline for Papers: April 25th

Organized by:

  • Lars Peter Hansen, University of Chicago
  • Peter Koudijs, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Arvind Krishnamurthy, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Hanno Lustig, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Tim McQuade, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Monika Piazzesi, Stanford University
  • Martin Schneider, Stanford University

We will explore recent approaches in financial economics. After the financial crisis, there has been a new focus on frictions in financial markets, market incompleteness, the behavior of banks and other experts, stock and house price volatility, foreign exchange markets, mortgage design and securitization, risk taking through financial derivatives, and investor heterogeneity.

Session 7: Experimental Economics

August 22-23, 2016

Deadline for Papers: April 18th

Organized by:

  • Sandro Ambuehl, Stanford University
  • Christine Exley, Harvard Business School
  • Shengwu Li, Stanford University
  • Muriel Niederle, Stanford University
  • Lise Vesterlund, University of Pittsburgh

This session is dedicated to advances in experimental economics combining laboratory and field-experimental methodologies with theoretical and psychological insights on decision-making, strategic interaction and policy. We invite papers in lab experiments, field experiments and their combination that test theory, demonstrate the importance of psychological phenomena, and explore social and policy issues.

Session 8: Psychology and Economics

August 24-26, 2016

Deadline for Papers: April 15th

Organized by:

  • B. Douglas Bernheim, Stanford University
  • John Beshears, Harvard University
  • Vincent Crawford, University of Oxford
  • David Laibson, Harvard University
  • Ulrike Malmendier, University of California, Berkeley. 

This workshop will focus on recent research in behavioral economics. While the standard model of economic decision-making has proven useful in a wide variety of settings, its limitations are also well-documented. The field of behavioral economics seeks to enrich the standard model, thereby improving its descriptive and predictive accuracy, by incorporating insights from Psychology and other disciplines, and to examine the implication of those enriched models for a wide variety of important economic issues, such as the effects of policies affecting spending, saving, labor supply, and investment. While considerable progress has been made in this subfield, our theoretical and empirical understanding of economic behavior remains incomplete.

Session 9: The Macroeconomics of Uncertainty and Volatility

September 7-9, 2016

Deadline for Papers: May 2nd

Organized by:

  • Nick Bloom, Stanford University
  • Steve Davis, University of Chicago
  • Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde, University of Pennsylvania.

The session will cover recent work on the causes and effects of changes in volatility and uncertainty in the aggregate economy. Many observers, including policymakers such as Bernanke, Summers, and Romer, have highlighted that these have been major driving factors in the recent credit-crunch recession and advanced heuristic arguments of why this might have been the case. Unfortunately, our theoretical and empirical understanding of these topics is limited since only recently have macroeconomists started working on these issues from a more systematic basis. Nevertheless, the preliminary results in the literature suggest changes in volatility and uncertainty similar to the ones observed for the U.S. economy are likely significant factors in business cycle fluctuations. Moreover, the presence of changes in volatility and uncertainty has important implications for the design of optimal monetary and fiscal policies.

`Session 10: Development Economics

September 13-14, 2016

Deadline for Papers: May 9th

Organized by:

  • Arun Chandrasekhar, Stanford University
  • Melissa Dell, Harvard University
  • Pascaline Dupas, Stanford University
  • Melanie Morten, Stanford University
  • Xiao Yu Wang, Duke University

This workshop will bring together researchers working on economic development from both an empirical and theoretical perspective. Specifically, this year we will focus on self-selection. Self-selection is omnipresent as both a concern (from the econometrician’s standpoint) and a fundamental object of interest in both empirical and theoretical studies of development policies. For example, it is now well established that there is massive self-selection into credit markets (even after the introduction of microcredit) and understanding why self-selection is so stringent remains an open question. Likewise understanding what drives some individuals or firms to adopt new technologies (or change behavior) faster than others remains of fundamental importance. We welcome submissions that broadly approach this issue.