ISET congratulates its Associate Professor Norberto Pignatti for his recent election to the position of Secretary of the European Association for Comparative Economic Studies. As Secretary, he joins the EACES’ Executive Board, and will be responsible for facilitating the interactions among the Association’s members and between the Executive Board and the members.

The European Association for Comparative Economic Studies was founded in 1990, with the purpose to initiate and coordinate international collaboration designed to assist the advancement of theoretical and applied knowledge in the field of comparative economic studies in Europe and elsewhere. Over the years, the association has seen its membership increase to a total number of about 400, including 9 institutional members.

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We’re delighted to highlight two of Muhammad Asali upcoming economics papers. Professor Asali has once again proven his international credibility and emphaized the significance of his research in the field.

The first piece, Labor Market Flexibility and Exchange Rate Regimes, co-authored with Kuokstis and Spurga, is soon to be published in the European Journal of Political Economy. The work offers the first evidence about the causal relationship between labor market flexibility and the choice of exchange rate regimes. The analysis identifies that more flexible labor markets are expected to have a higher degree of exchange rate fixity; to adopt fixed (pegged) exchange rate regimes rather than floating exchange rate regimes, or more likely to become part of a currency union. The authors’ results ultimately confirm predictions of the optimum currency area theory.

In the second study, Civil rights experiments versus enrichment experiments in wage gap analysis, forthcoming in Applied Economics Letters, Muhammad addresses the “index number problem” in wage gap analyses. In essence, the wage gap measured is dependent on the assessment type, yet the choice of which method is essentially arbitrary. This paper, however, suggests that this choice should not be arbitrary. The measurement should in fact be consistent with policy aims – specifically the use of “enrichment experiments” within quantity measures, and the “civil rights experiment” measurement approach when considering quality measures.

For further details on each paper see:

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Professor Asali has once again aided the field of economics by participating in the 55th Annual Conference of the Canadian Economics Association – this year’s conference was held online between 3-5 June, and hosted by the Simon Fraser University Economics Department. In his latest presentation, by using a general-to-specific approach of vector-autoregression estimation, Prof. Asali offered his cutting-edge research on Cooperative and Violent Cycles within geopolitical conflicts.

Prof. Asali received his Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University back in 2008 and soon after joined ISET’s resident faculty. Muhammad moreover has extensive teaching experience from Columbia University, New York University, and Union College. His research and teaching interests include Labor Economics, Applied Microeconomics, Econometrics, and Time Series Econometrics.

Prof. Asali will soon also present his research on exchange rates and the labor market during the upcoming Armenian Economics Association meetings at the end of June. Watch out for our next update for more information!

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ISET would like to heartily congratulate resident faculty members Norberto Pignatti and Karine Torosyan on the publication of a new article, “Patience, Cognitive Abilities, and Cognitive Effort: Survey and Experimental Evidence From a Developing Country” in American Behavioral Scientist [NOTE: those unable to access the published version can find the latest version of the working paper here].

In the piece, the authors examine the relationship between patience and various measures of cognitive ability, as taken from a sample of 107 participants drawn from the adult population in Tbilisi. The paper sheds light on the relationship between cognition and patience by documenting that the correlation between cognitive abilities and delay discounting is weaker for the same group of individuals if the choices are incentivized. The authors speculate that higher cognitive effort, which induces higher involvement of the cognitive system, moderates the relationship between patience and cognition.

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Our latest news comes from ISET resident lecturer and researcher, Professor Muhammad Asali. Recently, Professor Asali joined a group of prominent economists from around the world and took part in the 140th annual conference of the Western Economic Association International (WEAI). The conference platform is available here: WEAI online).

On the 19th of March, Muhammad took the role of chair in a review and discussion on various facets of Uncertainty and Risk. He was joined by peers from the economics world, including the authors of related papers, from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Maryland, and Koç University in Istanbul.

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It is always a cause for celebration whenever a member of the ISET community – be they student or faculty – achieves new success, but this month has borne witness to some unprecedented good news. Professor Daniel Levy, who has visited ISET as a visiting professor every year since 2011 and is one of the institute's most loyal friends, has been elected as the 26th President of the Israeli Economics Association. It is only regrettable that Daniel is not able to visit ISET this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the community is unable to congratulate him in person. It is a testament to Daniel's tireless work ethic that he is taking on his new responsibilities, since he is retaining his positions as the William Gittes Chair in Economics at at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, as well as his Visiting Professorships at ISET and Atlanta's Emory University, and his Senior Research Fellowship at the Rimini Center for Economic Analysis.

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