Maskin named University Professor

first_imgEric S. Maskin, a Nobel laureate whose work has had widespread impact on economics and aspects of political science, has been named a University Professor, Harvard’s highest honor for a faculty member.Maskin, who helped to lay the foundations of mechanism design theory and has made major contributions to game theory, was recognized for groundbreaking scholarship that crosses academic boundaries and for his dedication to teaching.“An extraordinarily distinguished scholar and educator, Eric Maskin has made contributions across the field of economics, from game theory to intellectual property rights to political economy,” Harvard President Drew Faust said. “As a member of the Harvard faculty, he has distinguished himself not only for his research, but for his outstanding teaching, his skillful mentoring, and his warmth and vitality as a colleague and leader in the University’s intellectual life.”The University Professorships were established in 1935 to recognize individuals whose work on the frontiers of knowledge cross the traditional boundaries of academic disciplines.Maskin’s appointment as the Adams University Professor follows the retirement of musicologist Christoph Wolff, who held the chair for 10 years. There are 23 faculty members who hold the title University Professor.“Being named to the Adams University Professorship is a tremendous honor, for which I feel very grateful,” Maskin said. “My work overlaps with a number of other fields, such as mathematics, government, law, computer science, philosophy, and biology. The new position gives me the wonderful opportunity to teach courses in those areas, probably with faculty from those departments and Schools.”Raised in New Jersey, Maskin earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees at Harvard. After a year at the University of Cambridge, he served on the faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for seven years before joining the Harvard faculty in 1985 as a professor of economics. He was named Louis Berkman Professor of Economics in 1997. Starting in 2000, he spent more than a decade at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., before returning to Harvard in January 2012.A math concentrator as an undergraduate, Maskin has said that he was drawn to his field almost by accident when on a whim he enrolled in a class on information economics. There, he said, he was enthralled by a discipline that had “the precision, rigor, and sometimes the beauty of pure mathematics, and also addressed problems of real social importance.”Maskin’s Nobel Prize, awarded in 2007, recognized his work on mechanism design theory, which illuminates the interplay of individual incentives, private information, and social costs and benefits in transactions that affect the optimal performance of institutions. “The theory allows us to distinguish situations in which markets work well from those in which they do not,” the Nobel committee noted. “Today, mechanism design theory plays a central role in many areas of economics and parts of political science.”In addition, Maskin’s research has helped to shape the field of game theory, and it has produced insights into monopoly price discrimination and decentralized markets. He has published more than 130 articles and working papers on economic theory, has edited three books and a monograph series on the subject, and has served on the editorial boards of numerous economics journals, including The Quarterly Journal of Economics, of which he was editor from 1984 to 1990.Maskin is also known for his close mentoring of students. He has twice won the Economics Department’s Galbraith Graduate Teaching Prize, and several former students have become close collaborators.He is past president of the Econometric Society and of the Game Theory Society, an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the European Economic Association, and the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.Among his many distinctions, Maskin has received the 2007 Kempe Award in Environmental Economics, the 2009 Grande Médaille of the City of Marseille, the 2010 Harvard Centennial Medal, and the 2011 Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation International Economics Award. He has been recognized with honorary degrees and professorships from institutions in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, has delivered dozens of distinguished lectures and keynote addresses, and has advised the British and Polish governments, the Bank of Italy, and the World Bank on the design of auctions and other issues.last_img read more

Revised Florida Stand-Your-Ground law is unconstitutional

first_imgPhoto Courtesy of Google On Monday, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that Florida legislators reached beyond their authority by amending the state’s Stand-Your Ground-Law earlier this. The change in the law would give prosecutors authority to disprove a defendant’s self-defense claim in attacking someone during a pre-trial hearing. According to Judge Hirach only the Florida Supreme Court has the authority to effect changes to the law. The law “cannot be legislatively modified” the judge wrote in his ruling.Since its inception under the administration of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 2005, the law which gives residents in the state the right to defend themselves by deadly force, usually by the gun, if they believe they are being attacked in or out their home has been controversial.The controversy peaked in 2013 when community watchman George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of North Miami teenager Trayvon Martin. Martin was on his way from a convenience store and walking to his father’s home in a Sanford, Florida, residential community when he was accosted by Zimmerman who assumed he was a criminal. Zimmerman’s defense claimed he shot Martin in self-defense because he felt his life was threatened by the teenager.Most state prosecutors opposed the law seeing it as a means for those accused of murder and other gun-related charges to be acquitted by claiming they were defending their lives by the act of violence.It is believed by the opponents of the law that the ruling by Judge Hirsch’s could be the beginning of other courts in Florida ruling likewise resulting in an appeal for the revised law to be reviewed by the Florida Supreme Court.Since the Travyon Martin shooting, and Zimmerman’s acquittal several attempts have been made by Florida Democratic legislators to repeal or change the law, arguing that it gives people with guns the right to shoot a victim indiscriminately, with a chance to be acquitted. However, Governor Rick Scott has remained adamant in not repealing the law.The Florida Supreme Court previously ruled that defendants in shooting cases who seek immunity from criminal prosecution under the law must offer solid proof they were acting in self-defense.Despite strong opposition from prosecutors and gun-control advocates, the Florida Legislature amended the original law to place the burden on state prosecutors to prove through convincing evidence that a defendant was not acting in self-defense. If prosecutors succeed in disproving the self-defense claim at the pre-trail hearing they would need to do this again at the actual trial.last_img read more

Barbados records over 2% economic growth so far in 2017

first_imgSustained tourism activity Could dampen consumption The bank said preliminary data suggest that the expansion in real economic output continued into the second quarter. Contributing to the growth was sustained growth in tourism activity. The fiscal deficit narrowed moderately in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017/18. That was partially the result of the fiscal consolidation measures implemented in the previous fiscal year. International reserves fall “However, the stock of international reserves fell below 10 weeks of import cover. Expected external debt service obligations and on-going delays in securing planned foreign investment inflows partially contributed to the reserve drop.” In its release of the “Barbados Current Economic Performance,” the CBB said the short to medium-term outlook is for a sustained stabilization effort by government. This is needed to facilitate the restoration of public finances, rebuild international reserves and provide the platform for long-term growth. The bank Gadding that tighter fiscal policy will remain at the center of the adjustment effort. A stronger adverse impact on consumption is anticipated for 2018, according to the central bank. A more positive outlook for growth is feasible if the implementation of foreign-funded projects is accelerated. The Barbados economy registered an estimated 2.2 per cent growth during the first six months of this year. The Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) on Friday described the growth as “an uneven performance.” Given the size of the tax adjustment and the expected impact on prices, the fiscal measures are likely to dampen consumption, particularly for imported goods, towards the end of 2017 and into 2018. The bank said that the average 12-month unemployment rate for the four quarters ending March 2017 was recorded at 9.7 per cent. Down from 10.2 per cent in the previous year, the stronger rate is mainly due to job gains in the construction, wholesale and retail trade, business and other services, and tourism industries. The rate of inflation stood at 3.2 per cent at the end of April 2017, compared to a general reduction in retail prices of one per cent as at end April 2016. In addition, the labor force participation rate grew moderately to 65.5 per cent for the first quarter of 2017. The CBB said the Barbados economy has underperformed in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, evidenced by low growth and significant fiscal and external imbalances.last_img read more