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The Pie

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The Pie

Becker Friedman Institute at UChicago

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Economists are always talking about The Pie – how it grows and shrinks, how it’s sliced, and who gets the biggest shares. Join host Tess Vigeland as she talks with leading economists from the University of Chicago about their cutting-edge research and key events of the day. Hear how the economic pie is at the heart of issues like the aftermath of a global pandemic, jobs, energy policy, and more.
 
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Ten months into a devastating war, the Russian and Ukrainian economies are struggling yet resilient. Russian-born economist Konstantin Sonin joins The Pie to provide an update on the economic impacts of the ongoing conflict, including the massive long-term toll not yet captured in available data.By Becker Friedman Institute at UChicago
 
The Federal Reserve’s latest 75 basis point rate hike brought interest rates up again on everything from mortgages to car loans and credit cards. Will it be enough to halt inflation? How is the Fed thinking about the US economy, unemployment, and its global impact? University of Chicago economist Anil Kashyap joins to discuss the campaign to bring …
 
In this episode, we’re talking about guns. Chicago Booth economist Brad Shapiro has quantified—for the first time—American consumer demand for guns, and how that demand shifts in response to different regulations, including bans and taxes. He was surprised by some of the findings, which offer new and important insights for ongoing gun policy debate…
 
Did closing schools during the COVID-19 pandemic serve students and society at-large? As part of a World Bank Advisory Panel, University of Chicago economist Rachel Glennerster is taking a closer look at the long-term economic cost of learning losses. Addressing these costs, estimated at greater than $10 trillion, will be crucial to future educatio…
 
Last season, we were at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, effecting every aspect of our lives and the economy. So this season, we're back looking at the aftermath of the global pandemic and beyond — talking with economists from the University of Chicago about their cutting-edge research on the issues of today. Join us every other week for season t…
 
The United States just took a big step in confronting climate change with the passing and signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, arguably the largest single investment in U.S. climate policy to date. It’s historic. But the bill passed with only Democratic support. Republicans, who rejected to the use of the reconciliation process to pass the bill,…
 
About a year ago, President Biden laid out his climate agenda. That agenda has since been roughly split into two Congressional actions: An infrastructure bill that passed last summer with bipartisan support, and the Build Back Better Act that still sits with the Senate. Recently, EPIC Policy Fellow Heather McTeer Toney, vice president of community …
 
After half a decade of low oil prices, things have changed pretty dramatically in recent months. Global benchmark oil prices are touching $120 a barrel this week, and gasoline prices in parts of the U.S. are topping out close to $7 a gallon. High prices have become a massive headache for policymakers already worried about rising inflation as the ec…
 
Developing countries represent a large source of potential future carbon emissions as they seek to rapidly industrialize their economies. Yet, if the world is to hold future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, these countries must identify a cleaner model of growth that relies on low- or zero-carbon fuels instead of fossil energy.This tension between m…
 
Energy demand continues to rise amidst impacts from geopolitical events. Yet, the United States remains committed to scaling up action at home and abroad to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Faced with energy security and climate concerns, could now be the time for a price on carbon?Carbon pricing has received considerable bipartisan pushback, wi…
 
A new meta-analysis by Michael Kremer and co-authors suggests water treatment could reduce child mortality by about 30% in low- and middle-income countries, making it a highly cost-effective treatment for saving lives. Kremer joined his co-author Stephen Luby to discuss some of their findings in an event hosted by the Development Innovation Lab and…
 
Last November, the international community concluded its 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. Reviews were mixed. Among its successes, COP26 concluded the Paris “rulebook,” adopted a consensus decision on next steps, and produced a series of multilateral commitments on limiting methane emissions and defores…
 
Which economies will suffer most from global warming, and by just how much? Will others see benefits? The differences are key to understanding how the global economy will look in the coming years. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg and co-authors are using a dynamic economic assessment model to answer these questions in detail, for the first time. He presented…
 
The federal oil and gas leasing process plays a critical role in deciding whether, where and when oil and gas resources on public lands are developed, the revenue the government takes in, and the extent to which the local environment is protected. But the process is due for an update. Recognizing the need for reforms, President Joe Biden temporaril…
 
Air pollution is the single greatest threat to human health globally, having a more devastating impact on life expectancy than communicable diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, behavioral killers like cigarette smoking, and even war. According to recent data from EPIC’s Air Quality Life Index, or AQLI, people living in the most polluted regions…
 
Climate change is a top priority for President Joe Biden as he prepares to meet the world at the next international climate summit, COP26, in November. But how big of a priority is it for the American public? How much would they pay out of their own wallets to confront climate change? And, where do they stand on key issues?On October 26, EPIC hoste…
 
Inflation has spiked, even while the economy still recovers. What can the Fed do? It’s one of the biggest and most rapidly evolving questions facing macroeconomists today. In this Extra Slice of The Pie, Chicago Booth’s Christina Patterson provides a crash course in how monetary policy works and what economists have learned by studying it empirical…
 
You’ll be hard pressed to find a climate agenda that doesn’t include policies to encourage energy efficiency. It makes sense. Reducing energy consumption while lowering households’ electricity bills and greenhouse gas emissions at the same time—a win for everyone, right? While the concept of doing more with less energy is appealing, research is pil…
 
How can a small nudge make a big impact? Since publishing the first edition of Nudge more than 10 years ago, Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler have changed the way businesses and governments design rules and regulations to influence people’s behavior and decision making. Tess Vigeland sat down with Thaler to discuss new material covered in Nudge: Th…
 
Meeting the Biden administration’s goal of transitioning to a carbon-free power sector will mean accelerating a shift away from coal that is already on its way. In our fourth episode in the series, Rob talks with Mark Templeton, the director of the University of Chicago Law School’s Abrams Environmental Clinic, about the many levers that could be u…
 
In our third episode in this special series, The Atlantic's Rob Meyer talks with Steve Cicala and Michael Greenstone to take a hard look at the barriers that today’s fragmented grid imposes on the growth of renewables, and what steps the government can take to remove those barriers. But taking those steps will likely not be enough, and many in Wash…
 
Where does climate and energy policy go from here? In the new podcast miniseries The Roadmap, The Atlantic's Rob Meyer joins EPIC scholars to take a deep dive into timely climate and energy issues and the evidence behind needed policy changes, as described in the U.S. Energy & Climate Roadmap. For our second episode, Rob talks with EPIC Executive D…
 
Episode 1 : The Case for a Carbon Price and How to Prevent LeakageFor the first episode, Rob talks with EPIC Director Michael Greenstone and UChicago Law’s David Weisbach about one of the most important and political issues in climate policy: carbon prices. They also discuss one of the biggest questions surrounding carbon pricing, which is how to i…
 
Over the coming months, The Atlantic's Rob Meyer will join EPIC scholars to take a deep dive on timely climate and energy issues and the evidence behind needed policy changes laid out in the U.S. Energy & Climate Roadmap. Up first, David Weisbach will talk more about border tax adjustments and his recommendations to prevent carbon leakage. He'll be…
 
Division I schools make billions off athletic programs, with close to two-thirds coming from men’s basketball and football alone. Economist Matt Matt Notowidigdo has calculated that due to NCAA restrictions, only 7% of those revenues are paid to student athletes, with important distributional consequences. He joins this week with sports attorney Mi…
 
Preventing people from entering careers where they could maximize their potential places massive costs on society, and economists can measure the real impact. Chang-Tai Hsieh and Erik Hurst have discovered that declining barriers to careers for women and Black men over the last 50 years accounts for 25-40% of all productivity growth in the US. They…
 
In March 2020, the CARES Act expanded who was eligible for unemployment benefits, how much they could collect and for how long. Economists are now finding patterns in job searches and spending during this enormous expansion that seem to counter common economic assumptions. Peter Ganong and Fiona Greig join to discuss the surprising effects they unc…
 
Women suffered significantly in the early months of the current recession, raising important questions about the gender effects of this pandemic-fueled downturn. Yana Gallen and Heather Sarsons share research on labor force gender disparities and discuss the potential long-term implications of the recession on women’s employment choices and opportu…
 
The American health insurance system is complex, politically divisive, in need of reform, and facing a historic pandemic crisis. Economists Katherine Baicker and Matt Notowidigdo expose healthcare’s most urgent flaws and discuss potential remedies. Then, Dr. Stacy Lindau joins to discuss the crucial consequences for public health.…
 
Having served in several senior energy and environmental policy positions in the House of Representatives, Senate, EPA, and the White House—including most recently as special assistant to President Trump on energy and environmental issues—Michael Catanzaro knows both energy policy and the complicated politics behind it. The Atlantic’s Rob Meyer, a …
 
As the former chief economist for the California Air Resources Board, Emily Wimberger has spent her career at the intersection of critical energy and environmental issues, ranging from air pollution to fuel economy to carbon markets. The Atlantic’s Rob Meyer, a journalism fellow at EPIC, recently interviewed Wimberger, who is now a climate economis…
 
On November 6th, EPIC and The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts convened a conversation about energy geopolitics and their economic implications, with a specific focus on the lessons learned from the Abqaiq attack. The event featured Robert McNally, the president of The Rapidan Group and a former senior director for…
 
In an era of divided government, there has been concern over Congress’s ability to reach compromise and pass legislation. With Democrats in the majority in the House of Representatives and Republicans in control of the Senate and the White House, progress has been limited. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is one of only five women Republican Senat…
 
The U.S. energy landscape is rapidly changing. As the cost of wind and solar power drops, allowing these energy sources to compete against coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, pressure is mounting to develop an electric grid that can sustain more renewables and deliver their power to more homes and businesses throughout the country.In the book…
 
As director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and senior climate advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom, Kate Gordon spends a great deal of time thinking about how states can build climate resiliency into their growth plans. We talked with Gordon about mitigation, adaptation, and resilience in one of the country’s largest, most div…
 
Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently announced a roadmap for the state to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040. At the same time, he signed a suite of legislation to decarbonize the electricity sector, expand energy efficiency programs, and more. Much of the responsibility for delivering these goals will fall on the sho…
 
A series of extreme weather events, reports warning of the dire consequences of unmitigated carbon emissions and grassroots activism have propelled climate change to a level of importance in Congress not seen in nearly a decade. Axios Energy Reporter and inaugural EPIC Journalism Fellow Amy Harder sat down with freshman Congressman Sean Casten (D-I…
 
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