Martin Stuart Feldstein, 79

first_imgAt a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on February 2, 2021, the following tribute to the life and service of the late Martin Stuart Feldstein, was placed upon the permanent records of the Faculty.Martin Feldstein, who taught at Harvard for more than half a century, was one of the most influential economists of our era. His scientific contributions, spanning an astonishing number of applied fields, pointed the way to new areas of inquiry and new ways of carrying out research that countless economists followed. He advised numerous U.S. presidents and other public officials, serving as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Reagan administration, on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under the second President Bush, and on President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. His economic ideas, in key ways a departure from what had prevailed since World War II, came to represent mainstream American economic policy thinking. And through his leadership of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) he reshaped the research structure of the economics profession and with it the regular activities of thousands of his fellow economists.Born in New York City in 1939, Marty (as he was known to everyone who knew him) graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and then did his graduate work as a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1967, becoming a full professor two years later and the George F. Baker Professor of Economics in 1984. Perhaps uniquely among Harvard professors, he was elected by his classmates as the Chief Marshal of Commencement at his 25th college reunion. He obtained the highest honors for American economists as well. In 1977 he received the John Bates Clark Medal, then awarded every two years to the most outstanding American economist under age 40, and in 2004 he was elected president of the American Economic Association.Feldstein’s research encompassed numerous fields within economics — health economics, public finance, macroeconomics, international economics, and others — but always related to important economic policymaking issues. A consistent emphasis was incentive effects of activity carried out by the public sector, including areas such as taxation, retirement, unemployment insurance, and the financing of education. His doctoral dissertation, on the U.K. National Health Service, provided the foundations for the economic analysis of health care. He was a longtime advocate of U.S. Social Security reform. He analyzed perverse effects of a series of aspects of the tax code and of the unemployment insurance system. He highlighted inefficiencies in how government influences the economy and in the provision of a wide range of government services. If there was a better way to fulfill any of these public responsibilities, Feldstein wanted to learn what it was and then to educate the public about it and campaign for its adoption. His influence on economic policy was profound.Feldstein’s approach to economics was even more influential among economists than his many research findings. In his view, to affect an important policy question successfully, a conclusion had to emerge from repeated studies based on multiple empirical methodologies, using diverse data sets as well as essential institutional information. Much of his own research involved construction of new variables, use of previously unexploited data, or calibration of previously unmeasured effects. The legion of students who followed him — he supervised nearly 100 dissertations and countless award-winning senior honors theses — adopted and propagated his approach.The list of Feldstein’s former students is stellar and their contributions many and influential. His conviction that empirical, policy-oriented economics promised to address the important questions presented by our economic way of life, and therefore make our country and our world a better place, proved irresistible to talented young scholars. He showed them that economics, more than a field of study, was a calling. Just as Feldstein strove to influence thinking by the public at large, he wanted to influence more students than he could possibly supervise directly. For 21 years he taught Economics 10, usually the largest course at Harvard, and in most years he taught another large-enrollment undergraduate course as well. He could shift effortlessly between talking with the president of the United States and with a Harvard freshman. He could educate them both, making each feel equally valued.Feldstein was also a phenomenal intellectual entrepreneur. When he assumed leadership of the NBER, it was a respectable but musty New York institution with 32 affiliated researchers working in a few areas of long-time expertise. He immediately moved its headquarters to Cambridge, expanded its reach nationally, restructured its research program, and opened up its activities to economists more generally. His goal was to redirect economists’ work, and he succeeded. When he left the job three decades later, there were more than 1,000 NBER-affiliated economists and thousands more participated regularly in NBER conferences and research projects. In the pre-internet era, Feldstein also democratized access to leading-edge research through the NBER Working Paper series. By the time he left, the Bureau was pre-publishing about 900 papers by affiliated researchers every year.In December of what turned out prematurely to be his last year of teaching, Feldstein canceled what was to have been the final lecture in his popular undergraduate course “American Economic Policy.” He had been asked to attend the funeral of former President George H. W. Bush. He wrote to his students with a final charge: “Every day when I come to class, I enter the Yard through a gate from Mass. Ave. Above the door are the words ‘Enter to Grow in Wisdom.’ And when I leave, through the same door, the words on the opposite side are ‘Depart to Better Serve thy Country and thy Kind.’ I hope that will be a lesson for all of you.” Feldstein spent 56 years at Harvard, first as an undergraduate and then 52 years teaching. He was deeply loyal to this institution, which he loved, and he ably served his country and his kind. He influenced people, institutions, and events.Feldstein loved his family as well, and to them he was absolutely devoted. He leaves his beloved wife, Kate (a Radcliffe graduate); his two daughters, Margaret and Janet; and his four grandchildren. He died on June 11, 2019.Respectfully submitted,Raj ChettyJames M. PoterbaLawrence H. SummersBenjamin M. Friedman, Chairlast_img read more

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Lilian Hardy, Emma Moore & Éva-Marie Saffrey Join London’s Matilda

first_imgEmma Moore, Abbie Vena, Éva-Marie Saffrey & Lilian Hardy(Photo: Helen Maybanks) Lilian Hardy, Emma Moore and Éva-Marie Saffrey are set to join Abbie Vena in London’s Matilda beginning on March 14; as with other productions of the Tim Minchin-scored musical, the four will alternate playing the titular role at the Cambridge Theatre.Matilda’s current cast includes Michael Begley as Mr Wormwood, Miria Parvin as Miss Honey and Rebecca Thornhill who plays Mrs Wormwood. The rest of the adult cast features Richard Astbury, Oliver Brooks, Collette Coleman, Maria Graciano, Elliot Harper, Daniel Hope, Daniel Ioannou, Kate Kenrick, Katie Lee, Fergal McGoff, Tom Muggeridge, Matthew Rowland, Matthew Serafini, Biancha Szynal, Laura Tyrer and Sharlene Whyte.The pint-sized powerhouses that make up Matilda’s child cast include Mylo Burton-Mays, Kira Caple, Jessica Chalmers, Hari Coles, Archie Durrant, Charlotte Fallart, Regan Garcia, Ptolemy Gidney, Aiyana Goodfellow, Sebastian Harry, Angelina Li, Tilda Marriage Massey, Ben Robinson, Tori Louise Ryan, Kacy O’Sullivan, Nicholas Antoniou-Tibbitts, Max Brophy, Olivia Calladine-Smith, Elena Cervesi, Miles Harcombe, Michael Hawkins, Sam Jennings, Craig Noakes, Tia Palamathanan and Scarlett Wennink.What better way to settle in to a new stage gig than with a trapeze lesson? Watch the video below to see Matilda’s fab four learn the trapeze from Miss Trunchbull (a.k.a. Craige Els). They also talk about their favorite junk food (chips, obvi) and more! View Commentslast_img read more

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Kenyan Kipkorir wins Obudu Mountain Race

first_imgFor the second consecutive year, a Kenyan has won the Obudu Mountain Race. Kemboi Hilary Kipkorir on Saturday emerged tops to cart home the $50,000 star prize in the men’s category of the 10th edition of the event.The ninth edition for the same category was won by Rono Philemon, a Kenyan.Kipkorir, who competed among past champions in the 11 kilometre men’s race, accomplished the feat in a total of 1:02.34minutes.Genet Yalew of Ethiopia won the female category of the race when she returned in 1:01:20 minute to become the first woman to win the championship back-to-back having also won the ninth edition.Abebe Dinkesa of Ethiopia, who came second in the ninth edition, clocked 1:03:09 minutes while Kiplimo Philip of Uganda clocked 1:03:19 minutes to win the second and third position in the male categories of the race respectively.Chessang Stella of Uganda won the second position while Ababel Yesshaneh of Ethiopia came third in the female category with a time of 1:01:31 and 1:03:03 minutes respectively. Emmanuel Gyang and Cletus Eyo won the first and second best finishers for Nigerians in the male category with 1:15:23 and 1:18:47 minutes respectively.Eyo, who is from Cross River State, came 19th while Gyang was 15th in the race’s ranking in the 11 kilometre race for men.Deborah Pam from Plateau State, who emerged sixth in the female category with a time of 1:10:09 minutes, was adjudged the best finisher in the female category of Saturday’s race.Team Uganda, Team Kenya and Team Nigeria came first second and third respectively in the female category of the 6th African Nations Mountain Running Championship.Team Uganda, Team Eritrea and Team Kenya also came first, second and third in the male edition of the championship which was part of the event. The organisers also gave awards to all outstanding individuals including the late Danny Hills, former President, World Mountain Running Association and Bruno Gozzalino, current President of WMRA.Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke, past and current governors of Cross River State, were also presented with excellence awards as initiator and sustainer respectively of the Obudu Mountain race.Declaring the race closed, Imoke, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Efiok Cobham, promised to encourage incoming administration of the state to sustain the race.last_img read more

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