FAIR Inaugural Conference

By Ingeborg Korme

19 June 2018 08:13

FAIR Inaugural Conference

Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 June 2018 the FAIR Inaugural Conference officially opens FAIR and is the first gathering of all the members, collaborators and partners. John List, James Heckman and Marianne Bertrand will speak and there is a policy session on Poverty and Inequality.

Inaugural conference

FAIR Inaugural Conference is the official opening of FAIR and the first gathering of all the members, collaborators and partners of the centre.

the research frontier

The conference was opened by Øystein Thøgersen (Rector of NHH), Marte Mjøs Persen (Mayor of Bergen) and Bertil Tungodden (Centre Director of FAIR) on Monday 18 June. Rector Thøgersen highlighted the hard work of Bertil Tungodden and Kjell G. Salvanes to push for world class research and to use the research group as a method to boost research quality. Mayor Persen congratulated FAIR with putting Bergen on the map as international exporters of knowledge and challenged FAIR with producing a future Nobel prize winner in Economics. Centre Director Tungodden highlighted the research goals and major projects that are a part of FAIR; The Moral Mind, Understanding Inequality and Social Institutions and Moral Motivation. 

how to scale research

John List (University of Chicago) was the first keynote speaker of FAIR Inaugural Conference and presented "The Science of Using Science". List explored if and how economic experiments scale to the real world and how to use them in policy. Through the Griffin Early Childhood Center in Chicago Heights List has worked on how insights from a large scale RCT can be scaled up and inform policy. 

Poverty and Inequality

FAIR Insight Team leader Professor Kjetil Bjorvatn chaired the policy session on Poverty and Inequality at the FAIR Inaugural Conference. Sandra E. Black (University of Texas at Austin), Nicole Hassoun (Binghampton University), Jens Frølich Holte (State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Ottar Mæstad (Chr. Michelsen Institute) were members of the panel. 

The panel discussed the role of companies in reducing inequality and poverty in the world, how research should inform policy, how communication and interaction between researchers and policy makers is important to ensure useful results of high quality and what are the future challenges. 

Poster sessions

During both lunches at the conference there are poster sessions with posters from the young researchers at FAIR. 

Parallel sessions

The FAIR Inaugural Conference is a platform for all members and collaborators of FAIR to share cutting edge research, discuss their own research and be inspired by the other researchers. During the two days there were 32 presentations on a wide variation of topics: the gender gap, intergenerational mobility, poverty, fairness, discrimination, parental investment, incarceration, economic empowerment and cooperation. Presenters came from top research institutions in the USA and Europe and shared their research and ideas.

 James Heckman keynote

Nobel Laureate James Heckman (University of Chicago) could not go to Norway, but presented "Inequality in the Scandinavian Welfare State: A Study of Denmark vs. the US" via videolink. Heckman compared inequality within country between Denmark and the USA and saw that there is great variability within both countries. This is especially interesting in the Scandinavian context where the welfare state is believed to make us more equal.

 Coming apart

Marianne Bertrand is the Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is a Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Center for Economic Policy Research, and the Institute for the Study of Labor. Her keynote at the FAIR Inaugural Conference was on "Coming apart? Cultural Distances in the United States over Time". The study shows that Americans do differ between social groups, but that the differences have not increased the last 50 years, except on political issues. 

An excellent centre

To conclude the Inaugural Conference Liv Furuberg (The Research Council of Norway) and Dag Rune Olsen (Rector of University of Bergen) congratulated FAIR on getting the funding and for starting a new and exciting chapter for research in Bergen. Centre Director Bertil Tungodden ended the conference by thanking all the participants and inviting everyone back to Bergen at a later time.

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