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SIEPR Spotlights

1935 - 2014
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Ron McKinnon, earlier this morning. Ron fell on an escalator at SFO about twelve days ago and was badly injured. Even more devastating was a series of strokes that he suffered since then. He was both an intellectual powerhouse and a fun-loving colleague with a twinkle in his eye while he told a joke or two or argued for his favorite unconventional theory.
Ron McKinnon joined the economics faculty 53 years ago in 1961 as an Assistant Professor. He got tenure in 1966, was promoted to full professor in 1969 and subsequently became a chaired professor. When I joined the faculty in 1973, Ron was certainly viewed as one of the young leaders of the department. He has been a SIEPR Senior Fellow as long as there have been SIEPR Senior Fellows.
Ron specialized in international trade, money and finance, economic development, and East Asian economies. His work had a following all over the world. This was brought home to me in 1979 when I was visiting the London School of Economics and Ron McKinnon came to give a seminar. The LSE faculty and students were so anxious to hear Ron that the seminar room was standing room only. In recent years, he had a particular interest in China. This is reflected in several ways on his CV including his three honorary professorships at Chinese universities and the seven volume set, Selected Works of Ronald I. McKinnon, published in Chinese in 2007.
Today SIEPR and the entire Stanford economics community lost a dear friend and an intellectual giant. We were lucky to have shared him for 53 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Margaret, and their three children, Neil, Mary and David.
John Shoven

Upcoming Events

Events are by invitation only
October 21, 2014
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and Their Impact on Higher Education will be the topic of a SIEPR Associates meeting with Rick Levin, the CEO of Coursera, former President of Yale University, and SIEPR Consulting Professor.

November 6-7, 2014

SCID China Conference

November 6, 2014
Unfunded Retiree Healthcare—the Elephant in the Room
Associates event with Robert Pozen, former chairman of MFS Investment Management, the oldest mutual fund company in the United States.
November 13, 2014

State of the West

News & Views

Pentagon warns climate change will intensify conflict. Quotes Charles D. Kolstad, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and at the Precourt Institute for Energy, on the continuing issue of climate change as a national security risk. Bloomberg, October 13, 2014
2014's most and least energy efficient states. Features James Sweeney, Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Director of the Precourt Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and SIEPR Senior Fellow, as an expert in how environmentally conscious practices can help prevent costly damage to the planet and go easy on one's wallet. WalletHub, not dated
Bye-bye, bitcoin? The crypto-currency's price agonies intensify. Quotes Susan Athey, Professor at the Graduate School of Business and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, on the potential irrelevancy of bitcoin's price when used to move money in and out of currencies or across national borders without financial authorities interfering. Los Angeles Times, October 6, 2014
Gay marriage aside, business cases dominate U.S. high court docket. Quotes Mark Lemley, William H. Neukom Professor of Law, the Director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology, and Senior Fellow at SIEPR, on the patent battle involving Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Reuters via New York Times, October 3, 2014

SIEPR Highlights

At the September Associates meeting, Douglas Bernheim, the Edward Ames Edmunds Professor of Economics and Chair of the Economics Department at Stanford University asked the question Does Financial Education Promote Financial Competence?