Tinbergen Institute Economics Lectures 2011

Xavier Gabaix
6 - 8 June 2011

These lectures by Professor Xavier Gabaix (Martin J. Gruber Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business) studied the theory and empirics of extreme values and scaling, and especially how they relate to the origin of economic fluctuations.

Topics were:

  • Mysteries in the size distribution of firms, cities, stock market movements. Zipf‘s law. Scaling laws in economics and other fields.
  • Models, in particular random growth, assortative matching.
  • Origins of economic fluctuations. What causes fluctuations in GDP and the stock market? “Granular” hypothesis that shocks to large firms or funds affect meaningfully the whole economy. Theory and empirical evidence for GDP, exports, stock markets.
  • Scaling in “superstars” markets, particular the market for top executives, and to real estate.
  • Economic fluctuations and network models of the economy.


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