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Introduction

By John P. Gould
Professor of Economics

John P. Gould Professor and Distinguished Service Professor of Economics

John Gould

John P. Gould
Steven G. Rothmeier Professor
and Distinguished Service
Professor of Economics

View Bio

Introduction
An Introduction from John P. Gould

What effect do newspapers have on voter participation, and what is the impact of increased competition among newspapers on voter turnout? How effective are partisan newspapers in swaying voters? What is the effect of an exogenous increase in house prices on homeequity borrowing by existing homeowners, and what is such borrowing used for? What determines the nature and extent of changes in employment, interest rates, and real output caused by a reduction in the availability of credit, and what options do government policy makers have to deal with this situation?

These are the kinds of interesting and topical research questions being studied by Sloan Research Fellows and Chicago Booth faculty members Veronica Guerrieri, Jesse Shapiro, and Amir Sufi.

The Sloan Research Fellowship program was established by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 1955 with the mission of supporting the research efforts of young scholars of outstanding promise. In its early years, the program focused on research in physics, chemistry, and mathematics, but was expanded later to include neuroscience, economics, computer science, and computational and evolutionary molecular biology. The monetary support is for a period of two years, and the program is noted for the recognition it gives to the accomplishments and promise of young scholars. The award of a Sloan Research Fellowship has been a good predictor of later career success since fellows often go on to receive many more awards in recognition of their scholarly advances. This includes 38 Nobel laureates (three in economics, including Department of Economics professor Roger Myerson) and 11 John Bates Clark Medal winners (including Booth professor Kevin Murphy and Department of Economics professor Steven Levitt).

In view of the support and prestige the Sloan Fellowships represent, Chicago Booth is proud of the faculty who have been awarded this honor in 2011. As noted, these faculty members are: Veronica Guerrieri, associate professor of economics and Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow; Jesse Shapiro, professor of economics and Robert King Steel Faculty Fellow; and Amir Sufi, professor of finance. In addition, Sylvain Chassang, assistant professor at the Woodrow Wilson School and Department of Economics at Princeton, also a 2011 Sloan Fellow, will be visiting Booth this year. Another University of Chicago 2011 Sloan Fellow, Azeem M. Shaikh, is associate professor and Thornber Research Fellow in the Department of Economics. The three articles that follow provide a more detailed look at the research of Guerrieri, Shapiro, and Sufi.

Although the three Sloan Fellows whose work is discussed here have different topic interests, they share some common skills and talents. First, all three have an impressive command of the theoretical and empirical body of economic knowledge upon which their work is built. Second, they each have strong abilities to apply this knowledge imaginatively and effectively in challenging analytical contexts. Third, they have a powerful sense of important issues and questions that have great relevance to the many policy challenges we face today.

The following summaries of these studies provide more detail about the research strategies and findings. You are likely to find the analysis interesting, and often surprising, but always important and relevant.

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