It is with great sadness that we report the death of Paul W. Miller on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 in Perth, Australia, after a long illness.
Paul Miller has been an IZA Research Fellow since March 2004. He was a prolific author and co-author of papers in Labor Economics and the Economics of Education, and received numerous awards for his research. He co-authored 38 IZA Discussion Papers and, measured by paper downloads, was among the top one percent of IZA DP authors.
Paul Miller received his PhD in Economics from the Australian National University in 1982. Most of his academic career was spent at the University of Western Australia, although in 2010 he moved to Curtin University, also in Perth. He also had visiting appointments at universities in Australia, the US, Canada and England.
Although Paul's presence will be sorely missed, we shall all continue to benefit from his work.
With a number of new appointments, IZA will further expand its activities in research and policy advice.
As of January 2014, Werner Eichhorst, currently Deputy Director of Labor Policy at IZA, will become Director of Labor Policy Europe. He has a strong record of comparative labor market research and will be mainly responsible for our collaboration with various European institutions, such as the European Parliament, the European Commission, the OECD, ILO, national governments and central banks. Jo Ritzen (Maastricht University) will continue to support our European activities as IZA Senior Advisor Policy.
Alexander Spermann, currently a Director at Randstad Germany, will be appointed as IZA Director of Labor Policy Germany starting in April 2014. Before joining Randstad, he was head of the labor market department at ZEW Mannheim. He has made important contributions early on to the academic and public debate on German labor market reforms. At IZA he will coordinate the activities in policy evaluation and policy advice in Germany, with a particular focus on lifelong learning.
In March 2014, Alessio Brown will join IZA as Director of Strategy and Research Management. He has held various positions at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and is Executive Director of the Kiel Global Economic Symposium. His research covers reform policies in welfare states. Brown will support the IZA Director in shaping and implementing the institute's global research strategy and its various activities around the globe while continuing with his research.
"We believe that these personnel decisions will underscore and enhance IZA's leading role in global labor market research and policy advice," said IZA Director Klaus F. Zimmermann. Other key management positions at IZA will remain unchanged. In addition, as recently announced, four senior scholars are coming to IZA as long-term Visiting Research Fellows.
IZA Research Fellow Paolo Masella (University of Sussex) will receive the 2014 Kuznets Prize for his paper "National Identity and Ethnic Diversity", Journal of Population Economics (2013), 26 (2), pp. 437-454. The prize will be presented at the ESPE 2014 Annual Conference.
Anti-immigration sentiment is on the rise in Europe, as countries such as Germany, Spain or the UK have reverted to a reserved position when it comes to access of immigrants, including those from new member states, to their labor markets and welfare systems. The "International Handbook on the Economics of Migration" co-edited by IZA Program Director Amelie F. Constant and IZA Director Klaus F. Zimmermann launched at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies on November 25, 2013 shows that these sentiments are unfounded.
During a festive ceremony in Washington, DC, IZA Director Klaus F. Zimmermann awarded the 2013 IZA Prize in Labor Economics to Daniel S. Hamermesh (University of Texas at Austin and Royal Holloway, University of London). Hamermesh received the prestigious award, worth 50,000 euros, in recognition of his fundamental contributions to the analysis of labor demand. The appreciation speech was given by Harvard professor and 2011 IZA laureate George J. Borjas. A subsequent IZA Prize Workshop on "Frontiers in Labor Economics" gathered a number of top experts in the field to present their latest research.
According to the Prize Committee, "Hamermesh's research is characterized by a focus on thought-provoking questions, a high level of creativity, and careful combination of theoretical and empirical methods. He has shaped the way other scholars, as well as policy makers, think about some of the key issues in labor economics."
IZA Program Director Gerard J. van den Berg has been elected a Fellow of the Econometric Society, an elite professional body composed of economic researchers from around the world. Founded in 1930, the Econometric Society is the globally most significant society in economic science. Its aim is to promote the integration of theoretical and empirical quantitative approaches to economic problems. The Society also publishes the leading journal Econometrica. Every year, a handful of scientists are elected as new Fellows for life.
Van den Berg's major contributions to the advancement of econometrics and labor economics proved to be decisive for his election. These concern in particular his studies on unemployment durations, job mobility, and the economic determinants of human longevity. "It is a great honor for me to have been elected Fellow," said Van den Berg. "The current Fellows who made this decision constitute a group of highly accomplished and renowned scholars."
This summer a team of researchers including Michael J. Kendzia (IZA), Maarten Gerard (IDEA Consult) and An De Coen (IDEA Consult) presented two expert studies to the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs: "Social protection rights of economically dependent self-employed workers" and "The role and activities of employment agencies". Both are topical issues in the current debate on labor market flexibility.
Opened by Alejandro Cercas (MEP), the meeting in the European Parliament in Brussels was moderated by Jean Lambert (MEP) and committee chairwoman Pervenche Berès (MEP). Both studies are now available online as part of the IZA Research Report series:
Over the next months, four internationally renowned scholars will join the IZA team as long-term visiting research fellows:
Astrid Kunze was a Research Associate at IZA before becoming an Associate Professor of Economics at the NHH Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen. Her research interests in labor economics include human capital, wage differentials, wage discrimination and migration. She also works in applied microeconometrics.
Massimiliano (Max) Tani is an Associate Professor of Economics at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. His works centers on skills and skilled international migration, knowledge effects of people’s movements, and the labor market for graduates. Before moving to Australia in 1999 he had a previous life in investment banking.
Arnaud Chevalier is a Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, and an associate at the Centre for the Economics of Education (LSE) and at the Geary Institute (UCD). His principal interests are in education, health and economics of the family.
Enrico Rettore, Professor of Economic Statistics at Padova and affiliated to IRVAPP (Trento, Italy), covers a variety of fields from methodological aspects to more applied work in labor economics and program evaluation. He has extensively worked in projects for the Italian government on the evaluation of welfare and labor market programs in Italy.
The Luxembourg-based EIB Institute of the European Investment Bank awarded IZA Director Klaus F. Zimmermann with the first European EIB Prize for excellence in social and economic research and its implementation and diffusion. Zimmermann is honored for his lifetime scientific contribution, including academic excellence and publication record as well as impact on public policy or society at large, with specific relevance to the prize's topic, "Growth, employment and convergence, with applications to the European Union."
According to the prize committee chaired by Nobel laureate Christopher Pissarides (London School of Economics), Zimmermann's outstanding research on migration and labor market issues has "led to a better understanding of the forces at work in Europe and of suitable policy prescriptions." EIB President Werner Hoyer presented the Prize, worth 40,000 euros, during an award ceremony in Warsaw on September 19, 2013. In his acceptance speech, Zimmermann underscored the importance of free labor mobility within the EU and called for Poland's swift accession to the Eurozone.