Wisconsin in Washington (the College Fed Challenge)

The University of Wisconsin’s Department of Economics was represented at the Federal Reserve System’s national Fed Challenge competition, this last Thursday. Wisconsin participated, after prevailing in the Chicago region’s competition.

The team with Fed Chair Jerome Powell

From the release.

Yale University won the 15th annual national College Fed Challenge on Thursday, a competition that encourages students to learn about the U.S. economy, monetary policymaking, and the role of the Federal Reserve System. …

The finals were held in the Board Room at the Board of Governors as the capstone to five district competitions held around the country. The other national finalists were second place: Rutgers University, with honorable mentions for Princeton University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Virginia Commonwealth University. College Fed Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate students. Teams analyze economic and financial conditions and formulate a monetary policy recommendation, modeling the Federal Open Market Committee.

“The College Fed Challenge, now in its 15th year, provides a forum for students to take their studies from the theoretical to the practical as they weigh a real-life set of facts and circumstances and make a judgment about the optimal path for monetary policy,” said Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome H. Powell. “It is my hope that the experience of preparing for the competition might inspire these young adults to explore careers in economics or finance.”

Teams competing in the College Fed Challenge finals gave 15-minute presentations and answered questions for a panel of judges. Teams were evaluated on economic analysis, responses to judges’ questions, teamwork, and presentation. The judges were Ellen Meade, Special Adviser to the Board and Division of Monetary Affairs; Anna Paulson, Senior Vice President, Financial Markets Finance at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; and Giorgio Topa, Vice President, Research Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The teams competed in their local Reserve Bank Districts, and the top teams moved on to the finals in Washington, D.C.

More on UW at the Fed, here and here.

The team’s presentation is here. (The team: Thomas Costello, Zach Swaziek, Patrick Sweeney, Tony Mattioli, Alex Orlov, Kara James, Jake Steinberger).

13 thoughts on “Wisconsin in Washington (the College Fed Challenge)

  1. pgl

    A lot of useful information. Did President Trump check out their presentation?

    The one graph that jumped off the wall was the one that noted GDP = 101% of potential GDP.

    And PeakParrot keeps telling us that we have a large output gap. Go figure!

    1. 2slugbaits

      I saw that. While I completely agree with the group’s conclusion and estimate of potential GDP, I also would have liked to see their calculation.

      1. pgl

        I suspect that they used the CBO estimate of potential output. But Menzie is more up to date on this than I am.

        1. Moses Herzog

          In the footnote it says the source is Federal Reserve Economic Data. Doesn’t give an exact link though. Maybe that part was in the oratory presentation.

      2. Moses Herzog

        @ 2slugbaits
        You can find a paper that basically explains how CBO does that. I can put the link up here if you like. And it looks like pgl is correct, when you go to FRED and look at their number, they say they source it from the CBO number. The most recent one is for August. What has me baffled, if I am looking at the right number, their number is actually higher than the 101%.

  2. Moses Herzog

    I’m not exactly certain on this, but my understanding is in Paris France they are now protesting Menzie’s use of log. I gotta double check on that. Rumor is “Princeton”Kopits has been hired to do the official French government death count for deaths directly related to the protests. “Princeton”Kopits does all the calculations with an abacus he bought and in small print on the box the abacus came in it says “beads sold separately”, so I have no idea what’s going on there. “Princeton”Kopits said if things get violent he has advised the French government to start tossing out paper towels.

  3. Paul Mathis

    All You Need to Know
    “It is the policy of an autonomous rate of interest, unimpeded by international preoccupations, and of a national investment programme directed to an optimum level of domestic employment which is twice blessed in the sense that it helps ourselves and our neighbours at the same time. And it is the simultaneous pursuit of these policies by all countries together which is capable of restoring economic health and strength internationally, whether we measure it by the level of domestic employment or by the volume of international trade.” The General Theory, p. 349.

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