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Limitations of economic forecasting to be explored

Sept. 24, 2009

KALAMAZOO--The most recent financial crisis, which shows there are limits to economic forecasting methods, provides the backdrop for an upcoming talk by a visiting economist from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, at Western Michigan University.

Dr. Kajal Lahiri is the Distinguished Professor of Economics and Health Policy Management at University at Albany-State University of New York. His speech is titled "Limits to Economic Forecasting" and is in Room 3512 of Knauss Hall. The presentation is part of the WMU Department of Economics' 2009-10 Werner Sichel Lecture Series and is free and open to the public.

Now in its 46th year, the speaker series is bringing six nationally and internationally recognized economists to the WMU campus to discuss some of the latest techniques used to forecast economic fluctuations. Lahiri is the second speaker in this year's series.

Lahiri works on methodological as well as various applied topics dealing with econometrics, macroeconomic forecasting and health. His recent research deals with the relationship between macroeconomic uncertainty and disagreement among forecasting experts.

Since completing his doctoral degree at the University of Rochester in 1975, Lahiri has been on the faculty at the University at Albany-SUNY. In the intervening years, he has been a visitor at numerous institutions such as the University of Florida, Australian National University, University of Colorado and the International Monetary Fund. In various periods since 1993, he has been a Visiting Scholar at the Office of Research and Statistics in the Social Security Administration.

Lahiri has written and co-edited several books, including "The Econometrics of Inflationary Expectations, Leading Economic Indicators: New Approaches and Forecasting Records" and "Analysis of Panels and Limited Dependent Variable Models." His text "Introduction to Econometrics," revised fourth edition, co-written with G.S. Maddala, is forthcoming in 2009. His research appears in journals such as American Economic Review, Econometrica, International Journal of Forecasting, Journal of Applied Econometrics and the Journal of Econometrics. He is currently an associate editor at International Journal of Forecasting and Journal of Econometrics.

The Sichel Series is organized by the WMU Department of Economics and named in honor of longtime WMU economics professor, Dr. Werner Sichel, who retired in 2004. The series is cosponsored by the W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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