Keynote speakers


Robert Townsend is an American economist and professor, the Elizabeth & James Killian Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining MIT, he was the Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago where he remained a research associate (professor) until 2018. He is the Principal Investigator and Project Director of the Enterprise Initiative, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, and the Principal Investigator of the Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Additionally, he is a consultant for numerous institutions, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the World Bank, and Banco de España.



Stefania Albanesi is Professor of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh, a Research Associate at the NBER  and a CEPR Research Fellow. She is a macroeconomist whose research interests include the determinants and implications of various dimensions of inequality and the distributional implications of government policies. Prior to her appointment to the University of Pittsburgh, she was a professor at Bocconi University, Duke University, Columbia University and a Research Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She also held visiting positions at NYU-Stern, the University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State University and Princeton University, and was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a Wim Duisenberg Fellow at the European Central Bank. She has studied the political economy of inflation, the optimal taxation of capital and labor income, and the evolution of gender disparities in labor market outcomes. Her current research concerns the distribution of debt and defaults in the lead up and during the 2007-09 financial crisis and the determinants and consequences of personal bankruptcy. She is also working on the impact of changing trends in female participation on aggregate business cycles and on using machine learning to develop accurate and interpretable models of consumer default. Professor Albanesi completed her PhD in economics at Northwestern University and has a bachelor's degree in economics from Bocconi University.

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