2nd Bank of Lithuania Invited Lecture Series/Conference

Bank of Lithuania and its Center for Excellence in Finance and Economic Research (CEFER) are pleased to announce its 2nd Invited Lecture Series given by Prof. Sir Richard Blundell, University College London, and Institute for Fiscal Studies. The two days lecture will be followed by a separate one-day conference. The lecture’s topic is “Micro-econometrics and Policy Analysis”. The lecture is intended for early stage researchers, both at policy institutions and universities, and PhD students at an advanced level. A short description of topics is provided below.

Please note that participation in lecture and conference are mutually exclusive. We invite submission of papers which are applied in nature, have practical/policy implications, and touch on following broad topics:

  • Tax policy, labor earnings and inequality
  • Human capital investments
  • Inequality over lifecycle and across gender

We are also interested in theoretical advances in the very broad field of micro-econometrics and strongly encourage submissions in this field.

Details of the lecture and the conference are as follows:

  • Duration of lecture: 12 hours
  • Lecture dates: October 13 – 14, 2021
  • Conference date: October 15, 2021

Submissions: Please send your submissions by July 1, 2021 to Ms. Laima Štulaitė (LStulaite@lb.lt).

  • If you are applying for lectures, please attach your CV.
  • If you are applying for the conference, please attach your paper.
  • If you want to attend both, please attach both CV and paper, and mention it clearly in your email.

Acceptance decisions will be sent by July 15, 2021.

Participation fee: The participation fee is EUR 200 (incl. VAT)

Event location: The event will be at the premises of Bank of Lithuania, situated in the beautiful old town of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania. More information here: https://www.govilnius.lt/visit-vilnius

Coronavirus contingency: The event dates were set under the presumption that by the end of 2021, Europe will be (mostly) out of this pandemic. However, as the vaccine rollout is slow, we are going to work simultaneously on three contingency plans:

  1. In-person event: If the situation improves in summer then only in-person event will be organized.
  2. Partial in-person event: The improvement in pandemic situation is heterogeneous across countries. Hence, we will hold in-person event for participants who can travel and arrange online sessions for participants who can’t.
  3.  Full online event: If the situation is quite bad, we will resort to full online event.

Topics for the lecture:

  • Part I. Methods: 

The first part of this course will discuss six distinct, but related, approaches to microeconomic policy evaluation:

  1. social experiment methods,
  2. natural experiments,
  3. matching methods,
  4. instrumental variable methods,
  5. discontinuity design methods,
  6. control function methods.
  • Part II: Dynamic models and methods

The second part of the course will examine recent developments for panel data

  1. Dynamic panel data methods.
  2. Dynamic discrete choices.
  • Part III: Applications:

The third part of the course will examine several specific applications under two broad areas:

  1. Tax policy and labor earnings.
  2. Education policy and human capital investments.


Established in 2015 by the Bank of Lithuania, CEFER is the main research hub in economics and finance in Lithuania. CEFER is part of a network of National Economic Research Organizations along with the leading research institutes across the globe.  CEFER is also pivotal in organizing major conferences (Baltic economic conference, joint conferences with CEBRA/CEPR and Bank of Poland, among others), co-establishing Baltic economic association, developing joint Ph.D. courses and administering Bank of Lithuania research awards named after Vladas Jurgutis. CEFER runs regular research seminars and workshops. Learn more at https://www.lb.lt/en/of-research

BEA online research seminar – Janis Umblijs

We are pleased to invite you to the next BEA’s Online Research Seminar and are delighted to welcome Janis Umblijs (Institute for Social Research, Norway). Janis is a labour economist whose research interests include the integration of migrants, the effect of technological change on the labour market and the role of housing on individual welfare. Janis has a PhD from Trinity College Dublin. He has worked on projects that look at topics such as, labour market outcomes of refugees, discrimination against the children of migrants, and how housing affects education outcomes. Before Janis started at ISF, he was a Senior Economist at the consultancy Oslo Economics where he worked on labour market evaluation projects for the Norwegian labour ministry, Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare administration.

More about the speaker: https://www.samfunnsforskning.no/english/people/res/janisu/

Speaker: Janis Umblijs (Institute for Social Research, Norway)

Title: How Robots Change Within-Firm Wage Inequality (with Erling Barth, Marianne Røed and Pål Schøne)


Using novel matched employer-employee register data with firm-level information on the introduction of industrial robots, this paper analysis the impact of robots on the wages of workers in the manufacturing sector. The results show that industrial robots increase wages for high-skilled workers relative to low-skilled workers, hence robots increases the skill-premium within firms. Furthermore, we find that employees in managerial positions benefit more from robotisation than those in STEM or professional occupations. Overall, our results suggest that the introduction of industrial robots has a positive effect on the average wages of manufacturing workers in Norway.

Date: Thursday, May 20

Time: 16:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

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Meeting ID: 833 4587 4064
Passcode: 437578

BEA online research seminar – Matthias Weber

We are pleased to invite you to the next BEA’s Online Research Seminar and are delighted to welcome Matthias Weber (University of St. Gallen)Matthias Weber (PhD University of Amsterdam) works as assistant professor at the University of St. Gallen, where he is also the executive director of the PhD Program in Finance. His research interests lie in the intersection of behavioral economics with financial markets, public finance, and macroeconomics. He has published in several peer-reviewed academic journals, including in the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies, and the Economic Journal.

More about the speaker: www.weber-matthias.eu.

Speaker: Matthias Weber (University of St. Gallen)

Title: Intertemporal Prospect Theory (with Immanuel Lampe)


Prospect Theory is the most prominent contender of expected utility theory to describe decisions under risk. In atemporal contexts, prospect theory is well understood. In intertemporal contexts, however, it is not clear how prospect theory should be applied (in particular, whether probabilities should be weighted within time periods or whether the probabilities of present values should be weighted). It is also unclear what parametric specifications of probability-weighting and value functions should be used. Considering that many decisions in economics, finance and health are of intertemporal nature, this is surprising. Using data from a pre-registered experiment on a representative sample, we find that an application of prospect theory weighting probabilities of present values predicts decisions best. Estimated probability weighting functions are very similar to those typically estimated in atemporal settings while value functions are almost linear with a loss aversion coefficient close to one.

Date: Thursday, April 29

Time: 16:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

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https://sseriga-edu.zoom.us/j/86566490318 pwd=cTZ1VGY1WEV4c3Eydm11Z296QmVndz09

Meeting ID: 865 6649 0318
Passcode: 256181

BEA online research seminar – Eeva Mauring

We are pleased to invite you to the next BEA’s Online Research Seminars and are pleased to welcome Eeva Mauring (University of Bergen and CEPR).  Eeva is Associate Professor at the University of Bergen and a CEPR Research Fellow. Her research focuses on  microeconomic theory, industrial organisation and information economics.  She published her work in journals such as the Economic Journal, American Economic Journal: Microeconomics and the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Eeva holds a Ph.D. in Economic from the University College London. Before joining the University of Bergen, she was Assistant Professor at the University of Vienna.

More about the speaker:


Speaker: Eeva Mauring (University of Bergen)

Title: Search and Price Discrimination Online

AbstractI study limited price discrimination based on search costs.“Shoppers” have a zero and “nonshoppers” a positive search cost. A consumer faces a nondiscriminatory “common” price with some probability, or a discriminatory price. In equilibrium, firms mix over the common and the shoppers’ discriminatory prices, but set a singleton nonshoppers’ discriminatory price. Less likely price discrimination mostly benefits consumers. An individual firm’s profit can increase in the number of firms. These results have important implications for regulations that limit price discrimination via reduced tracking (e.g., EU’s GDPR, California’s CCPA) and for evaluating competition online based on the number of firms.

Date: Thursday, March  25

Time: 16:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

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Meeting ID: 829 8133 6801
Passcode: 500212

BEA online research seminar – Dainis Zegners

We are pleased to invite you to the next BEA’s Online Research Seminars and are pleased to welcome Dainis Zegners (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University). Dainis is Assistant Professor at the Department of Technology and Operations Management at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University. Dainis’s research focuses on how firms manage information asymmetries on digital platforms and online marketplaces.  He examines this question in the context of media markets such as the e-book market and online news using both economic modelling and empirical techniques such as machine learning and text mining. Dainis holds a Ph.D. and in Management from LMU Munich and a Diploma (equivalent to M.Sc.) in Economics from the University of Bonn. Before joining the Rotterdam School of Management, he was Assistant Professor at the University of Cologne.

More about the speaker: https://sites.google.com/view/dainiszegners/welcome

Speaker: Dainis Zegners (Erasmus University)

Title: Cognitive Performance in the Home Office – Evidence from Professional Chess (with Steffen Künn and Christian Seel)

Abstract: During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, traditional (offline) chess tournaments were prohibited and instead held online. We exploit this as a unique setting to assess the impact of moving offline tasks online on the cognitive performance of individuals. We use the Artificial Intelligence embodied in a powerful chess engine to assess the quality of chess moves and associated errors. Using within-player comparisons, we find a statistically and economically significant decrease in performance when competing online compared to competing offline. Our results suggest that teleworking might have adverse effects on workers performing cognitive tasks.

Date: Thursday, February 25

Time: 16:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

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Meeting ID: 825 2375 9398
Passcode: 063832

BEA online research seminar – Agne Kajackaite

We are pleased to invite you to the next BEA’s Online Research Seminars and are pleased to welcome Agne Kajackaite (WZB Berlin Social Science Center). Dr. Agne Kajackaite is a behavioral economist and head of research group”Ethics and Behavioral Economics” at the Berlin Social Science Center. She has received her PhD from the University of Cologne and before joining the Berlin Social Center in 2017 she was a PostDoc at the University of
Southern California in Los Angeles. In her research she aims to understand
unethical behavior, particularly lying behavior, by conducting economic
lab experiments. Further topics in her research are cognitive performance,
gender, incentives, risk preferences, and ignorance. She has published papers in journals such as the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, PLOS ONE and Games and Economic Behavior.

More about the speaker: https://sites.google.com/site/agnekajackaite/home?authuser=0 

Speaker: Agne Kajackaite (WZB Berlin Social Science Center)

Title: Lying for Image

Abstract: The extensive literature on lying in economics has focused nearly
exclusively on lying for monetary rewards. However, in everyday
interactions, lying to gain a social image benefit – to appear to be
better than one is – is ubiquitous, and perhaps even more common than
lying to gain a material advantage. In this paper, we introduce three
novel lab and online experiments to study lying for social image. We show
that social image is a strong driver of lying behavior. In addition, we
show that people are not willing to lie for money, if the lie could hurt
their social image. In particular, the majority of Democrats would rather
leave the experiment empty-handed than state that they preferred Trump
over Obama.

Date: Thursday, January 21

Time: 16:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

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Meeting ID: 896 1695 5914
Passcode: 715079

Corruption, Tax Evasion and Institutions

The conference was initially planned to take place on October 1-2, 2020. However, due to the current uncertainty related to the Covid-19 pandemics and travel restrictions that may still prevail in autumn, the organizers have made a decision to postpone the conference to May 27-28, 2021. As previously planned, the conference will take place at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga). The updated key dates are:

Deadline for paper submission – January 31, 2021

Notifications of acceptance by February 15, 2021

Registration deadline – April 30, 2021

BEA online research seminar – Merike Kukk

We are delighted to invite you to the next BEA’s Online Research Seminars and are pleased to welcome Merike Kukk (Tallinn University of Technology, Bank of Estonia). Dr. Merike Kukk is Associate Professor at Tallinn University of Technology (Taltech), head of the master program in Applied Economics, and a part-time researcher at the central bank of Estonia. Her research topics cover household borrowing, saving, consumption and tax behaviour, gender inequality and intra-household resource allocation, as well as interactions between financial markets and the real economy. She has published her research in the Review of Economics of the Household, in the Review of Income and Wealth, in Public Finance Review, in International Tax and Public Finance, in Journal of Comparative Economics. She is teaching master seminar, microeconomics and public economics in the master program.

More about the speaker: www.taltech.ee/person/merike-kukk

Speaker: Merike Kukk (Tallinn University of Technology, Bank of Estonia)

Title: Joint and individual savings within families: evidence from bank accounts

Co-author: W. Fred van Raaij (Tilburg University)

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the ownership of financial assets within families and how pooling affects the individual savings of the partners. We use anonymised monthly transactional data from ING Bank to observe the financial data of Dutch couples for 2014–2016. We find that savings are quite equally allocated in almost half of households but in one-fifth of households there is only one partner who owns an individual account. The estimations show that joint savings contribute to a more equal division of savings since they are held equally. However, we find larger differences in individual savings among partners who pool, suggesting that the use of joint savings does not lead to individual savings being more evenly distributed, but rather to the opposite. The pattern is more apparent for households in their 20s and for saving accounts. The results of the study highlight the need to understand how families make decisions about applying the sharing rule to joint and individual savings.

Date: Wednesday, December 16

Time: 15:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

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Meeting ID: 812 2454 5047
Passcode: 046509

Passcode: 341510

BEA online research seminar – Audinga Baltrunaite

We are delighted to invite you to the next BEA’s Online Research Seminars and are pleased to welcome Audinga Baltrunaite (Bank of Italy). Audinga is an economist at the research department of the Bank of Italy, Economics and Law Division. She is also affiliated to the Dondena Gender Initiative, Bocconi University. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES), Stockholm University, and published in journals such as the Journal of the European Economic Association, the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization. Her main research areas are public economics, corporate governance and gender economics.

More about the speaker: http://audingabaltrunaite.com

Speaker: Audinga Baltrunaite (Bank of Italy)

Title: Board composition and performance of state-owned enterprises: Evidence from a natural experiment

Co-author: Mario Cannella (Northwestern University), Sauro Mocetti (Bank of Italy) and Giacomo Roma (Bank of Italy)

Abstract: Quality of governance crucially affects corporate outcomes, and may be particularly important for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) not disciplined by market competition forces. We identify companies with stock ownership by the public sector and examine the impact of board composition on their performance. For this purpose, we exploit the gradual introduction of a board gender quota in Italy, which was binding for SOEs, but not for companies with a minority share of public ownership.  The difference-in-differences analysis shows that the reform was effective in increasing female presence on the boards of directors of SOEs. The new female directors have mostly replaced older and less talented men, thereby rejuvenating and improving the quality of the boards. To assess the effects of the law on firm performance, we rely on companies’ balance sheets and on survey information on citizens’ satisfaction with the provision of local public services. Although we do not detect significant changes in economic performance, the evidence of higher satisfaction with public services signals the improved quality of SOEs’ output.

Date: Thursday, December 3

Time: 16:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

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Meeting ID: 897 3073 5655

Passcode: 341510

Facilitator: Linas Tarasonis (Vilnius University, Bank of Lithuania)

BEA online research seminar – Rudolfs Bems

We are delighted to invite you to the next BEA’s Online Research Seminars, and are pleased to welcome Rudolfs Bems (IMF). Rudolfs Bems is an Economist at the Research Department of the IMF. His research interests fall in the general field of international macroeconomics with a focus on applied work. He has published in leading academic journals such as the American Economic Review and the Journal of International Economics. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Stockholm School of Economics and an MA in Economics from New York University. Prior to the IMF, he was an Economist at the Research Department of the ECB and has held positions at the University of Tokyo and Bank of Latvia.

More about the speaker: https://sites.google.com/site/rudolfsbems/

Speaker: Rudolfs Bems (IMF)

Title: Measuring trade in value added with Firm-Level Data

Co-author: Ken Kikkawa (UBC Sauder School of Business)

Abstract: Global Value Chains have proliferated economic policy debates. Yet a key concept—trade in value added—is likely mismeasured because of sectoral aggregation bias stemming from reliance on input-output tables. This paper uses comprehensive firm-level data on both domestic and international transactions to study this bias. We find that sectoral aggregation leads to overstated trade in value added and, correspondingly, understated import content of gross exports. The economic magnitude of the estimated bias varies from moderate to large—at 2-5 pp of gross exports for Belgium and 17 pp for China. We study how the interplay between within-sector heterogeneities in firm import and export intensities and firm size determine the magnitude of the sectoral aggregation bias.

Date: Thursday, November 19

Time: 17:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn

Zoom Dial-In Details:

Topic: BEA seminar

Time: Nov 19, 2020 05:00 PM Riga/Tallinn/Vilnius

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Meeting ID: 867 3764 0159

Passcode: 114649

Facilitator: Konstantins Benkovskis (Bank of Latvia, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga)