NBER Reporter: 2009 Number 4 Profiles

Mark Aguiar     Erik Hurst     Robert Kaestner     Kathryn L. Shaw    

NBER Profile: Mark Aguiar

Mark Aguiar is a Research Associate in the NBER’s Program on Economic Fluctuations and Growth and the Program on International Finance and Macroeconomics. He is also a professor of economics at the University of Rochester.

Aguiar received his Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1999. He began his academic career at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business before moving to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 2004 and then to the University of Rochester in 2006.

Aguiar’s research addresses issues in open- and closed-economy macroeconomics. He has studied emerging market business cycles, sovereign debt, the political economy of capital taxation, and growth. His recent research considers the implications of "sovereign debt overhang" for volatility and growth in developing economies.

Aguiar has also investigated life-cycle consumption, time allocation, and trends in labor supply. He is currently exploring recent trends in consumption and leisure inequality.

Aguiar is an associate editor at the Review of Economic Dynamics and is on the board of editors of the AEJ: Macroeconomics. He lives in Pittsford, NY with his wife, two daughters, and his dog.

Mark Aguiar

NBER Profile: Erik Hurst

Erik Hurst is a Research Associate in NBER’s Programs on Economic Fluctuations and Growth, Public Economics, and Aging. He is also the V. Duane Rath Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Hurst received a B.A. in economics from Clarkson University in 1993, an M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1995, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1999. He joined Chicago’s faculty in 1999. He is also on the board of editors of the AEJ: Macroeconomics.

Hurst’s main area of research is household financial behavior. He has studied, for example, the importance of signaling in explaining the conspicuous consumption patterns across races, and the role that parents play in shaping their children’s saving propensities. Currently, Hurst is analyzing the role of neighborhood externalities in explaining house-price dynamics, and the extent to which reductions in labor supply barriers for Blacks and women have increased measured U.S. productivity.

Hurst lives in Chicago with his wife and two children. Outside of economics, he is a die-hard fan of the Miami Dolphins and a connoisseur of American television.

Erik Hurst

NBER Profile: Robert Kaestner

Robert Kaestner, who became an NBER affiliate in 1990 and a Research Associate in 1995, is a member of the NBER’s Programs on Health Economics and on the Economic Well-Being of Children. He is also a Professor in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs of the University of Illinois and a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Kaestner received both his B.A. in Political Science and History and his M.A. in Economics from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from City University of New York. Prior to moving in Chicago, he taught at a number of New York-area colleges and universities, including Lehman College, Rider University, City University of New York, and Baruch College. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

Kaestner’s research focuses on health, labor, and social policy. His is currently studying a variety of topics including the consequences of minimum legal drinking age laws on adult alcohol use and traffic fatalities, the effects of urban sprawl on obesity over the last thirty years, the effect of child care quality on child development, the efficacy of inpatient spending on Medicare recipients’ mortality, and the effects of immigrant nurses on the wages and employment of domestic nurses.

Kaestner lives in Chicago with his wife, Caren Rawlins, and daughter, Alessandra. When not at work, he enjoys cooking, fishing, hiking, and playing soccer with his daughter.

Robert Kaestner

NBER Profile: Kathryn L. Shaw

Kathryn L. Shaw is a Research Associate in the NBER’s Programs on Labor Studies and Productivity and the Ernest C. Arbuckle Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. She completed her Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University in 1981. Before joining the Stanford faculty, she was a Member of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers (1999-2001). She was also the Ford Distinguished Research Chair and Professor of Economics at the business school at Carnegie Mellon University.

In 2008, Shaw was elected a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists. She also has received several teaching awards, was the Trust Faculty Fellow at Stanford for 2005-6, and is the recipient of the Xerox Research Chair. She has served on a Research Panel of the NSF and is an editor of several academic journals.

Shaw lives in Palo Alto where the mountains, and biking, and running, and her family with three children are all "enjoyable distractions."

Kathryn L. Shaw
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us