Member of the Month



James M. Chen J.D.
Justin Smith Morrill Chair in Law &
Professor in Law at the
Michigan State University

To start off the new year, we would like to honor James M. Chen, one of our newest members of the International Advances in Economic Research Board of Editors, as our Member of the Month. Professor Chen is an attorney and professor of law with a quarter-century of experience in the law of regulated industries, economics, and regulatory policy. He holds the Justin Smith Morrill Chair in Law at Michigan State University College of Law and is counsel to the Technology Law Group, a Washington, DC-based firm specializing in telecommunications law. Professor Chen is a highly productive and influential scholar whose works spans topics such as administrative law, agricultural law, constitutional law, economic regulation, environmental law, industrial policy, legislation, and natural resources law. It is no wonder then that in November 2012, National Jurist magazine named Chen one of the 25 most influential people in legal education.

Why did you become a member of the International Atlantic Economic Society?:

I remember getting an invitation from M. Peter van der Hoek to submit a paper for the fall 2013 meeting in Philadelphia. The range of topics addressed by IAES and its members took my breath away.  Once I got there, I met members of great talent, enthusiasm, and personal engagement.  People like José María Montero Lorenzo and Tino Sonora.  The paper I presented in Philadelphia was eventually published in International Advances in Economic Research under the title, “Coherence Versus Elicitability in Measures of Market Risk.”  From the beginning, I have always known that I had found a special organization in IAES.

What do you find most enjoyable about your membership?:

I very much enjoy the meetings and the way they alternate sides of the Atlantic.  IAES attracts a worldwide following.  I have made valuable contacts around the world and always look forward to attending meetings.

Have you held any notable positions within the IAES, (Officer, Board of Editors, Program Committee, etc.) if so, when?:

I try to arrange at least one program at every IAES conference that I attend.  This ensures my membership on the program committee for that meeting.  In December 2016, I happily accepted an invitation to join the board of editors of International Advances in Economic Research.

What types of projects/research are you working on and what inspired/motivated you to pursue that interest?:

I am the series editor for “Quantitative Perspectives on Behavioral Economics and Finance” for Palgrave Macmillan.  The first two books in that series are, Postmodern Portfolio Theory and Finance and the Behavioral Prospect.  I plan to present part of my third book, Econophysics and Capital Asset Pricing, at the March 2017 IAES meeting in Berlin.  My goal is to evaluate as much of economics — including mathematical finance, macroeconomics, regulatory policy, and behavioral economics — in light of all scientific disciplines that strive to understand how real human beings and their institutions react to real-world conditions and constraints.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering entering your line of work/field of study?:

You always want to do the “right” things — getting the right complement of academic degrees, publishing articles and books in prestigious venues, and building a deep network within the discipline.  Academia today prizes deep mastery of a single, specialized domain.  So my advice is to make sure that you don’t overlook less obvious ways of learning and improving your value to economic science.  Our field, at its best, strives to explain why people, institutions, and markets behave the way they do.  You never know where the next path-breaking insight will come.  It might be molecular biology or particle physics.  Do your best to engage other fields, other ideas, and other people.

Favorite hobby:

When the weather and my schedule cooperate, I love to ski.  In the absence of snow, I will hike anywhere, preferably someplace with great panoramic views.  My favorite intellectual pursuit (besides those traditionally associated with economics and its allied social sciences) is foreign languages.  At the very least, I want to attend IAES meetings in Europe without having to sheepishly ask people whether they speak English!

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