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Tinbergen Institute Lectures

Extremes, Scaling and the Origins of Economic Fluctuations

  • Series
    Economics Lecture Series
  • Speaker
    Xavier Gabaix (Stern School of Business)
  • Location
  • Date

    June 06, 2011 until June 08, 2011

These lectures by Professor Xavier Gabaix (Martin J. Gruber Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business) studied the theory and empirics of extreme values and scaling, and especially how they relate to the origin of economic fluctuations.


  • Mysteries in the size distribution of firms, cities, stock market movements. Zipf‘s law. Scaling laws in economics and other fields.
  • Models, in particular random growth, assortative matching.
  • Origins of economic fluctuations. What causes fluctuations in GDP and the stock market? “Granular” hypothesis that shocks to large firms or funds affect meaningfully the whole economy. Theory and empirical evidence for GDP, exports, stock markets.
  • Scaling in “superstars” markets, particular the market for top executives, and to real estate.
  • Economic fluctuations and network models of the economy.