Haver, Haltiwanger Are Shiskin Award Winners

Maurine Haver, president and founder of Haver Analytics, and John Haltiwanger, professor of economics at the University of Maryland, are the 2013 recipients of the Julius Shiskin Award for their outstanding contributions to the development of economic statistics systems and the use of data in interpreting the economy.

Haver served as NABE president from 1994-95 and continues to serve as chair of the organization’s Statistics Committee.  In her role as Statistics Committee chair and in her service on advisory committees to federal data agencies, she has played a key role in communicating concerns of data users to officials as they consider improvements, even in recent times of budget constraints.  She was cited for these and other many other contributions by the Shiskin Award committee.

NABE is one of three organizations that jointly confer the Shiskin Award each year.  The other sponsors are the Washington Statistical Society and the Business and Economics Section of the American Statistical Association.  Haver and Haltiwanger will be recognized at NABE’s 55th Annual Meeting in San Francisco [link to story in this issue] September 7-10.

In the award committee’s citation, both Haltiwanger and Haver “are recognized for initiatives to educate users and producers of key federal economic statistics.”   The award, named for Julius Shiskin, who served as commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1973-78, recognizes unusually original and important contributions in the development of economic statistics or in the use of statistics in interpreting the economy.

m_haver150_news.jpg Haver Cited For Educating Users, Data Producers

Haver founded Haver Analytics in 1978 and it has evolved into a premier source of database products.  Based in New York City, the firm also has offices in London and Singapore and at the outset was one of few firms that integrated documentation into its database products, according to the Shiskin citation.

“This effort quickly set the standard for disseminating these metadata, thereby significantly improving user knowledge of important aspects of various statistical programs. The firm also featured timely, accurate, and easy-to-use U.S. economic statistics along with sophisticated analytical tools and graphics capabilities. These improvements facilitated the analysis of economic data and broadened the use and dissemination of economic statistics to businesses, government policymakers, researchers, and the press,” the award committee said.  Haver expanded these efforts to the international sector with similar success.

Haver has played a key role in the evolution of NABE’s 10-year old Economic Measurement Seminar (EMS)—a prime example of how she brings together data producers and private sector data users to the benefit of both camps. “Her in-depth knowledge from operating Haver Analytics provided the foundation for professional educational opportunities on these statistics. She initiated seminars and presentations focused on young and mid-career business economists and financial analysts,” the award committee said, citing the EMS as a hallmark of these efforts.

The Shiskin committee also cited several examples of how her knowledge of statistics programs and her extensive business expertise and business contacts, make Haver “a particularly effective spokesperson for the business community before Congress on the critical role federal economic statistics play in American business planning and operations.” She testified before Congress in support of issues such as data sharing and adequate funding for economic programs. On the data-sharing issue, she organized NABE members in support of the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA), which has led to improvements in key economic statistics. 

Haver Advocates For Sound Data Budgets

In other instances, Haver works with NABE and other organizations to advocate for sufficient spending, especially in recent years when funding cuts have been implemented and others threatened in proposed legislation. 

“When congressional funding for the 2012 Economic Census was in jeopardy, Ms. Haver worked with the American Economic Association to co-sponsor a briefing for Congress, "Hi-Beams for the Economic Road Ahead: The Importance of the 2012 Economic Census for Business and Government Decision-Making," the award committee said.

Recently legislation was introduced in the House that would end funding for surveys that are integral to virtually all economic statistics.  “Ms. Haver reacted immediately and publically attacked the legislation as a threat to the types of reliable data that are critical to the proper functioning and success of U.S. businesses,” the award committee pointed out.

Haver also continues to serve on several committees that advise federal data agencies.  She serves on the Bureau of Economic Analysis Advisory Committee, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Advisory Committee, and has been named to the recently formed Financial Research Advisory Committee that will advise the Treasury Department office responsible for understanding and analyzing systemic financial risk, and serves as the chair of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS).

Before establishing Haver Analytics, she was an economist in the economic forecasting group of General Electric in New York, a member of the international staff of Companie Bull General Electric in Paris, and a consultant at Chase Manhattan Bank in London.

She is a recipient of NABE’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Butler Award granted by the New York Association for Business Economics, a NABE chapter, to distinguished business economists. She also is a fellow of NABE and of the Money Marketeers of New York University.

Haltiwanger Lauded For Expanding Access To Census Data

j_haltiwanger150news.png  In the Shiskin Award Committee’s citation to Haltiwanger, the University of Maryland professor was “recognized for expanding access to Census Bureau micro-data records and for using these records to develop new statistical measures to analyze firm-level employment dynamics and productivity.”

Haltiwanger began his association with the Census Bureau in 1987 as a research associate at the agency’s Center for Economic Studies (CES), and he became the Census Bureau’s first chief economist in 1996.  He served as head of the CES from 1997 to 1999 and has continued his association with Census as a research associate at the CES and as a senior research fellow for the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program.  Currently he is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Institute for the Study of Labor.

“A major aspect of Haltiwanger’s role at Maryland and at the [Census] Bureau has been his initiatives to educate and train data users and data producers,” the Shiskin committee said. “He has been an important contributor to initiatives that have expanded researchers’ access to economic micro-data on firms and workers and is currently involved in a project to harmonize public-use extracts of confidential data from multiple countries, which will facilitate cross- country comparisons of production and employment behaviors.”

His work at Census, particularly in developing longitudinal establishment and matched employer-employee databases, “led to conceptual and measurement methodologies that now are widely used to quantify the contribution of firm dynamics to aggregate productivity, investment, and employment growth,” according to the Shiskin committee.  The Business Dynamics Statistics program at Census and the Business Employment Dynamics program of the Bureau of Labor Statistics both rely on these measurement methodologies.  Haltiwanger helped to develop similar measures in his work with the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the Conference Board.

Books, Papers Offer Insights, Guidance On Innovations

Over the past two decades, Haltiwanger has co-authored or co-edited six books and more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and books. “A hallmark of this work is that it provides insights and guidance on the innovative economic statistics he helped develop,” the committee said.  While at the University of Maryland, where he has taught since 1987, he has supervised more than 60 dissertations and many have involved collaboration on developing data infrastructure at both Census and the BLS.

In a similar vein to Haver’s involvement with federal data agencies, Haltiwanger has long served as advisor to major federal data agencies, including the Federal Economics Statistics Advisory Committee, which serves the Census Bureau, BLS, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

He also serves on the executive committee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth (CRIW), co-edited two CRIW volumes, and contributed articles to NBER/CRIW volumes on the measurement of capital, productivity, firm dynamics, and labor markets, the Shiskin committee noted.  “One volume he co-edited focused on intangible capital and greatly accelerated new literature on intangible assets as sources of economic growth. In July 2013, BEA will begin to treat research and development as investment in U.S. national accounts.”

Haltiwanger served as a member of the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the National Academies of Science from 2004-2010, served on the Steering Committee for a CNSTAT workshop on Benefits of Interagency Business Data Sharing, and co-edited the report on its 2007 panel on business dynamics.

 

NABE News
Number 217
August 2013