Jim Ardell

Board of Visitors

Jim Ardell
Jim Ardell
Vice President, Corporate Real Estate and
Chief Procurement Officer

Jim oversees the purchasing activities for over $4 billion in annual spend for such diverse categories as IT services, hardware and software, telecom, business process outsourcing, print, marketing, advertising and media, freight, facilities, capital expenditures, legal, temporary labor, recruitment, and consulting. His organization also manages Anthem Vendor Management, Software Asset Management, Telecom Accounting, Front-end claims and correspondence, Accounts Payable and the Corporate Travel and Events Office.

Jim manages both the company’s real estate and facilities activities, including long-term planning, lease administration and facilities management, the scope of which includes Anthem’s 8.5 million square feet spread across the US and also internationally. In addition, Jim is responsible for the company’s business continuity program, including its enterprise-wide methodology, standards, infrastructure, responsibilities, authority and resources for business continuity planning, emergency management, and response and recovery, covering all critical business processes of the business and corporate support units.

Jim joined Anthem in March 2005 after serving as a consultant to Anthem for four years as a senior vice president at JLL. Most recently, he was vice president shared services and financial operations at Anthem. His previous roles include various positions within the investment management group for JLL, the audit department at KPMG Peat Marwick and the Corporate Finance Group at Oppenheimer.

Jim holds a Masters of Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Racial Bias in Policing

Professor Felipe Goncalves

In January 2017, Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions was asked about federal oversight of policing during his confirmation hearing before the Senate. He responded, “I think there is concern that good police officers and good departments can be sued by the Department of Justice when you just have individuals within a department who have done wrong. These lawsuits undermine the respect for police officers and create an impression that the entire department is not doing their work consistent with fidelity to law and fairness.”

The debate over whether misbehavior in policing is widespread or the product of a few individuals is a crucial question for public policy. This issue is particularly important when addressing the potential presence of racial discrimination in policing. If discrimination is concentrated among a few individuals, the best policy may be a targeted intervention of training or discipline. But if discrimination is widespread, department-wide policies may be more effective.

In a study titled “A Few Bad Apples? Racial Bias in Policing,” Professor Felipe Goncalves and coauthor Steve Mello (NYU) study traffic enforcement and, in particular, the degrees to which individual police officers practice discrimination. In many states, the punishment for speeding jumps discontinuously at certain speeds. A jump may involve not only a higher fine, but also a mandated court appearance or lasting mark on the driver’s record. Officers are free to choose what speed to charge, and it is thus a common practice for officers to reduce the written speed on a driver’s ticket to right below a jump in the fine schedule. For example, in most counties in Florida, drivers are fined $135 for driving 9 MPH above the speed limit but fined $205 for driving 10 MPH or more above the speed limit.  In response, an officer may give a driver a “break” by writing a ticket for 9 MPH over when the driver was stopped at more than 10 MPH over the limit.

Using data from the Florida Highway Patrol, Goncalves and Mello show that, while officers regularly give breaks for speeding drivers in order to avoid these discrete fine jumps, minority drivers are significantly less likely to receive a break than white drivers. This disparity in treatment cannot be explained by differences in underlying speeding or other driver characteristics (e.g., that minority drivers are more likely to have previous traffic tickets), indicating that, on average, officers are discriminating against minority drivers. Because each officer writes hundreds of tickets for very similar infractions, Goncalves and Mello are able to identify each individual officer’s degree of discrimination, documenting significant heterogeneity across the police force. While all demographic groups of police appear to discriminate on the basis of drivers’ race, minority officers and female officers are less discriminatory on average. Forty percent of officers exhibit some amount of discrimination.

The estimates of discrimination in this study are useful for evaluating different proposed policies for targeting discrimination. Goncalves and Mello find that policies that increase minority and female officers or fire the right tail of most discriminatory officers are unlikely to cause meaningful reductions in the overall disparity in ticketing. However, because of the significant heterogeneity in behavior across officers, changes to how officers are assigned to neighborhoods of different racial compositions can substantially mitigate the impact of discrimination. This study contributes a novel method for understanding how discrimination varies across criminal justice agents and how such discrimination determines the appropriate policy response.

Jay Lu awarded NSF Grant

We’d like to congratulate Assistant Professor Jay Lu for being awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for his research on the economic theory of human decision-making. The first part of this project will address common everyday situations where individuals make choices repeatedly over time. In many of these cases, people’s preferences over various goods may change from day to day. In other words, their preferences are stochastic. This research will propose a new theoretical model to help us understand how these stochastic preferences affect choice behavior. People’s preferences to consume earlier or later would be an important factor. The second part of this project will study the welfare implications of stochastic preferences. When preferences change over time, it is unclear whether policy interventions would be beneficial and help improve individual well-being. This research will provide new tools and methodologies that will inform public policy for stochastic preferences. In general, results from this project will ultimately aid researchers in developing new insights for businesses, government agencies and other institutions that will benefit the U.S. public.

Award Details

 

The NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering.  It does this through grants, and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, k-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the United States. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of federal support to academic institutions for basic research. NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. Source

Lee Ohanian Op-Ed on Volatile Markets in The Hill

Why the markest turned volatile–and why you shouldn’t panic

By Lee Ohanian

Financial market volatility has skyrocketed in recent days. The Standard and Poors 500 Index, which consists of the 500 largest, publicly traded corporations, lost 6 percent of its value in May. This was followed by an 8 percent rise in June, but the index was down about 5 percent through August 16 from its July peak. Other stock market indexes recorded similar patterns.

Yet, the overall indices of the U.S. economy remain strong – stronger, in some cases, than in 50 or more years – which suggests the volatility, and the accompanying hints of panic, are largely misplaced for most Americans.

The value of privately owned, U.S. nonresidential capital stock today is about $25 trillion, which means investors are […]

Continue reading the article here

 

Peter M. Moglia

Board of Visitors

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Peter M. Moglia

Co-Chief Executive Officer & Co-Chief Investment Officer

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Peter M. Moglia is Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. He has served as Co-Chief Executive Officer since April 2018 and Chief Investment Officer since January 2009. A 21-year Alexandria veteran, Mr. Moglia is a respected leader with extensive industry and market knowledge.

He jointly leads the company in his role as Co-CEO, and jointly oversees the company’s strategic growth as Co-CIO through a focus on acquisitions and dispositions, development and redevelopment, leasing, and joint ventures. He also concurrently leads Alexandria’s real estate finance team, which provides critical support across a range of underwriting, due diligence, and financing activities.

Previously, Mr. Moglia served in many important capacities of increasing scope and responsibility, including managing the company’s Seattle asset base and operations from April 2003 through December 2008, during which time the region doubled its revenue.

Prior to joining Alexandria, Mr. Moglia served as an Analyst for Lennar Partners, Inc., a diversified real estate company, where his responsibilities included underwriting and structuring direct and joint venture real estate investments. Mr. Moglia began his real estate career in the Management Advisory Services group within Kenneth Leventhal & Co. Real Estate Group, a subsidiary of Ernst & Young LLP, where he spent six years providing valuation, feasibility, financial modeling, and other analytical services to real estate developers, financial institutions, pension funds, and government agencies.

Mr. Moglia received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

UCLA to host 2019 CEME Conference

On September 6 and 7, UCLA will host the 2019 CEME Conference for Young Econometricians with the support of the National Science Foundation.

This workshop, which is part of the Conference on Econometrics and Mathematical Economics (CEME) series, has the express purpose of providing an informal venue for interaction between advanced junior and young senior Econometricians.

For more information about the conference, please visit the event page.

Tomasz Sadzik wins the Warren C. Scoville Distinguished Teaching Award

The UCLA Department of Economics would like to congratulate Tomasz Sadzik for being awarded the Warren C. Scoville Distinguished Teaching Award for best undergraduate teaching in Spring 2019 for his class Econ 106G on Introduction to Game Theory.

Game Theory provides a set of tools to study the interaction of multiple strategic agents. It can be used to analyze situations in which the objective of one agent, say firm A’s profit, depends not only on its own actions, such as quantity it produces, but also on the actions of other agents, such as the quantity of A’s competitor. These situations are pervasive in business and economics. In such situations game theory can guide us to improve our actions and help us to understand observed behavior. This is Tomasz Sadzik’s third time winning this award. Congratulations!

Warren C. Scoville was a faculty member for the UCLA Department of Economics for 28 years before his death in 1969.  This award is given quarterly in his name to the ladder faculty member who receives the highest teaching evaluation scores from his or hers course.

Saki Bigio awarded NSF Grant

 

fig_ramsey_E_sbar_rsp_noextWe’d like to congratulate Assistant Professor Saki Bigio for being awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for his research titled “A Model of Credit, Money, Interest and Prices” (Joint with Professor Yuliy Sannikov from Stanford Business School).

His research formalizes the idea that central banks have more tools than is traditionally thought. Namely, central banks can control inflation and credit spreads. The study argues that managing credit spreads is a desirable policy tool and can be achieved with a central bank balance sheet policy.

The NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering.  It does this through grants, and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, k-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the United States. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of federal support to academic institutions for basic research. NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. Source

Allyson Benas

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Allyson Benas

Allyson Benas, currently Head of Product at Holotech Studios, had many worlds to navigate before she levelled up to her current position. As Benas recounts, she started her first year as an undergraduate at UCLA open to the numerous opportunities it had to offer. Originally an International Development Studies Major, her passion for community development programs found its place in the numerous organizations on campus, and took her to an internship in Honduras that piqued her interest in the nuances of business. She started taking economics classes and eventually decided to major in Business Economics with a minor in Accounting, and was even in the inaugural year of the Sharpe Fellows program.

After her graduation in 2009, Benas was specifically interested in real estate banking, motivated by her semester abroad at the Universidad de Costa Rica. Her first position out of college was at PricewaterhouseCoopers, after successfully overcoming the challenging job search process. A “Big 4” firm was a good place to start for the experience of working in a large organization with lots of cycles of development and growth, and due to the strong emphasis on foundational knowledge.

However, her quest lay elsewhere. When one of her mentors moved to London to work for King Digital Entertainment, the makers of Candy Crush, she went along to discover a new world of video games. Playing to her strengths, she was on the finance team at King and managed revenue recognition for 9 studios around the world. Benas also acquired a keen eye for design that was integral to her future positions.

Benas put this design skill and her business acumen to the test with her entrepreneurial stint as the founder of Fantasy Suites. She built a game designed around fantasy leagues for the competitive reality television shows like The Bachelor, inspired by a simplified version she played with her friends. This challenge required savvy game design perspective as it had to compete against ABC Network’s own game, and because it had to be designed around the fantasy leagues atrophying as contestants were eliminated off the show. As she recalls from her time in an industry dominated by male focused video games, she had to work hard to pitch her game ideas to male investors with their own misguided intuitions about female focused video games. She emphasizes the need for women to be comfortable owning their greater experience and knowledge of their demographic, as the growing market of female gamers cannot be ignored. Furthermore, she encourages aspiring video game designers to reach out to similarly underserved markets. For example, Benas is confident that the next market breakthrough will be apps for baby boomers moving into technology.

Benas is a big advocate of learning by doing, and reiterates the role her time at UCLA played in teaching her this skill. For her, being at a competitive school like UCLA underlined that she was accountable for her own outcomes, and motivated her to seek out the numerous resources that the campus had to offer. Her most important piece of advice is definitely food for thought: “don’t overthink the future, it will limit the risks you will take”.

 

Written by Yashwini Sodhani

Digitization in the Film Industry

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El Hadi Caoui

Technology standards play a central role in a broad array of industries: for example, AC in electric power distribution, FedACH for wire transfers in banking, USB for data transmission, MP3 for music distribution, and 4G LTE for mobile devices. What do these industries have in common? Network effects: the value of a given technology increases with the number of users. For instance, a bank’s incentive to adopt a particular electronic payment technology (say FedACH) increases with the number of other banks that already use the technology, because it can exchange payments with more institutions. Industries with network effects benefit from coordinating on a single technology (the ”standard”) to exploit network benefits.

However, in the medium to long-run, adopting a standard may have costs. Once bound together by the benefits of the standard, the industry may become reluctant to switch to better technologies as they become available. Can coordination on a standard prevent an industry from efficiently adopting new and better technologies? If so, what are the sources of this “excess inertia” in adoption? What instruments can a regulator use to break the stalemate and encourage the efficient adoption of new technologies? While the theoretical literature has long shown that excess inertia can arise, these questions have received little attention in the empirical literature.

In his job market paper, “Estimating the Costs of Standardization: Evidence from the Movie Industry,” UCLA PhD student, El Hadi Caoui, studies the movie industry’s switch from the 35mm film standard to digital cinema between 2005 and 2014. Digital cinema consists of distributing motion pictures to theaters over digital support (internet or hard drives) as opposed to the historical use of 35mm film reels. To screen digital movies, theaters must equip their screens with digital projectors instead of film projectors. Theaters and distributors achieve large cost-reductions with digital technology, but due to network effects under 35mm film, the conversion to digital may have been too slow.

To evaluate this claim, Hadi combines a dynamic model of the industry’s conversion to digital with detailed data on movie theaters’ adoption of digital projectors in France. Using the dynamic model, the paper simulates counterfactual scenarios and shows that industry profits over 2005-2014 are 18% lower due to “excess inertia.” Additionally, 62% of this loss is explained by coordination failure: if a firm is uncertain about other firms’ willingness to switch, it is unwilling to risk switching without being followed, which creates delays in the adoption of digital. Adoption externalities explain the rest of this loss (38%): a theater’s conversion to digital raises the availability of digital movies and benefits theaters that already use digital. This benefit to other adopters is, however, not accounted for by the theater making its decision.

The results suggest that policy intervention in network industries can be beneficial, in particular, to coordinate firms’ adoption of new technologies. Moreover, the most effective instrument—between adoption subsidies or standard-setting committees— depends on the relative importance of adoption externalities and coordination failure, which is likely industry-specific.

El Hadi Caoui is graduating from UCLA this summer, and will be joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman Business School as an Assistant Professor.