New Faculty Member Cosmin Ilut

Thursday, February 11, 2010
New Faculty Member Cosmin Ilut

11 February 2010 12:00AM

Originally from Romania, Cosmin Ilut joined the department of economics at Duke University last summer. Ilut's major fields of interest are macroeconomics, finance and the economics of information.
"I like studying topics related to information and macroeconomics because to me it's a very exciting and relevant area to work in," Ilut said. "These aren’t just some boring math models but rather about analyzing how information is processed and disseminated and the general problem of what information is available to economic agents."
As a new assistant professor, Ilut juggles various research projects. "The common themes of my work are the role of expectations and how agents incorporate information," Ilut explains. His studies explore topics such as monetary policy, exchange rates, expectational errors and sovereign bank lending, among others. 
"In the monetary policy work, we analyze periods of real and financial boom and bust caused by news about the future and look at the role of monetary policy. It’s a very interesting story - how policy can amplify rather than stabilize the effect of shocks on the economy," Ilut said.
In another line of research, Ilut is studying an environment when agents aren't certain of the quality of the signal they receive. A real-life example of this type of situation would be information posted on an Internet message board about a particular stock.
"One can conclude that when faced with ambiguous signals people over-react to bad news and under-react to good news,” explained Ilut. “I’m exploring the implications of this conclusion for macro finance."
Ilut honed in on the macro finance field during his studies at Northwestern University, where he earned his Ph.D. in June 2009. Ilut mentioned that he was fortunate to be joined at Duke by two other recent Northwestern graduates, James Roberts and Federico Bugni, and by a fellow macro junior professor, Francesco Bianchi.
Ilut speaks highly of the environment at Duke. “I like that I’m involved in decision-making as a junior faculty member here,” Ilut said. “It’s a very  stimulating atmosphere where you can talk to folks across fields and disciplines.”  
Determined to contribute to the macroeconomics area, Ilut welcomes the challenge of his new responsibilities.  “My goals are to work hard and establish myself as a junior professor," Ilut said, "I'm getting involved with students, and becoming part of the community of the department. It's exciting."

Learn more about Professor Ilut at his profile page.