20+ Years of the CIDE Summer School of Econometrics

In the last twenty (or more) years Prof. Carlo Bianchi has been the organizer and the Director of the Italian CIDE Summer School of Econometrics. Every year, he would invite four professors from the best Universities all around the globe and he would host them either in Bagni di Lucca, in Bertinoro or in Perugia, doing all he could do to make their staying nice, enjoyable and unforgettable. This was a unique moment for graduate students to meet professors whose name was only heard or read in econometric books or scientific articles. In those two weeks, students could learn the most updated econometric models and techniques and interact with very famous professors in the field. For some of these students, the Summer School would soon become a gateway to a visiting period in a University abroad, if not a Master, if not a Ph.D.

My name is Juri Marcucci and I have had the great luck of being Carlo’s student at the University of Pisa and Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies. I still remember his lectures that went beyond the mere econometric or statistical technicalities. Carlo would always add an anecdote to what at that time looked just like a name attached to a theorem or test in the book. For example, talking about the Chow test for structural breaks, he would recall how Chow (pronounced like the word “Ciao” in Italian which means Hallo) would think that everybody was greeting him while in Italy, because Italians say “Ciao” instead of Hallo. Even a simple story like this would make the lecture much much more enjoyable and “live”. And the funny thing was that Carlo would have at least one story for almost all the names in the Econometrics textbook. It seemed that between his former job at IBM, some conferences and the Summer School of Econometrics he would know personally ALL those names. In the end, he would manage to make a boring and super technical lecture live and super interesting. It was like reading a ‘living’ book with an unforgettable mix between Econometrics and the most recent History of Econometrics and Econometricians. This would add a particular special flavor to his lectures.

I have decided to create this blog to celebrate Carlo’s career and his efforts. I am doing this, not only because I took over as the organizer/director of the CIDE Summer School of Econometrics two years ago, but just because once my work with the Summer School is done, I would love to reach just one third of the success that Carlo reached.

With his Summer School of Econometrics, many Italian graduate students have had the possibility to meet the best professors in the field and learn the most up-to-date econometric techniques. For some of them the Summer School was the first step to a great academic career overseas. Unfortunately, I cannot reach all the students that have participated in the last 20+ years of Summer Schools, but I do hope in the power of Google so that some of them could find this blog and maybe leave a comment in the near future.

To celebrate Carlo’s career as the Director of the CIDE Summer School of Econometrics, I have contacted some of the professors (around 80) who lectured in the last 2 decades. You cannot even imagine how many replies I have received within a few hours. Everybody has wonderful memories of the week spent with Carlo and the students in Bagni di Lucca, in Bertinoro or lately in Perugia. Here are some of their replies:

Ken West (U. Wisconsin, 2002 Summer School):

  1. Carlo took me out to a **fantastic** dinner just about every night.  Maybe every night.  What a treat!  Great food, and his company, made for wonderful non-pecuniary compensation for lecturing.
  1. The World Cup was going on when I gave my lectures.  One day Italy was scheduled to play the same time as my class. The day before this conflict, Carlo said to me: “You have two options.  One is to give your class to an empty classroom.  The second is to reschedule for later in the day, and have the usual attendance.”  Needless to say, I rescheduled.

Elie Tamer (Harvard, 2009 Summer School):

I look fondly at my time doing the class at Carlo’s invitation. It was truly memorable and so was Carlo. He loved the school and the program, attended each class (in fact sat in the front row), and most importantly made the experience more colorful with his personality. He loved good food, and so did I, and so we managed to bond through the many little dinner he organized every evening after class. In fact, after my trip, I made that into a youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7trpYFpW7U)

Allan Timmermann (Rady School of Management, UCSD, 2003 Summer School):

I specifically remember the good fun on the soccer field (Danish attack against Italian defense – guess which one won the day), the trips with Carlo to the local Trattoria around the corner, the trip to the central restaurant in town and the kindness and good nature of Carlo’s perfect skills as a host and entertainer. I had a fabulous time teaching in the program and fondly remember my time with Carlo and the students in Bertinoro.

Badi Baltagi (Syracuse U., 1998 and 2008 Summer Schools):

Carlo is a great host and I had the pleasure of being in Bertinoro twice. Carlo was great. He knew everybody in town and added a charm to the dinners and bar stops climbing the hill to the monastery. He was telling me he wanted to invite his cousin Hal White and he did. I asked how is he your cousin? I am “Bianchi”, that is White in Italian. He is my cousin.

The students put on a show at dinner singing Arias and were delightful. I had good memories of Bertinoro and all the best for Carlo.

Aris Spanos (Virginia Tech, Summer School before 1996):

Although, my participation in the CIDE Summer School of Econometrics took place many years ago, I still remember that experience with fond memories. The topics were well-chosen and the students were highly motivated that make the job of teaching them a pleasure. Professor Carlo Bianchi should be very proud for contributing significantly to the creation of something unique in graduate education in econometrics for students in Italy! I did participate in several similar activities in many countries, but only the CIDE lasted for several decades and has  contributed significantly to the creation of a new generation of econometricians from Italy. Two decades later, I still meet econometricians whom I taught in Bagni di Lucca! Please convey my sincerest thanks and congratulations to professor Carlo Bianchi for doing such a great job!

Cheng Hsiao (USC ,2000 Summer School):

I had the honor to be invited by Carlo more than a dozen years ago to give a mini course on panel data.  It was one of  the most memorable events.  Carlo was a tremendous host and workshop organizer.  He looked after me so well.  I also had a great time interacting with the workshop participants.  I wished the mini-class would go on much longer.

Graham Elliott (UCSD, 2003 Summer School):

When Allan and I were there, Carlo was horrified that we intended to cover very long days of material, made all the worse by failing air conditioning in 30+ degree celsius heat. He was expecting something a bit more laid back. But what I remember best was how pleased he was that I was always willing to stop after dinner, climbing up that hill, for a grappa on the way. He enjoyed the good life, adn was happy for us to enjoy it too.

Gabriel Perez Quiros (Banco de España, 2008 Summer School):

I still remember the week that i spent in CIDE as one of the nicest of my life. The level of the students, the nice surroundings and specially, the dedication, care and enthusiasm of Carlo (and Roberto) made these days specially memorable. The poster of CIDE still hung in my office.  I remember the piadina that we had in a few places around, the wine, the walks around the old building talking about everything….in sum. Care, sympathy and style at the service of research and learning. A combination difficult to beat and a way of doing things that should not be lost. Thanks  Carlo for being in charge of all this for so many years and make me a little part of your summers.

Enrique Sentana (CEMFI, 2002 Summer School):

I met Carlo Bianchi in person in Bertinoro in June 2002. He had invited me to teach at CIDE’s International Summer School the year before but I couldn´t go because of earlier commitments. He greeted me with a strong hug and a kiss on each cheek. He did the same to my wife and kids and showed us to the Bishop Quarters where we were staying. Then he and Giorgio Calzolari took us to eat piadina in the village square and from then on he was incredibly attentive to all our needs. He was particularly friendly to our (then) young children, who at the end of the week regarded him as a distant uncle. Having Giorgio Calzolari in
residence for the entire week was also great fun, especially as his interactions with Carlo constantly reminded us of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in “The Odd Couple”. Dinner at la osteria Dla Benilde was the culinary pinnacle of the trip.
On top of that, he attended every single one of my lectures in the morning, as well as those that Peter Bossaerts gave in the afternoon. In fact, teaching was so intense that I couldn´t understand why the students didn´t doze off in class, especially taking into account that often they had been partying at Milano Marittima the night before. But Carlo´s secret recipe for combining fun with serious learning mysteriously worked, and they all went home happier and wiser than when they arrived. Since then I´ve met Carlo at several of the Italian Congresses of Econometrics and Empirical Economics that he and others promoted, and I´ve always enjoyed his wits and bonhomie, as well as his views on econometrics and econometricians, even though often he inadvertently switches from English to Italian in the middle of our conversation.

Anindya Banerjee (U. of Birmingham, 2008 Summer School):

I taught the Bertinoro Summer School in 2008 and remember him to be a warm and affectionate man, full of sharp intelligence and a zest for life.  On my last day, in a cafe, I remember his dictating to me a long list of Italian red wines that I should try, and the olive oil in the supermarket that I should avoid buying at all costs.  The list of wines was written down on a napkin which I have now unfortunately lost but I remember his hospitality and kindness towards me and I wish for him only the very best.

Jinyong Hahn (UCLA, 2010 Summer School):

I fondly remember Carlo.  I remember the nice pizza place and the pasta place that he took me to. I also remember the grappa we had almost every day.

Carlo took me to very nice local restaurants, and he would share his knowledge/opinion about the proper Italian cooking with me. I remember the pizza place. He explained that they use a proper cooking method, meaning that they bake only the dough in the oven, and the thinly sliced meat is added only after the baked dough is taken out, thereby maintaining the integrity of the cold cuts. I also remember the pasta place. He told me that their pasta is handmade, apparently an art form that is disappearing in Italy. He explained that unlike their machine made cousins, handmade pastas tend to have slightly rough surfaces, which makes it easy for the sauce to stick to the surface. As such, the optimal sauce to pasta ratio is achieved in your mouth only with handmade pastas. Carlo’s discussion of the Italian culinary secret was always accompanied by a few glasses of grappa, which made the whole experience more enjoyable. Great memory…

George Tauchen (Duke, 2001 Summer School):

Carlo’s program was terrific and of course I remember all parts of it well. By the way, our dear friend Hal White would talk effusively about his delightful experiences teaching in Carlo’s program.

One of my fondest professional memories is the week in 2001 that I spent teaching in the Summer School in Bertinoro, Italy.  I co-taught with Neil Shephard of Oxford.  Carlo (and Eduardo Rossi) had very smoothly and efficiently organized the School that summer.  Everything ran so effectively; I could tell Carlo had devoted a lot of time and energy to building this outstanding program.  The students from various parts of Italy and Europe were just a delight.  Carlo was so very friendly, amicable, and enthusiastic, so Neil and I always felt comfortable and welcome.

One very specific memory is the Thursday evening when Carlo, Neil, Eduardo, and I sat relaxing with a delicious Italian wine.  We could look over the Adriatic Sea while the light gradually faded away.  It was truly amazing and I will forever remember it.

Carlo had found just a great venue.  The classroom was in what I think was a former monastery, but with all of the latest technical equipment needed for effective teaching. Carlo’s quaint little town of Bertinoro was a new experience for me. I had never spent any time before in such a tiny town, with a handful of residents and medieval charm.   The mornings were especially gorgeous

Carlo was so accommodating and gracious about making sure his guests were comfortable.  We always wanted to have dinner much earlier than the customary time of the Mediterranean area, and Carlo would make sure our needs were met.  After some studying, the students would go out for a good time in the evening, and my understanding was that Carlo would sometimes go along.  Still, everyone showed up bright and ready for those very early 08:30 classes.

Carlo kept the students interests in mind.  He assiduously made sure that the professors spent the entire contractual time in front of the students.  By no means were these student going to be shortchanged under Carlo’s supervision.  For a while, he had to maintain calm amongst the students when, as a sort of joke, Neil and I would discuss a very difficult final examination we had in mind.  Of course, there really was no test at the end, and Carlo would gently reassure the students.

Carlo’s Summer School program provided a unique experience for both the students and the professors.  I can only wish the best for him.

Frank Diebold (University of Pennsylvania, 1995 Summer School):

My wife Susan and I recall that Carlo was basically the greatest host that I/we experienced in the history of my thirty years in the profession.  For example:  his knowing everyone – everyone! – in Bertinoro; his assigning us to the amazing “bishop’s room”; his fear that we felt like “prisoners” (his word) in Bertinoro simply because we took a day trip to Sienna; his introducing us to capers growing on the vine and his distinction between “important” and “unimportant” wines (again, his words); his arranging long nights of grappa-fueled singing; his trying to keep us out all night at a disco, when our flight home was early the next morning. I could continue…

Helmut Lütkepohl (DIW Berlin, 1997 Summer School):

Carlo invited me to lecture in the 1997 CIDE Summer School in Bertinoro. The event was extremely well organized and did not only allow for a dense schedule of lectures but also left room for many discussions with the participants during lunches and especially dinners. We went out with a group of students led by Carlo every night. Since he is an expert on Italian food and wine, every night was a great event with lifely discussions, delicious food and marvelous wine. When I joint the EUI in Florence in 2002 Carlo kept in touch and we met occassionally in Florence where he participated in some of our special events. I still have a little marble sailing boat on my shelf that he gave me for my departure from Florence in 2011. It reminds me of an extraordinary friend and colleague in Pisa.

Pravin K. Trivedi (Indiana University, 1998 Summer School):

I first met Carlo in the early 1970s when he invited David Hendry and me to give a course in Milan. We spoke in English and the material was translated in Italian over the microphone by a professional who had the greatest difficulty pronouncing “heteroscedasticity”. Carlo’s efforts to coach her were hilarious.  David and I were at that stage very green, so this opportunity to earn some extra income was a gift. Actually it generated enough income for me that I was able to install central heating in my house in Southampton. I always associated that event with Carlo.

My second time was at a CIDE course in Bertinoro. I confirm that everything that has been said about Carlo as host is completely true and possibly understated. He was always a genial and warm host for whom no request was too much. My conversations about Bertinoro with other past lecturers almost always begin by reference to Carlo.

I have a little story of my own. I remember that when I arrived in Bertinoro for my course I had been on the road for a couple of weeks and needed to have my laundry attended to. In those days there was no commercial laundry service there, but Carlo immediately arranged for one of his acquaintances in the village to take care of it.  I could not believe my eyes when the clothes came back – better than any 5-star hotel laundry service I have experienced. A couple of shirts that had “permanent” ink marks on them came back like new!  And then Carlo would not let me pay for the service. Typical Carlo – a host like none other!

Finally, let me add that generations of graduate students in Italy owe Carlo a debt of gratitude for running the CIDE series and keeping econometrics in Italy fresh and up-to-date.

Ariel Pakes (Harvard, 2000 Summer School):

We are just reminiscing the wonderful time we had in Bertinoro; the wine, grappa, and limoncello (probably spelled wrong).  I remember how you sat through all my talks Carlo and got excited about some of the topics, encouraging me to do more — which I tried to do.  Juliana remembers your stories about Carrara, and the surroundings.  We went back with the children another year, when the stories were retold.
Thanx Carlo, it was great fun, and we will remember it forever.

Marco Del Negro (NY Fed, 2013 Summer School):

I have wonderful memories about my time teaching at the CIDE Summer School in Perugia in 2013. Juri’s email came as a bit of a shock to me because, from what he writes, I learned Carlo must have already been sick by the time I was there. His enthusiasm, warmth, and passion for the summer school were such that neither I nor my wife, who is many orders of magnitude more attentive about these things than I am, ever realized he was not well. From the very first dinner until the end of the week, Carlo used every opportunity he had to get to learn the students, encourage them, give them advice. He created such a strong sense of community that, even though it was hard work, I remember the week in Perugia as a vacation with friends, even though I did not know any of them beforehand with the exception of Valentina Corradi. I still remember many of them very fondly, and was fortunate to remain in touch with some. Grazie Carlo, and very best wishes!

Adrian Pagan (U. of Sydney, 2007 Summer School):

I lectured at the Italian Summer School three times. The first two at Ridracoli when Renzo was the director and finally at Bertinoro when it was under the wing of Carlo. They were all enjoyable experiences- fireflies in Ridracoli and some “restaurants” about which one wondered if they were entirely legal – but Bertinoro was something else again. Great vistas, the Bishop’s room, excellent food and wine, and Carlo. Carlo WAS Bertinoro. There seemed to be nothing he didn’t know about where to eat, what to see, how to get there. When you go to eat it is always a good idea if either the chef or the family is looking after you. With Carlo it was never a problem. He was greeted each time like some long-lost relative, and it made us wonder if Bertinoro was really Italian for Bianchi town.

So take a bow for being such a fantastic presence and producing the best memories of a week in Bertinoro. It remains vivid in our memories. To be more specific my favourite memory is of you selecting the wine for us in one of the restaurants overlooking a vineyard, and telling me which hill each of the possible bottles came from. Forget the econometrics, knowledge like that is like gold!

Ciao Carlo from Adrian and Janet.

Barbara Rossi (UPF, 2012 Summer School):

I had a fantastic week in Bertinoro and have really fond memories of it.

In a way, that week in Bertinoro was both one of the hardest, and nicest, of my post-PhD life: I must confess that I had prepared only 2/3 of the lectures, optimistically counting on working on the remaining 1/3 while there (as I was teaching only in the mornings)… what I had not realized is that Carlo is a great host that fills every minute of your day with many fun activities, organizing meetings with students, telling fun stories about its days at IBM, or showing bottles of albana dolce, or taking you for a scroll down Bertinoro, or telling anecdotes on the time Hal came to Bertinoro to teach the class and play the saxophone, or showing pictures of Lucrezia fresh of graduate school, or feeding you great food, or discussing why good cherries disappeared from Italian markets… so, incapable of finding time to work on the slides in the afternoon and being too full to work after dinner (which regularly ended very late at night!), I ended up waking up every day at 5am to make sure I reviewed the lectures and finished preparing the remaining 1/3… I was literally exhausted in the end… but very happy!!! Thanks, Carlo! E continua a fare “a modino”! (and, p.s.: I still have the Bertinoro poster in my office, and show it proudly to visitors!!!)

Note: Hal White unfortunately cannot write about it, but I am sure that, if he could, he would say he had a wonderful time in Bertinoro with Carlo: I recall that he advertised me the Bertinoro school more than once, with a big smile, and he was clearly eager to get back to teach again!!!

Raffaella Giacomini (UCL, 2011 Summer School):

It is a great honor to be part of the illustrious Bertinoro tradition and share some memories of that intense and rewarding week in the summer of 2011.
I first heard of Carlo and his mythical summer school in the corridors of UCSD, where Hal, Graham and Allan were bragging about the great times they had there and telling tales of Carlo’s unique personality and wonderful hospitality, while the non-econometricians would walk by in deep jealousy.
I remember secretly hoping of being invited one day, and resolved to find out who this Carlo guy was and to start working on that invitation.
I met Carlo at a conference shortly after and immediately understood why he is such a legend in the Italian academic scene. Carlo is larger than life, he’s in your face, his warmth and generosity almost leave you speechless. He just draws people in and in every memory I have of him he is talking excitedly to a crowd of adoring young researchers and hugging everybody.
I wanted that invitation so badly, that I agreed to teach some pretty tediously technical stuff I never taught before and that, like Barbara, I ended up frantically preparing in Bertinoro getting up every day at the crack of dawn.
I was totally exhausted, but it was one of the most rewarding teaching experiences I ever had, in great part because of the students’ desire to learn and not shy away from abstract material – a rarity these days – that I am convinced was in great part due to Carlo’s sitting in the front row with his contagious energy and enthusiasm.

Thank you Carlo for all that you did for the profession, for creating excitement about econometrics, for inspiring and helping form generations of econometricians.

I hope you will continue to sit in that front row for many many years to come!

Peter R. Hansen (EUI, 2010 Summer School):

I was in Bertinoro in 2010 and winded up in prison after a great week.
My memories of the trip is filled with great fondness. The trip marked the beginning of our move to Italy, because I included a stopover in Florence to learn about the EUI and speak with Massimiliano Marcellino and Helmut Lutkepohl.
From Florence, I took a train with Siem Jan Koopman to Bologna, where Roberto Golinelli picked us up. Aside from our teaching obligations, the following week was completely worry-free, all inclusive, with spectacular meals, a day trip to Ravenna, and wonderful conversations with Carlo.
The conversations spanned a wide variety of issues. Surely, IBM was mentioned in passing, but what stood out was Carlo’s concerns for young Italian researchers. With the onset of the crisis, there were very few academic positions for new PhDs in Italy. Being the institution he is, Carlo was approached by many young researchers for advice and suggestions about landing a job. Carlo was frustrated with the gloomy situation and perhaps saddened by the fact that he could not offer much comfort to the young researchers.
Conversations about past summer schools were always upbeat. I had arrived in Bertinoro with high expectations, as I had been prepped by Allan Timmermann, and I did not leave disappointed. Carlo was an incredible host, warm, and sincere. While our paths have not crossed much in recent years, I often think of him and the wonderful week in Bertinoro.
Roberto took me back to Bologna for where I had an early morning flight the next day, and I spend the night in the local prison, which was now operating as a hotel (or university accommodation) with a rather unique character.
I wish Carlo the very best, and am pleased that Juri is continuing the Summer School tradition.

Jeffrey Racine (McMaster University, 2007 Summer School):

Carlo extended an invitation to Hal White to teach a course in causal inference in Bertinoro in 2007, and Hal suggested that he could teach his material in the morning and in the afternoon I could teach participants how to nonparametrically estimate the conditional moments that formed the core of his material. Carlo kindly agreed, and during the course Carlo and Roberto Golinelli were superb hosts and put in incredibly long hours, but showed us the social side of Bertinoro as well. We ate well, worked hard, and played hard. And Carlo never tired of mentioning that he was from Carrara where Michelangelo sourced the `best marble in the world’ for his sculptures, and as others have mentioned, pointing out that he worked for IBM (which we were able to work into a proof presented in one of the lectures with suitable choice of variables… as I recall it was something like `C_a R_l O I.B.M’). And the participants were spectacular, and I must say it is a true pleasure to run into participants at conferences around the world and reminisce, and Carlo’s name always surfaces during such times. Let me  also add that I am forever grateful to Carlo and Roberto to introducing me to `Vin Santo’ and `Cantucci’.
One memorable story was that I flew from Rome to Bologna, and when Carlo and Roberto found out I had flown on Alitalia were mortified that I would never return home, so insisted that I instead take a train to Rome to catch my outgoing flight. Their faith in the national airline was impressive indeed.
Carlo, speedy recover to your usual robust good health.

Russell Davidson (McGill University, 19?? Summer School):

It was twenty years ago that I went to Bertinoro for the summer school. That year, it wasn’t Carlo who was supposed to be the organiser, but someone else, whose name I shouldn’t mention, although Carlo certainly knows the one I mean! Carlo just took over the running of the school, and greeted me in Italian, having heard that I spoke it a little. Every evening of the week I was there, we went out to eat and drink, and he and I talked Italian consistently. At the end of the week, I was quite fluent. I try to keep up, but it’s hard without regular practice.
Years later, I heard from Carlo again, when he sent a graduate student to Marseille. That was just by email, and in English at that, but I was surprised by how much pleasure it gave me to hear from Carlo again.
Un caro saluto a te, Carlo, e spero che ci rivedremo ben tosto.
All the best to everyone of the CIDE crew.

Atsushi Inoue (Vanderbilt University, 2012 Summer School):

I had a great time in Bertinoro in 2012.  Roberto had mentioned life before meeting Carlo and life after meeting Carlo.  It actually left me unforgettable and fond memories of being there.
Thank you for having me, Carlo.  I hope you will get better soon.

Siem Jan Koopman (VU University Amsterdam, 2010 Summer School):

I have very warm memories of the many conversations with Carlo during the Bertinoro summer school, especially during our dinners, we had so much pleasure being there, Carlo is a wonderful person and I wish him well. Please send my regards to him.

My memories of Bertinoro are plenty, wonderful peaceful place, very nice surroundings, great sunny weather, highly talented friendly students, watching world cup football games, watching “Denmark – Holland” in the kitchen of a local restaurant with a highly esteemed colleague from Denmark, great food, also for a vegetarian, smooth organization of the summer school, visiting Ravenna and watching football on a sunny terrace with the students, just a very relaxing summer school with great students being interested, and the teachers only being distracted by nice things, this has all been an achievement by Carlo and his great team, I would like to thank him again so much.

Alberto Abadie (JFk School of Government Harvard U., 2011 Summer School):

I travelled to Bertinoro with my family in 2011. Carlo was the most gracious host we could have asked for. He is a very kind and a very special person.

We have fond memories of our time in Bertinoro, and especially of the dinners with Carlo. There are plenty of anecdotes I could talk about. Like Carlo introducing himself and the rest of our table to complete strangers dinning next to us in a small restaurant. His generosity and kindness, and his extensive knowledge (and passion) about all things Italian, made our trip to Bertinoro memorable.

At the end of the course in Bertinoro students received attendance certificates from Carlo, AND SO DID MY TWO CHILDREN, one and three years old at the time!

Please convey our regards to Carlo. We hope to see him soon in good health and spirits.

Tao Zha (FRB Atlanta, 2011 Summer School):

My family and I hope Carlo is well on his way to recovery.  It is indeed an honor to follow Carlo as the organizer/director of the CIDE Summer School of Econometrics.  Carlo has set the bar high, but I have no doubt you will rise to the occasion.

As for my time at CIDE in with my family and Carlo – our memories are fond of that magical week Carlo created for us in Bertinoro.  Prior to our arrival, Bertinoro was just a tiny spot on the map for us.  Afterwards, Bertinoro now holds a cherished place in our hearts.  Carlo is not only the consummate professional in running the Summer Institute and making sure his students receive the best possible instruction, but he is also an unofficial ambassador of his country and, in our case, Bertinoro.  He made sure our two children enjoyed their time, feeding them some of the best meals they’ve ever had in Europe, as well as presenting them with Certificates of Graduation from the Summer Institute.  Ever the attentive host, he led a day trip to Ravenna where we toured the famous and gorgeous mosaics of the city and made a whirlwind buzz by Dante’s tomb before returning to Bertinoro to enjoy yet another glass of its finest wines.  Carlo left such an impression on me and my family that we cannot think of Bertinoro, CIDE Summer School of Economics, or even Italy itself, without thinking first of Carlo.

Maximo Camacho (Universidad de Murcia, 2008 Summer School):

I couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable time than I had at Bertinoro in 2008. I was there teaching with Gabriel Perez Quiros and Anindya Banerjee. I especially enjoyed the evening conversations with Carlo after the lessons. Carlo was always worry of creating a familiar climate at the summer school to make you feel as at home. I remember watching on TV the UEFA European Championship (that Spain won!) in the restaurants with teachers and students. In fact, after 7 years, I still have contact with some of the students I met in the summer school.

Timo Terasvirta (Aarhus University, 1997 Summer School):

A long time ago Clive Granger, who stayed at the Bishop’s Quarters, and I shared a course at Bertinoro. I asked my wife who accompanied me how she would characterise Carlo. Her reply was that Carlo was “circus director” (this is a very positive assessment). Indeed, Carlo always had many balls in the air, never dropped one, and at the same time kept his artists happy. (Caro Carlo, speriamo, Marikki ed io, che tutto va bene con te.)

Manuel Arellano (CEMFI, 1991 and 1994 Summer Schools):

I would like to support your initiative because Carlo is a household name in Italian quantitative economics. He has always been concerned with application-relevant econometrics and with the provision of public goods to the profession. The CIDE Summer School has been a kick-start moment for many Italian applied economists and econometricians. It is a great service of Carlo to having successfully led this activity for so many years. I participated twice at the CIDE Summer School: in Ridracoli 1991 and in Bertinoro 1994. I think this was before Carlo’s involvement. Back then the organizers were Renzo Orsi and Nicola Rossi. I was fortunate to have Giovanni Urga and Raffaele Miniaci as TAs. I have very fond memories of those activities. Subsequently I exchanged correspondence with Carlo about participating in the School on one or two occasions but unfortunately I could not make it. All my best wishes to Carlo and admiration for his work.

Steven Durlauf (U. Wisconsin, 2001 Summer School):

I lectured at the CIDE Summer School  of Econometrics in 2001. The experience was delightful in every respect. The location was gorgeous, the students dedicated, and perhaps above all, Carlo Bianchi was the perfect colleague and host. His enthusiasm for economic science was inspiring. There is no question that Carlo’s passion for research and his insistence on the highest intellectual standards has a powerful effect on a talented cohort of aspiring young economists. Our conversations were thought provoking and invaluable and mattered for my intellectual development as a researcher. Carlo has my lasting admiration and friendship.

To conclude I will steal the words of Perez Quiros (2008 Summer School) that beautifully summarize Carlo’s work. “Care, sympathy and style at the service of research and learning.”

Thanks Carlo!

Grazie Carlo!


This is a youtube video by Elie Tamer (2009 Summer School)

A wordle to summarize:



3 thoughts on “20+ Years of the CIDE Summer School of Econometrics

  1. I taught in 1996 alongside Frank Diebold and Michel Dacarogna from Switzerland and Christian Gourieroux of France. It was year of Euro 1996. Great experience in Bettinoro and got to spend some time with Frank Diebold,


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