Author: mam15102

Philip E. Austin Chair Lecture on Economics and Public Policy

Douglas S. Massey, the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, will present the Spring 2017 Philip E. Austin Chair Lecture on Economics & Public Policy:

America’s Immigration Policy Fiasco

The lecture, co-sponsored by the Philip E. Austin Chair, the Department of Economics, the Department of Geography, the Department of Sociology, the Urban and Community Studies Program & the journal Urban Geography, will be held:

Thursday, March 23rd
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Dodd Center Konover Auditorium

A reception will follow the lecture.

Professor Naknoi publishes in Canadian Journal of Economics

Canadian Journal of EconomicsProfessor Kanda Naknoi published a sole-authored article in the February 2017 issue of the Canadian Journal of Economics.

The title of her article is “Real Exchange Rate Fluctuations, Wage Stickiness and Tradability

Abstract: When we classify factors of production by their tradability, the relative wage of nontraded labour influences the real exchange rate through the relative cost of distribution services. We confirm this prediction using monthly data on the sector-level US–Canada real exchange rate and the relative wage of service-producing labour. The relative wage accounts for 40% of the variability of the real exchange rate at a one-month horizon. Furthermore, when we use the effective nontraded labour content to classify goods into nontraded and traded ones, the variability of the price of the nontraded-goods basket accounts for more than half of the variability of the real exchange rate.

Professor Steve Ross talks about School Quality and Housing Prices

ross[1]The National Real Estate Forum recently interviewed Professor Ross on his work on the relationship between housing prices and school quality.  This interview has been produced as a podcast at:

http://nreforum.org/home/podcasts/

In this work, Professor Ross discusses the surprising findings that school quality has only a quite modest effect on property values, and that much of the early work on this question confounded the effects of neighborhood quality with the effects of school quality.  He also discusses the contradiction between these findings and evidence that school choice actually has substantial effects on school quality, suggesting that the reason for the large effects is because school choice affects where people live and so change neighborhood quality, which as noted has large effects on housing prices.

Professor Zhao publishes his research in JEDC and JEoA

Kai ZhaoProfessor Kai Zhao has had his paper titled “Social Insurance, Private Health Insurance and Individual Welfare” accepted for publication in the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control. In this paper, he develops a quantitative dynamic general equilibrium model to evaluate social insurance policies. The main findings of the paper are that means tested social insurance does not only distort saving and labor supply decisions, but also has a large crowding out effect on the demand for private health insurance. However, despite the distorting effects, the net welfare consequence of eliminating social insurance is still negative. In addition, this paper finds that the existence of social insurance as a last resort is a quantitatively important reason why many Americans choose to be uninsured.

Professor Zhao and his coauthor Ayse Imrohoroglu (USC Marshall) have their paper titled “Intergenerational Transfers and China’s Social Security Reform” accepted for publication in the Journal of the Economics of Ageing. This paper grew out of their research agenda on the Chinese economy and its implications for the rest of the world. In it, they find that a model with two-sided altruism is preferred to a standard pure life-cycle model for studying social security reforms in China due to the prevalence of intergenerational links. They show that the implications of several reforms are quantitatively different from what have been found in existing studies using pure life-cycle models.

Professor Zhao’s research can be found at his personal webpage: https://sites.google.com/site/kaijackiezhao/research

Professors Minkler and Prakash publish in the Journal of Comparative Economics

Professor Minkler and Professor Prakash’s paper titled “The Role of Constitutions on Poverty: A Cross-National Investigation” has been accepted by the Journal of Comparative Economics. In this paper, they construct and use a new historical data set on economics and social rights from the constitutions of 195 countries and an instrument variable strategy to answer two important questions.

First, do economic and social rights provisions in constitutions reduce poverty, measured as headcount income and health outcomes? Second, does the strength of constitutional language of the economic and social rights matter? Constitutional provisions can be framed either more weakly as directive principles or more strongly as enforceable law.

The results suggest three findings. First, they do not find an association between constitutional rights generally framed and poverty. Second, they do not find an association between economic and social rights framed as directive principles and poverty. Third, they do find a strong negative association between economic and social rights framed as enforceable law and poverty when we use legal origins as our IV. These results persist for indices of constitutional rights and also when they restrict the sample to non-OECD countries. The policy implication is that constitutional provisions framed as enforceable law provide effective meta-rules with incentives for policymakers to initiate, fund, monitor and enforce poverty reduction policies.

Professor Shor publishes new explanation for the Allais paradox

jbdmThe Allais Paradox is one of the most enduring violations of expected utility theory, a hallmark theory of economics. Professor Mike Shor and coauthor Mark Schneider (a recent UConn PhD) have had their paper “The Common Ratio Effect in Choice, Pricing, and Happiness Tasks” accepted by the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

In the paper, Professor Shor elicits preferences for the Allais paradox choice alternatives using three different methods: traditional choice, monetary valuation, and subjective happiness ratings. He finds that both the consistency and distribution of responses differs systematically across different elicitation methods, with modal choices replicating the Allais preference pattern, modal happiness ratings exhibiting consistent risk aversion, and modal valuations maximizing expected value. The paper finds support for a dual process framework in which people use either a “logical” or an “intuitive” thinking process depending on the task.

Professor Harmon presents at Morgan Le Fay Center

harmonAt the symposium “Understanding Our Neurodiverse World: Teaching Business and Economics to Students Who Learn Differently,” on Saturday, October 1, 2016, Professor Oskar Harmon gave an invited presentation on Universal Design in Online Instruction.

The keynote speaker was Paul McCulley, former chief economist and managing director at Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO).  The other speakers at the day long symposium included Peter Fisher, J.D., senior lecturer at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and Manju Banerjee, Ph.D., VP of Research and Innovation at Landmark College.

The symposium was sponsored by the Morgan Le Fay Center for Advances in Business, Economics, and Entrepreneurship, Landmark College, Putney, VT.

Two Economics Undergraduate Students Selected as 2017 University Scholars

Congratulations to Economics students Rebecca Hill and Lucas Silva Lopes, who are among the twenty-three University of Connecticut undergraduates who have been selected as the 2017 University Scholars:

Rebecca Hill
Major: English/Economics
Project Title: The Western Madwoman: A Feminist History and Economic Study in Novel Form
Committee: Ellen Litman, English (chair), Veronica Makowsky, English & Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Delia Furtado, Economics

Lucas Silva Lopes
Major: Political Science/Economics
Project Title: Presidential Interruptions and Interim Presidents: How Do Latin American Countries Re-Equilibrate Both Politically and Macroeconomically After a Presidential Interruption?
Committee: Matthew Singer, Political Science (chair), Veronica Herrera, Political Science, Derek Johnson, Economics

“The University Scholar Program is one of the most prestigious programs for undergraduates at the University of Connecticut. Available to students from all of the University’s schools and colleges, the University Scholar Program allows students to design and pursue an in-depth research or creative project and to craft an individualized plan of study that supports their intellectual interests during their final three semesters. Each student is mentored by an advisory committee of three faculty.

No more than 30 University Scholars are selected each year. Admission is based on an application submitted during the first semester of a student’s junior year. Applications are reviewed by an interdisciplinary faculty committee that looks for innovative projects and academically rigorous course selection. Graduation as a University Scholar recognizes a student’s exceptional engagement in research and/or creative endeavors.”

universityscholars.uconn.edu

 

A New Master of Science in Quantitative Economics (MSQE) Program

The Department of Economics has a new MS program, now accepting applications to start in Fall 2017.

The Master of Science in Quantitative Economics (MSQE) Program emphasizes the development of skills in quantitative methods and data analysis, as well as the application of those skills to economic problems.  The program combines training in economic principles/theory with strong training in quantitative and analytical methods.

The program qualifies as a STEM program.  It is designed for individuals who seek careers in public and private sectors, including, for example, insurance companies, health care providers, think-tanks, financial consultancies, accounting firms, and academic institutions.

The program requires a minimum of 30-credits and typically is completed over three semesters.   Due to course sequencing, students are only admitted to the MSQE program for the Fall semester.

Details about the specific requirements of the program may be found online at:  http://econ.uconn.edu/msqe