Announcements

The Second Biannual Austin Seminar in Education Policy

Susanna Loeb, the Barnett Family Professor of Education at Stanford University, will present the second Philip E. Austin Research Seminar in Education Policy:

One Step at a Time: The Effects of an Early Literacy Text Messaging Program for Parents of Preschoolers

Monday, March 27
2:30 – 3:30 pm
Gentry 144

A reception will follow the seminar.

Susanna Loeb specializes in education policy, looking particularly at policies and practices that support teachers and school leaders. Her work spans the the range of age-level, including early education, K-12 and higher education. Her recent work focuses on information barriers to teaching improvement and parenting.

Loeb is a member of the National Board for Education Sciences, co-director of Policy Analysis for California Education, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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.

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

Econ Undergraduate Students Present at the NY and Boston Fed Challenges

Stamford Econ Undergraduates Present at NY Fed ChallengeCongratulations to the undergraduate students from the Stamford and Storrs campuses who took part in the College Fed Challenge this month!

Sponsored by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the “College Fed Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate students. Teams analyze economic and financial conditions and formulate a monetary policy recommendation, modeling the Federal Open Market Committee.”

The Stamford team (above left) participated in the NY Fed Challenge, competing against forty-one other schools.

The Storrs team (below right) presented at the Boston Fed Challenge, competing against twenty-four other New England schools.

Storrs Econ Undergraduates Present at Boston Fed ChallengeCongratulations to both teams on all of their hard work in this competition!

Stamford Team:

Joanna Ksiazek
Chris McLaughlin
Amir Parikh
Shrey Patel
Alex Rojas
Ravinder Singh
Dr. Julia Coronado (Advisor)
Professor Oskar Harmon (Advisor)
Professor Steven Lanza (Advisor)
Professor Kanda Naknoi (Advisor)

Storrs Team:

Patrick Adams
Matt DeLeon
Erik Eason
Gabriel Hack
Ed Leardi
Stephen Mwangi
Matt Regan
Joe Roessler
Professor Owen Svalestad (Advisor)

The First Biannual Austin Seminar in Education Policy

Amy Ellen SchwartzProfessor Amy Ellen Schwartz, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, will present The Impact of Universal Free Meals on Student Outcomes as the speaker at the first biannual Austin Seminar in Education Policy.

The lecture, co-sponsored by the Center for Education Policy Analysis, the Neag School of Education, and the Department of Economics, and presented jointly with the Health, Labor and Development seminar series of the Department of Economics, will be held:

Tuesday, October 25th
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Gentry 142, 144

A reception will follow the seminar.

The Abstract:  This paper investigates the academic effects of providing school meals free of charge to all students.  Using detailed data on NYC public school students, we estimate the impact of  “Universal Free Meals” (UFM) on standardized test scores,  participation in school meals, obesity and BMI.

Using a difference in difference design and novel student-level transaction data, we explore the heterogeneity of the impact by student race/ethnicity, poverty, and, critically, prior participation in school lunch.  Most important, we find that UFM significantly increases academic performance of middle school students by as much as 0.1 sd, large enough to pass a commonly used threshold for a successful academic intervention.

UFM increases lunch participation by roughly 5.2 percentage points for poor students and larger effects of 13.5 percentage points for non-poor students.  Similarly, the effect of UFM is larger for students with low baseline participation, than those with high baseline participation.   Finally, we find some evidence of reductions in weight and obesity for non-poor students driven, perhaps, by the better nutritional value of school lunch compared to  competitive alternatives.

 

New Faculty Join Economics Department

The Economics Department is happy to welcome four faculty who joined UConn at the beginning of the Fall Semester.  Chihwa (Duke) Kao, formerly at Syracuse University, joined the economics department as its new Department Head.  Kao is a renowned econometrician working on time series and panel data topics.

Jungbin Hwang also joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor this Fall after completing his Ph.D. at the University of California San Diego.  Hwang is also an econometrician working on panel data and time series topics.

Hyun Lee also joins the faculty as an Assistant Professor after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.  Hyun is a macroeconomist who works on topics related to economic growth and policy analysis.

Patricia Ritter joins the faculty as an Assistant Professor following completion of her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.  Dr. Ritter works on topics at the intersection of development and health.

Welcome!

2016 Economics Graduate Reunion and Forum

On Thursday, May 5, 2016, the Department held an all-day Economics Graduate Reunion and Forum. Our Graduate Alumni gathered to reconnect with classmates and professors, and to establish new connections with current graduate students and newer members of the faculty.

Our alumni shared their current research, their thoughts about the graduate experience, and their experiences since leaving the University of Connecticut. We look forward to continuing to make this a regular event, scheduled every three or four years.  The program for this year’s event is included below.

Special thanks to Andreas Karapatakis (PhD, 1992) for his generous support of the 2016 Economics Graduate Reunion and Forum.

 

2016 Economics Graduate Reunion and Forum
8:30 AM Coffee & Greet
9:00 AM Welcome
Stephen Ross, Department Head
Subhash Ray, Director of Graduate Studies
9:30 AM Alumni Research Papers
Moderator:  Chuck Martie, Education Consultant, CT Dept. of Education
Gulgun Bayaz, New York City College of Technology
“Intertemporal Poverty Among Older Americans”
Juan-Pedro Garces-Voisenat, Siena College
“The Role of Virtue in Economic Development”
Monika Lopez-Anuarbe, Connecticut College
“Intergenerational Transfers and Caring for Families in the United States and Abroad”
10:30 AM Coffee & Chat
11:00 AM Alumni Academic Experience
Moderator:  William Pace, Anthem, University of Connecticut
Paramita Dhar, Central Connecticut State University
Monika Lopez-Anuarbe, Connecticut College
Juan-Pedro Garces-Voisenat, Siena College
Paul Kozlowski, University of Toledo
12:00 PM Lunch & Emeritus Panel (Immanuel Wexler, Steve Sacks, Arthur Wright, Dennis Heffley)
1:30 PM Alumni Research Papers
Moderator: Nandika Prakash, CT Dept. of Economic & Community Development  
Leshui He, Bates College
“Adverse Classroom Peer Effects in Students’ Achievements: Evidence from a Quasi-Random Assignment”
Parag Waknis, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
“Competitive Money Supply in a New Monetarist Model”
Stanley McMillen, CT Dept. of Economic & Community Development (retired)
“Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Connecticut’s 2015 Bill to Recoup a Portion of Its Public Assistance Costs”
2:30 PM Coffee & More Chat
1:30 PM Alumni Professional Experience
Moderator: Natalia Smirnova, American Institute of Economic Research
 Jieling Chen, Merck Research Laboratories
 Ravinder Dhawan, Merck & Co.
Nandika Prakash, Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)
4:15 PM Closing Remarks

Stamford Economics Faculty (Profs. Naknoi, Lanza, Harmon and Alpert) Host an Economics Alumni Networking Event

Economics Alumni Four UConn Economics Alumni participated in a panel on the topic ‘Jobs and Careers’ at the UConn Stamford Campus, March 30, 2016.

The event was attended by 35 economics majors.

The participating alumni: Vitalie Alexandru ’13 (CLAS), currently Financial Analyst – Stress Testing, People’s United Bank; Michael Alpert ’90 (CLAS) Portfolio Manager, Stralem & Company; Pedro DeAbreu ’15 (CLAS) Gartner , Inc.; and Marketing Specialist; and Charles Triano ’87 (CLAS) Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, Pfizer, Inc.

All panelists graduated with a major in Economics, two from the Storrs Campus, and two from the Stamford Campus. All were generous with their time, advice regarding courses and participation in college life, and praise for the quality of the UConn undergraduate experience.

Matt Fraulino, CLAS Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Alumni Relations, provided invaluable assistance in organizing the event. The event was co sponsored by: UConn CLAS Alumni Relations, UConn Foundation, and the UConn Stamford Economics Club.

Ken Couch Receives Research Grant from Social Security Administration

couchProfessor Kenneth Couch has received a research grant from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Couch will work with research staff at SSA to develop micro-simulation models that consider potential adjustments to the Social Security retirement benefit structure in response to increased longevity of Americans.  A key concern is distributional equity of benefits for groups with shorter life expectancies and disproportionate rates of poverty.