Current students

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.”


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)

2016 Spring Awards Banquet

Uconn sealOn April 14, the department convened for an awards banquet that recognized the best among undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty. This year’s award recipients are:

Omicron Delta Epsilon inductees:

Odrine Belot
Isaac Blyakher
Justin Chan
Sadie Colcord
Cathleen Cormier
Raychel Decker
Geoffrey Donovan
Kelsey Duran
Peter Jiang
Kayla Joyce
Steven Joyce
Patrick Meucci
Kimberley Pepper
Kristina Petruff
Corrin Powell
Fariha Rashid
Matthew Regan
John Shea
Ryan Sherman
Chifan Shi
Josh Spadaro
Leo Villari
Makayla Wall

Undergraduate Awards

Louis D. Traurig Scholarship

Patrick Adams
Brendan Costello
Kayla Joyce
Kimberly Roland

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize

Katherine Harrington

Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship

Chris Cunningham
William Johnston
Blazej Pulawski
Claudia Rodriguez

Ross Mayer Scholarship

Kimberley Pepper

Economics Department General Scholarship

Caitlin Delaney
Matthew DeLeon

Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship

Tasneem Ahmed

Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship

Andrew Carroll
Fariha Rashid
Joseph Roessler

Charles Triano Scholarship

Di Wu

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship

Ehi Osagie
Hao Ying

Economics Research Award Program

Professor Jorge Aguero & Juan Campanario

Graduate Awards

W. Harrison Carter Award

Tao Song

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship

Aaron Cooke
Mike Dinardi

Economics Department Graduate Scholarship

Samantha Minieri

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship

Wensu Li
Xizi Li
Tian Lou
Shilpa Sethia
Tao Song

Best 3rd-year Paper Award

Andrew Ju
Sungoh Kwon

Faculty Awards

Grillo Family Research Award

David Simon

Grillo Family Teaching Award

Nishith Prakash

Employee Appreciation Awards

Derek Johnson   10 years
Kenneth Couch   20 years
Susan Randolph   30 years
Francis Ahking   35 years

Congratulations to everyone!

Professor Jorge Agüero and Juan Campanario Receive 2016 ERAP Award

Professor Jorge Agüero (faculty) and Juan Campanario (student) are the recipients of the 2016 Undergraduate Economics Research Award Program (ERAP).

Their work on their project “Can Growth and Redistribution Reduce the Influence of Colonial Institutions? The Case of Peru’s Mining Mita” will be supported through the ERAP program, which is designed to  assist research apprenticeships and research collaborations between undergraduate economics majors and economics faculty members.

The ERAP program enables the student to enhance research skills relevant to the field of economics, while the faculty member guides the project and provides mentorship. Only one award is given each academic year, with the student receiving a $1,500 fellowship and the faculty mentor receiving a $1,000 grant added to their departmental research accounts.

Congratulations to the award winning team!

Andrew Ju and Sungoh Kwon Receive ‘Best Third-Year Paper’ Awards

Graduate students Andrew Ju and Sungoh Kwon have received the Department of Economics’ ‘Best Third-Year Paper’ awards for 2015-2016.

From the abstract of Andrew’s paper State Collective Bargaining Laws and Public-Private Sector Wage Differentials:

In rAndrew Juecent years states across the country have considered restricting or eliminating the collective bargaining rights of public employees, thus sparking a national debate over the compensation of public sector workers. In this paper I contribute evidence to this debate by examining the effects of state collective bargaining laws on public-private sector wage differentials. Using data from the 2000 to 2014 CPS Merged Outgoing Rotation Group (MORG) and a variety of identification strategies, I  find that in states without mandatory collective bargaining laws state and local government workers earn approximately 7 percent less than their private sector counterparts. In contrast, in states with mandatory collective bargaining laws, state and local government workers earn approximately the same as their private sector counterparts.

I also find that state collective bargaining laws play an important role in determining the level of fringe benefits: local government employees in mandatory collective bargaining states have significantly higher probabilities of obtaining an employer-sponsored health insurance or pension plan.

From the abstract of Sungoh’s paper Does Public School Spending Raise Intergenerational Mobility?: Evidence from U.S. School Finance Reforms:

This study provSungoh Kwonides the first quasi-experimental evidence on the relationship between public school spending and intergenerational mobility (IGM). Using a plausibly exogenous variation in school spending induced by U.S. court-mandated school finance reforms and county-by-cohort level measures of IGM, I found no evidence that the increase in public school spending raises future income rank of disadvantaged children in the national distribution, while there is evidence of a slight increase in the rank of advantaged children. When it comes to college attendance, I found that children similarly benefit from additional school spending regardless of family backgrounds. I discuss some possible explanations on the results.

Congratulations, Andrew and Sungoh!

Professors Harmon and Alpert Present Papers at the Southern Economic Association Meetings

Professors Harmon and Alpert presented two papers at the Southern Economic Association meetings in November.

Harmon presented their paper with Robert Szarka, Using Google Apps in Economics Courses” and Alpert presented their paper “Who Takes Online Courses at Public Universities?”

Harmon and Alpert also organized two sessions and discussed papers at two sessions. As a capstone Harmon organized and Professor Harmon chaired a panel discussion entitled Labor Market Transitions in the Great Recession featuring Professor Kenneth Couch and including Dr. Robert K Triest, of the Federal Reserve of Boston.

UConn Well Represented at Southern Economic Association Meetings

The UConn Economics Department was well represented by faculty and graduate students attending the annual Conference of the Southern Economics Association held in New Orleans at the beginning of the Thanksgiving break. Those in attendance included Jorge Agüero, Ken Couch, David Simon, William Alpert, Matt Ross, Tao Song, Ling Huang, and Oskar Harmon.

Advice to Economics Students

Economics students, what can you do to protect yourselves against jokes such as the classic, “You could lay all the economists in the U.S. end to end and they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion?” or, “How many economists does it take to fail to change a light bulb?–Just three.  One to detect a faint glow in the bulb and forecast a stronger glow in the next quarter; one to advise the President that the bulb is too hot to touch at the present time and will remain so in the forseeable future; and one to write a grant proposal for a study of the effect of darkness on productivity.”

How can you answer such scurrilous slanders?  By arming yourselves with examples of economic theory’s successes, from the well-designed and profitable government auctions of the air waves to the lesser-known empirical study by Mark Walker and John Wooders showing that, in the serve and return game, pro tennis players play mixed strategy equilibria.  Dozens of examples available in Storrs (in your classes)–don’t leave home without them.

Best of Luck!

Vicki Knoblauch
Professor of Economics

PS  Faculty, Students and Members of the UConn economics community:  please send news you would like to share on our blog to .

Yuriy Loukachev to Receive SHARE Award

Economics undergraduate student Yuriy Loukachev has been selected to receive a 2012 SHARE (Social Science, Humanities, and Arts Research Experience) Award for undergraduate research. Yuriy will be studying the economic theory of auctions with Professor Mike Shor in the Spring of 2012. He will receive a stipend from the Office of Undergraduate Research, and will present the results of his research at a poster exhibition to be held in the Spring of 2012.

Congratulations Yuriy!