Professor Randolph receives Grawemeyer Award for Improving World Order

Professor Susan Randolph has received the Grawemeyer Award for Improving World Order. Professor Randolph’s work is being furthered through the Human Rights Measurement Initiative, HRMI (pronounced Her Me) – https://humanrightsmeasurement.org – targeted to human rights advocacy groups and civil society.

As described in an article for UConn Today by Kathryn Libal, Director of UConn’s Human Rights Institute:

UConn Professor Recognized for ‘Improving World Order’

Longtime University of Connecticut professor Susan Randolph received the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Improving World Order, which honors those who take on issues of global concern and present ideas that inspire others and can lead to a more just and peaceful world.

Randolph, the Gladstein Committee Member and Professor Emeritus in Economics, was jointly recognized for the 2019 award from the University of Louisville along with collaborators and book co-authors Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, of The New School in New York City, and Terra Lawson-Remer, Stanford University.

The three were named co-winners for the ideas set forth in their book, Fulfilling Social and Economic Rights. The work, published in 2015 by Oxford University Press, offers a method for gauging how well nations are providing basic human rights of food, health, education, housing, work and social well-being to their citizens and suggests how they can advance such rights even further.

The trio used the United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights as a basis for their work, creating a new tool, the Social and Economic Rights Fulfillment (SERF) Index, to measure nations’ progress toward human rights goals. Their book also sheds light on policies that advance human rights and explains how use of these policies and public pressure can lead to results.

“Scholars working across disciplines have used the SERF to forge new tools for shaping policy and scholarship, driving more inclusive and dynamic approaches to economic development,” said Shareen Hertel, co-director of UConn’s Research Program on Economic and Social Rights.

Although the authors noted there has been steady progress in social and economic rights fulfillment over the past 30 years, they found that disparities still exist in every region of the world. Their measurement tool is aimed at helping governments and other organizations address those disparities.

In 2016, the book won the American Political Science Association’s Human Rights Section Best Book Award.

Previous winners of the Grawemeyer Award for Improving World Order include Mikhail Gorbachev, honored for his 1988 address to the United Nations which led to the effective end of the Cold War and paved the way for the democratization of Eastern Europe and the Baltic republics; Trita Parsi, for his work toward reducing tensions in the Middle East; and Dana Burde, for her work examining the influence foreign-backed funding for education has on war-torn countries and how such aid affects humanitarian and peace-building efforts.

Recipients of the 2019 Grawemeyer Awards are being named this week pending formal approval by university trustees. The annual, $100,000 prizes reward outstanding ideas in music, world order, psychology, education and religion. Winners visit Louisville in April to accept their awards and give free talks on their winning ideas.

https://today.uconn.edu/school-stories/uconn-professor-recognized-improving-world-order

Undergraduate Mary Vlamis and Professor Agüero receive SHARE Award

Economics undergraduate student Mary Vlamis and Professor Jorge Agüero have been selected to receive a 2019 Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts Research Experience (SHARE) award.

They will be working on a project exploring whether merit-based scholarships could reduce racial and gender discrimination in the labor markets of developing countries.

From the SHARE website:

“The SHARE program supports undergraduate research projects in the social sciences, humanities, and arts. SHARE is designed especially for students in the earlier stages of their college careers as a means of introducing students to research in their chosen field and of developing skills they will need for further research projects.

In this research apprenticeship, students spend 10 hours per week during the spring semester working on a faculty project. Ideally, a SHARE partnership will continue past the spring semester, allowing both faculty mentor and student apprentice to continue the project, potentially leading to a more independent role for the student…

During the Spring semester, student apprentices will receive a $1,500 stipend, and faculty mentors will receive a $500 professional development stipend.”

https://ugradresearch.uconn.edu/share/

 

Early College Experience Program Workshop

The Economics Department Early College Experience Program held its annual workshop for teachers on November 1 at the Storrs Campus. The workshop was attended by 25 teachers from high schools across the state who hold the positions of instructor and preceptor of economics responsible for teaching high school students Principles of Microeconomics (Economics 1201), Principles of Macroeconomics (Economics 1202) and Essentials of Economics (Economics 1000) in their high school.

 

The teachers who attended, learned from a program they inspired by suggesting topics in the spring of 2018.  Highlights of this year’s program included Professor Nishith Prakash presenting his work entitled “Gender, Crime and Punishment”, which provided a peek at original economics research.  The teachers were excited by this work and raised numerous questions.

 

Professor Prakash’s paper was followed by a presentation by Professor Natalia Smirnova (a UConn Economics Ph.D.) entitled “Oligarchs and Ivans:  A Changing Russian Economy 1990-2020” in which Professor Smirnova provided both background and predictions for the modern Russian Economy including a look forward. 

 

Professor Oskar R. Harmon, who is doing research and teaching about sports economics, presented an exciting session entitled “Sports Economics and Principals of Economics” over lunch.  Professor Harmon was followed on the program by Mr. Paul Conant explaining the Kyoto Treaty to the teachers in a session titled “Kyoto and Beyond.”

 

ECE Economics Coordinator and Emeritus Professor of Economics Bill Alpert capped off the day with his discussion “Income Distribution: What’s the Matter?”   

After continuing discussion the workshop was adjourned.   

 

Professors Baggio and Simon in the WSJ

Professors Michele Baggio and David Simon and co-author Alberto Chong have had the research in their work “Sex, Drugs, and Baby Booms: Can Behavior Overcome Biology?” featured in a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal:

https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2018/11/15/medical-marijuana-legalization-leads-to-baby-boomlet-paper-says/

Professor Harmon Presents at Sports Conference

At the 2018 Sports and Society Conference Oskar Harmon participated in the panel “Activism in the 21th Century”.

He presented his work on the confluence of patriotism, race, and politics in the  2017 NFL season.

The conference was hosted by the College of Mount Saint Vincent, NY on October 26, 2018.

The conference program is available at:

http://issuu.com/cmsvpubs/docs/sport_and_society_conference_2018?e=2331114/65248589

 

Professor Prakash in the News

Professor Prakash’s recent work on crime against women and all women police stations in India has been in the news. Most recently, Indian Express, a leading newspaper in India, interviewed him to discuss the economic effects of violence against women in a podcast prepared for United Nation, India.

He also presented his latest work (joint with Sofia Amaral (ifo Institute) and Sonia Bhalotra (Essex)) “Gender, Crime and Punishment: Evidence from Women Police Stations in India” at the Urban Economics Association Conference at Columbia University and the North East Universities Development Consortium Conference at Cornell University in October, 2018. In this paper, the authors find that the presence of All Women Police Stations in India leads to more reporting of violence against women crime, in particular, female kidnappings and domestic violence. The study finds modest impact on the measures of police deterrence such as arrests.

Ken Couch Publishes in JPAM

A co-authored article by Kenneth Couch entitled “Longevity Related Options for Social Security:  A Microsimulation Approach to Retirement Age and Mortality Adjustments” has been published by the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM).  The analysis considers the impact of differential longevity on the receipt of Social Security Retirement Benefits and possible alterations to benefit calculations that would adjust for widening differences in mortality by income.  Because lower lifetime earners have shorter life spans and usually receive smaller benefit payments, raising their benefits as an adjustment for a shorter life expectancy reduces old age poverty.  The analysis also shows that when a mortality adjustment for differential life expectancy is combined with other common proposals to adjust for longer lives among Americans, such as further increasing the age at which individuals receive their full Social Security retirement benefit, it also assists in safeguarding lower income individuals from old age poverty.

JPAM is published by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and is currently ranked among the top 30 journals in Economics by Journal Citation Reports.

Alexander Vaninsky publishes in Energy

Professor Alexander Vaninsky, a long-time economics instructor at the Stamford Campus, recently published the article “Energy-environmental efficiency and optimal restructuring of the global economy” in the journal Energy (June 2018).

The paper discusses the opportunities for economic restructuring, including the redistribution of population, means of production, energy consumption and greenhouse emissions, resulting in optimal increase in the energy-environmental efficiency. The paper utilizes stochastic data envelopment analysis with perfect object that the author developed in his previous publications. A computer program supporting the computations is published in a separate related article in the Data in Brief journal (August 2018).

ABSTRACT

The primary objective of this study is to investigate the opportunities for economic restructuring, resulting in an optimal increase in the energy-environmental efficiency of the global economy. A novel stochastic data envelopment analysis with a perfect object method (SDEA PO) constitutes the methodology of the research. We equip SDEA PO with the projected gradient of the efficiency score. We employ the indicators of the gross domestic product (GDP) and carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) as output and undesirable output, respectively, and population and clean energy consumption as input and undesirable input, respectively. By using the SDEA PO, we obtain a group efficiency score for the global economy; the projected gradient identifies the direction of optimal economic restructuring. The indicator-wise components of the projected gradient determine locally optimal changes in the shares of each economy, serving particular goals. We use a factor analysis technique to aggregate them into one factor vector that determines the multicriteria optimal structural change. The factor vector determines the redistribution of the GDP, clean energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and population, leading to the maximum possible increase in the energy-environmental efficiency. The suggested approach may be used as a tool for decision-making in a variety of two-tier economic systems.

https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/energy/v153y2018icp338-348.html

David Simon and Mark McInerney Publish in Health Affairs

Professor David Simon and PhD student Mark McInerney have published “The Earned Income Tax Credit, Poverty, And Health” with co-author Sarah Goodell.

In the article, they “consider the small but growing body of studies showing that the Earned Income Tax Credit, the largest needs tested antipoverty cash assistance program in the US, improves health, particularly for single mothers and children.” https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20181003.999839/full/

The article, in Health Affairs’ ongoing series of Health Policy Briefs, is online at:

https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hpb20180817.769687/full/

David Simon, Mark McInerney and Sarah Goodell
“The Earned Income Tax Credit, Poverty, And Health, ” Health Affairs Health Policy Brief, October 4, 2018. DOI: 10.1377/hpb20180817.769687