Kevin Wood Awarded Dissertation Fellowship from Boston College Center for Retirement Research and Social Security Administration

Kevin Wood has been awarded a nationally competitive Ph.D. Fellowship from the Boston College Center for Retirement Research and the Social Security Administration (SSA).

His doctoral research examines decisions of older Americans in response to the introduction of the Affordable Care Act including retirement prior to receipt of Medicare and enrollment in other SSA programs such as Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income program.

In recent years this fellowship has been awarded to graduate students at institutions such as Yale, Harvard and the University of Maryland.  Congratulations to Kevin on his accomplishment!

Professors Harmon and Tomolonis publish in International Review of Economics Education

Oskar Harmon and Paul Tomolonis (UConn PhD 2017) co-authored the article “The effects of using Facebook as a discussion forum in an online Principles of Economics course: Results of a randomized controlled trial”

Their paper makes a comparison between using social media or traditional Course Management System (CMS) discussion groups in a fully online Principles of Microeconomics course.

Students were randomly assigned to a discussion forum in either Facebook or CMS to discern a difference in the level of engagement and learning outcomes. The popular hypothesis is that students using social media have greater engagement with the class and higher learning outcomes relative to students using a CMS platform. Reasons for the positive effect include the ease of use and student familiarity with social media, which allows them to make more connections and gain a deeper understanding of the course material through discussions with others.

Contrary to the widely held view, the results of this study suggest that participation in the treatment Facebook group is associated with declining student engagement and a reduction in the semester course average of 3 to 5 points on a 100-point scale.

The article is available at the IREE website

Exploring Career Paths in Business and Economics

Panel Discussion, Stamford Campus

The annual Alumni Networking Panel, co-organized by Stamford Campus Economics Faculty, CLAS Alumni Relations, and UConn Foundation, was held March 26, 2019.

The panelists, all UConn alumni, shared stories about their UConn education to the contribution to their career paths.  Mr. Bianchi (majored in Economics) shared that he arrived as a UConn freshman majoring in pre-med, and his class in Principles of Macroeconomics with Professor Polly Allen forever changed his career path, and the skills learned in the Econometrics course taught by Professor Subhash Ray sparked a lifelong interest in quantitative analysis.

Mr. Regan (majored in Economics) shared that his choice of major was inspired by Professor Derek Johnson’s Principles of Microeconomics course, and the Socratic teaching style in Professor Paul Tomolonis’s course in International Economics.

Ms. Daley, and Ms. Pierre-Louis (Public Policy and Psychology majors) shared that from their courses in statistics and computer programming they developed skills core to their successful career paths.  Professor Harmon served as panel moderator.

For more information about the panel click here.

Professor Kao Publishes High Dimensional Econometrics and Identification

High Dimensional Econometrics and Identification, by Professor Chihwa Kao and co-author Long Liu, will be coming out in May.

From the Publisher:

In many applications of econometrics and economics, a large proportion of the questions of interest are identification. An economist may be interested in uncovering the true signal when the data could be very noisy, such as time-series spurious regression and weak instruments problems, to name a few. In this book, High Dimensional Econometrics and Identification, we illustrate the true signal and, hence, identification can be recovered even with noisy data in high-dimensional data, e.g., large panels. High-dimensional data in econometrics is the rule rather than the exception. One of the tools to analyze large, high-dimensional data is the panel data model.

High Dimensional Econometrics and Identification grew out of research work on the identification and high-dimensional econometrics that we have collaborated on over the years, and it aims to provide an up-to-date presentation of the issues of identification and high-dimensional econometrics, as well as insights into the use of these results in empirical studies. This book is designed for high-level graduate courses in econometrics and statistics, as well as used as a reference for researchers.


  • Preface
  • Panel Data Model with Stationary and Nonstationary Regressors and Error Terms
  • Panel Time Trend Model with Stationary and Nonstationary Error Terms
  • Estimation of Change Points in Stationary and Nonstationary Regressors and Error Term
  • Weak Instruments in Panel Data Models
  • Incidental Parameters Problem in Panel Data Models
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Readership: Graduate and researchers in the field of econometrics and economics.

High Dimensional Econometrics at the NE Statistics Symposium (NESS)

The Department of Economics will be sponsoring a session at the 33rd New England Statistics Symposium (NESS) on May 15–17, 2019.

High Dimensional Econometrics

The technological innovations in information processing and the increased storage capability have made possible to collect very large data sets in various fields of economics and finance.

This session puts together 3 papers that present state-of-the-art techniques to deal with high dimensional issues in econometrics.

List of invited speakers:

(1) Fa Wang, Cass Business School,, “Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference for High Dimensional Nonlinear Factor Models with Application to Factor-augmented Regressions”

(2) Yuan Liao, Rutgers Economics,, “Inference for Heterogeneous Effects Using Low Rank Estimation”

(3) Min Seong Kim, UConn Economics,, “Policy Analysis Using Panel and Multilevel Models with Group Interactive Fixed Effects”

Discussant: Jungbin Hwang, UConn Economics,

Session Chair: Chihwa Kao, UConn Economics,

Information about the conference may be found online at

PhD Students to Present at New York Camp Econometrics XIV

Three of our PhD students, Zhonghui Zhang,  Huarui Jing, and Rui Sun, will be presenting their research at the New York Camp Econometrics XIV poster session in April:

“Mahalanobis Metric Based Clustering for Fixed Effects Model,” Chihwa Kao (University of Connecticut), Min-Seong Kim (University of Connecticut), and Zhonghui Zhang (University of Connecticut).

 “The Robustness Study of Sieve Estimation on Asset Pricing Model,” Huarui Jing (University of Connecticut).

 “Bias-Corrected Estimators in the Dynamic Panel Data Model,” Chihwa Kao (University of Connecticut), Long Liu (University of Texas- San Antonio) and Rui Sun (University of Connecticut).

For more information about the conference, see: New York Camp Econometrics XIV

Rui Sun and Zhonghui Zhang at Econometric Society Meeting (2019 AMES)

PhD students Rui Sun and Zhonghui Zhang have had their papers accepted at the 2019 Asian Meeting of the Econometric Society (2019 AMES).

Zhonghui Zhang will be presenting his paper “Mahalanobis Metric Based Clustering for Fixed Effects Model”.

Rui Sun’s paper “Bias-Corrected Estimators in the Dynamic Panel Data Model” has been accepted for poster session.

The conference, June 14-16, 2019 at Xiamen University, is held by the Econometric Society, the international society for the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics.

Graduate Students in the Big Apple to Present New Work

Graduate students Shiyi Chen, Edlira Cocoli, Treena Goswami, Xin Liang, and Patralekha Ukil presented papers at the Annual Conference of the Eastern Economics Association in New York, Feb. 28–Mar. 3. Paper titles are listed below. If you see them in the hallways, be sure to ask them about their research.

Shiyi Chen: Affirmative Action and Interracial Marriage

Edlira Cocoli: The Impact of Promise Programs on Student Enrollment: A Nationwide Analysis of Enrollment Impact by Gender, Race and Program Type

Treena Goswami: High Skilled Immigrant Inflows and More Managerial Natives?

Xin Liang: Early Retirement, Pension System and the High Saving Rate in China, University of Connecticut

Patralekha Ukil: Parental Economic Shocks and Infant Health

Have a look at a tweet about Patralekha’s presentation here, and you can see the full EEA program here.

Professors Smirnova and Harmon present at the 45th Annual Eastern Economic Association Conference in NYC

Professors Natalia Smirnova (UConn PhD 2004) and Oskar Harmon organized and participated in the panel “College Fed Challenge: Impact on Students’ Knowledge Acquisition”.

Among the panelists were faculty advisers and team captains from three  NY Federal Reserve Region teams, including the captain of the UConn Stamford team, Jonathan Herrick.

For more information about the panel discussion click here.