Author: Ahking, Francis

The Department mourns the loss of Prof. Kimenyi

Photo credit: BMI Murithi and Nation Media Group

kimenyi-picThe Department mourns the loss of one of its own. Prof. Kimenyi was a former member of the Department before leaving to join the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. According to BMI Muriithi of the Daily Nation, he passed away on Saturday, June 6, at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, after a long illness. BMI Muriithi’s article in Daily Nation is available here.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his wife, Irene, and his three sons. Condolences and sympathy can be sent to:  Irene Wangui Kimenyi , 2011 Wheaton Haven Court, Silver Springs, MD 20902.


The following is a note of memorium written by Prof. Richard Langlois:

A note in memorium of Mwangi S. (Samson) Kimenyi
from his friends and former colleagues at the University of Connecticut

We in the Department of Economics at the University of Connecticut were truly grieved to hear of Samson’s passing.

Samson came to us in 1991 and left to form KIPPRA in 1999, and was thereafter only sporadically in residence in Storrs. But he was with us for almost the entire decade of the nineties. We had hired him away from the University of Mississippi and awarded him the rank of Associate Professor less than five years after his Ph.D., which is an extraordinary rate of advancement. What attracted us to Samson was his astounding rate of publication, on a variety of topics. Among these publications was work on poverty in the United States, which focused on the importance of family structure – and which won the prize for best paper in the Southern Economic Journal. What we discovered after Samson had been with us a short while is that we had hired a wonderful man as well as a wonderful scholar. Those of us who came to know him well found that family was just not an intellectual interest for him but was part of his being, and we admired his devotion to his wife Irene and his three boys, who largely grew up here in Mansfield.

The problem with hiring a superstar, however, is that the world beckons. As Samson’s interests moved in the direction of African development, and as he became increasingly well known in that field, he was tapped to form KIPPRA and then called to the Brookings Institution. But we always considered Samson to have remained a member of our faculty in spirit. Many of us remember his visit part-way through the KIPPRA experience, which was memorable for a seminar in which he shared with us some of his accomplishments and challenges in Kenya.

In a way, we at UConn had already learned to miss Samson. Knowing that the parting is now final is a tragedy to us. But we will always remember his tenure here; and the spirit of his intellectual achievements and his warm personality will always remain part of our department legacy. We wish his family comfort in their time of grief.


Prof. Ahking presents paper at conferences

ahking-e1405970870634-150x150Prof. Ahking presented a paper “The Economies of the Great Lakes States” at the 54th Meetings of the Southern Regional Science Association in Mobile, AL, March 26 – 28.  He also presented the paper at the 2014 Southern Economic Association Annual Meetings in Atlanta, GA, in November 2014. The conference paper is available for download from ResearchGate.

Prof. Naknoi has paper accepted by JME

JMEProf. Naknoi and co-author YiLi Chien (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis) have their paper “The Risk Premium and Long-Run Global Imbalances” accepted for publication in the Journal of Monetary Economics. The paper examines the sustainability of U.S. trade deficits, given the assumption that U.S. investors take on more aggregate risk than foreign investors. It predicts that half of US trade deficits is sustainable. A copy of the working paper is available for download from RePEc.


Prof. Heffley retires

Photo L to R: Dennis Heffley, Perry Shapiro, Subhash Ray

DH1Prof. Dennis Heffley retired from the Department of Economics after 41 years at the University of Connecticut, including 4 years as the Department Head, 2005-2009. About 45 family members, current and former colleagues, many former graduate students, and Dennis’s major adviser, Perry Shapiro, who traveled from California, gathered for a retirement party and to celebrate his many achievements in late December at the end of the fall semester.

Dennis expects to keep busy in his retirement and would love to hear from everybody. We thank Dennis for his many years of service to the Department and the University and wish him and his family the very best.


Prof. Couch Appoints New Members of JPAM Editorial Team


Since becoming Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM) in 2014, Professor Ken Couch has invited a number of prominent researchers to join its editorial team. Scholars from American University, Berkeley, Cornell, Duke, Indiana, George Washington, Michigan, Oxford, NYU, Penn, RAND, UConn, USC, the Urban Institute, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Wisconsin are among this group. JPAM is a leading outlet for applied research on innovations in policy and management.

Profs. Harmon, Alpert, coauthors have paper accepted

Profs. Harmon, Alpert, coauthors Archita Banik (UConn, Ph.D., 2013), and James Lambrinos have an article “Class Absence, Instructor Lecture Notes, Intellectual Styles, and Learning Outcomes” recently accepted for publication in the Atlantic Economic Journal. 11293