Author: mam15102

Steve Ross published in REStat

Steve Ross’s recent paper on the effect of the No Child Left Behind Act on local property values with Steve Billings and Eric Brunner was just published in the first issue of 2018 in the Review of Economics and Statistics.

In this paper, they show that property values near failing schools sometimes actually increase in value consistent with individuals moving into those neighborhoods to take advantage of the enhanced school choice opportunities available when a family’s children are assigned to a failing school.

Two Faculty Members Receive Journal of Human Resources Acceptances in the Same Month

Professor Simon and Professor Furtado both had papers accepted at the Journal of Human Resources in the fall semester.

Professor Simon’s paper, “The Effects of Aggregate and Gender-Specific Labor Demand Shocks on Child Health,” coauthored with Marianne Page and Jessamyn Schaller, considers the relationship between local labor market conditions and child health. The paper shows that local (state level) labor market recessions that primarily affect women increase maternal time spent at home and improve child health, whereas recessions that affect men have the opposite effects. These patterns suggest that both maternal time and family income are important inputs to child health.

Professor Furtado’s paper, “Settling for Academia? H-1B Visas and the Career Choices of International Students in the United States,” coauthored with Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, examines whether international students respond to U.S. immigration policy when making career decisions. The authors find that international students who require H-1B visas to work in the United States became more likely to pursue careers in academia -a sector not subject to H-1B visa caps- after the H-1B visa cap was lowered in 2004.

The Journal of Human Resources is a leading journal in applied microeconomics. According to the 2016 ISI Journal Citation Reports, the journal has an impact factor of 4.047. The journal’s website reports an acceptance rate of 4 percent.


Professor Zhao Published in Journal of Monetary Economics

Professor Zhao’s paper “The Chinese Saving Rate: Long-Term Care Risks, Family Insurance, and Demographics” has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Monetary Economics, a top macro journal.

In this article, Professor Zhao and his coauthor find that the combination of the risks faced by the elderly and the deterioration of family insurance due to the one-child policy is an important cause of the increase in China’s saving rate since 1980. This paper is the first major paper growing out of their research agenda on the Chinese economy and its implications for the rest of the world.

Professor Zhao’s article can be found at his website:

Ken Couch Receives Federal Research Funding

Professor Kenneth Couch of the University of Connecticut Department of Economics recently received Federal funding of his research regarding possible adjustments of Social Security Retirement Benefits for differential longevity.

The population of the United States is living longer but gains in longevity have been unequal across income groups and this affects lifetime benefit receipt over successive generations of Americans. Funding from the Social Security Administration supports research by Couch and his collaborators into potential approaches for adjusting benefits to account for these changes.

Professor Harmon joins the AEA Committee on Economic Education

Professor Oskar Harmon has been invited to serve a three-year term on the American Economic Association Committee on Economic Education, ending December 31, 2020.

The Committee organizes the program for the annual Conference on Teaching and Economic Education (CTREE) and the Economic Education session for the annual ASSA meetings that goes into the AER P&P.

Professor Ross Published in Review of Financial Studies

Professor Ross’s paper “What Drives Racial and Ethnic Differences in High-Cost Mortgages? The Role of High-Risk Lenders” was just published in the Review of Financial Studies, a Top 3 Finance Journal.

This paper documents the existence of large differences in the cost of credit for minority borrowers, and the fact that most of the racial differences arise across lenders, rather than being driven by lenders who treat equally qualified minority borrowers differently than white borrowers.  The paper shows that these effects are primarily driven by lenders whose loans tended to have very high default rates during the crisis.

Professor Langlois Quoted in the Stamford Advocate

Professor Richard Langlois was quoted in an article in the Stamford Advocate, commenting about the Federal Trade Commission response to a possible acquisition by Stamford-based chemical company Tronox .

The article is online at:

Econ Undergraduate Students Present at the Boston Fed Challenge

Congratulations to the undergraduate students from the Storrs campus who took part in the College Fed Challenge!

Tyler DiBrino, Gabriel Hack, Max Karsanow, Ari Nishimura-Gasparian, John Roberts, Alexander Rojas, Joaquin Sanchez, and Timothy Sullivan all participated on behalf of the University of Connecticut – Storrs in the 2017 Fed Challenge held at the Boston Fed on Friday, November 3rd. The students, and their faculty advisors Derek Johnson and Owen Svalestad, are shown at left in Boston.

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.”

Medical Marijuana in the Washington Post and Mother Jones

A recent working paper by co-authors Michele Baggio (UConn faculty, Department of Economics), Alberto Chong (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Department of Economics), and Sungoh Kwon (UConn graduate student, Department of Economics), has been featured in the Washington Post:


Medical marijuana took a bite out of alcohol sales …

Alcoholic beverage sales fell by 15 percent following the introduction of medical marijuana laws in a number of states, according to a new working paper by …

And in Mother Jones magazine:

Back in 2009 I wrote a piece for the magazine about marijuana legalization. One of the things I learned is that a key question about the effect of legalization is whether marijuana and alcohol are substitutes or complements. If alcohol and marijuana are substitutes, it means that higher sales of marijuana will likely produce lower […]


The working paper is online at: Helping Settle the Marijuana and Alcohol Debate: Evidence from Scanner Data


We use data on purchases of alcoholic beverages in grocery, convenience, drug, or mass distribution stores in US counties for 2006-2015 to study the link between medical marijuana laws and alcohol consumption and focus on settling the debate between the substitutability or complementarity between marijuana and alcohol. To do this we exploit the differences in the timing of the of marijuana laws among states and find that these two substances are substitutes. Counties located in MML states reduced monthly alcohol sales by 15 percent. Our findings are robust to border counties analysis, a placebo effective dates for MMLs in the treated states, and falsification tests using sales of pens and pencils.