Author: mam15102

UConn-Stamford FED Challenge Team Earns Honorable Mention at Competition in NYC

The UConn-Stamford FED Challenge team earned honorable mention in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York 2018 College FED Challenge competition. This marked the third consecutive year of participation in the competition by the Stamford Campus team and the first time advancing to the semi-final round. The competition started with 39 teams in the initial round on October 24. The UCONN-Stamford team advanced to the semi-final round held on November 14 among only eight teams. Rutgers University-New Brunswick placed first and advanced to the final round held in Washington DC November 29. Columbia University placed second. UConn-Stamford earned Honorable Mention along with Fairfield University, Fordham University, Siena College, and SUNY-Oneonta.

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 Federal Reserve Bank of New York is one of four Federal Reserve Banks that host the College Fed Challenge Competition. The regional winners go to the final round at the Board of Governors in Washington D.C.

UCONN-Stamford team was comprised of 3 presenters: Ignacio Gonzalez, Jonathan Herrick, and Brendan Armburst-Mulcahey. The team coach was Di Yang, (Stamford Business School MBA). The researchers who helped prepare the team for the competition were Aditya Dadavai, Sijie Hu, Lingyi Zhu, and Roma Roma (all in the Stamford Business School BPMA Program). Faculty advisors were professors Natalia Smirnova, Steven Lanza, Kanda Naknoi, and Oskar Harmon. The team benefited from practice sessions of challenging questions with volunteer members of the Fairfield Business Community.

The team participants shown in the picture at the awards ceremony at the FRBNY are (from left to right): Brendan Armburst-Mulcahey, Di Yang, Natalia Smirnova, Jonathan Herrick, Ignacio Gonzalez, Oskar Harmon.

Professor Smirnova publishes in The Social Studies

Dr. Smirnova’s article “Teaching Money and Inflation Across the Curriculum” came out online on January 2 in The Social Studies, a peer-reviewed journal that publishes articles of interest to educators at all levels. The article describes the outcomes of a program for K-12 teachers that she created while serving as Director of Education at the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER). The program uses the Economics-Across-the-Curriculum approach which encourages the integration of economic concepts into various disciplines.

Dr. Smirnova has long been an advocate for bringing economic and financial literacy education to a wider audience. This publication is her fourth in the series of articles describing the impact of this unique approach on knowledge acquisition and showcasing creative lessons that were field-tested by teachers. In her articles, she demonstrates that any subject area can be a fruitful ground for the infusion of economic concepts and for making lessons relevant and meaningful to students.

This latest publication features several lesson ideas for teaching about money and inflation to high-school students. These lessons were incorporated in algebra, American history, and Spanish language classes. The main beauty of the lessons presented in the article is the empowerment of students to apply economics to their everyday life. The article also presents details on how to setup a professional development workshop for teachers and how to inspire them to create and field-test an economic concept integration idea.

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.