Alumni

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

Holster Scholar, Mateen Karimi, Presents Summer Research on MENA Immigrants

Sophomore, Mateen Karimi, presented his Holster Research Project, “A Comparative Study: The Socioeconomic Integration of Second Generation MENA Immigrants” to an interested group of students, family members, and UConn faculty and staff this past Friday at the Konover Auditorium.


The
Holster Scholars First Year Project supports a small number of students interested in conducting independent research during the summer after their freshman year at UConn. Students are first selected to take a one-credit course to develop their research proposals. Of those in the course, a select few students are awarded funding to complete their projects over the summer.

 

Mateen’s project, supervised by Professor Furtado, examines the socioeconomic status of second-generation Middle Eastern North African (MENA) immigrants in the United States. He found that while the native-born children of MENA immigrants have more years of schooling and higher incomes than white natives whose parents were both born in the U.S., MENA unemployment rates are substantially higher. Mateen’s results also suggest that despite the very high average education levels of first-generation MENA immigrants, second-generation MENA immigrants complete even more years of schooling than their foreign born parents.

Oskar Harmon and Robert Szarka (UConn PhD 2017) Co-Author Article

Professor Oskar Harmon and Robert Szarka (Visiting Assistant Professor, SUNY Oneonta) co-authored the article “Using Google Drawings to Create Homework Exercises” that appears as the lead article in issue number 2 (2018) of the Journal of Economics Teaching.

The article shows how Google Drive’s Drawings tool can be used to create homework exercises suitable for both online and face-to-face classes. This approach allows students to create graphs actively “from scratch,” similar to the traditional pencil-and-paper approach, with a minimal investment of time and money. This could be a useful active-learning tool for online, blended, and traditional courses. The tools presented in the article have been adapted by the publisher TopHat in a recently published Principles of Micro/Macro online textbook.

Using Google Drawings to Create Homework Exercises (Harmon & Szarka)

 

Xiupeng Wang to MIT Post-Doc

Xiupeng Wang successfully defended his PhD dissertation “Three Essays:  Cross-National Comparisons of Labor Market Dynamics” in June and will take a position as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the Initiative on the Digital Economy in the Sloan School of Management headed by Professor Erik Brynjolfsson.  The Economics Department congratulates Xiupeng on his success!

In his dissertation, Wang examined patterns of employment and wage dynamics that occur in response to technological innovation across multiple countries.  A key finding of his work is that those in middle skill jobs with relatively stronger skills systematically move to more cognitively oriented jobs with better pay when technology is introduced.  In contrast those in middle skill jobs with relatively weaker skills among workers in that category move to worse jobs characterized by manual work and worse pay when technology is introduced.  His research also shows that countries with higher levels of unionization tend to have fewer workers who move into lower paid jobs as technology is introduced.   Wang’s thesis committee consisted of Professors Ken Couch and Delia Furtado of UConn and Professor Richard Freeman of Harvard University.

 

Michael DiNardi Defends Dissertation, Will Join University of Rhode Island

We congratulate Michael DiNardi on his recent successful final defense of his dissertation entitled ‘Three Essays in Health and Labor Economics”.  Mike will move on after graduation to join the Economics Department at the University of Rhode Island in the Fall of 2018 in a tenure track faculty position.  His dissertation examined three different topics, two dealing with public health insurance.  In one chapter, Mike looked at the impact of health insurance expansions on work behavior of individuals who gain coverage.  In another, he explores the impact of expansions of health insurance coverage on staffing of nurses in hospitals.  The third topic examined was the impact of internet expansions on individual health.  Mike’s dissertation committee consisted of Ken Couch, David Simon, and Melanie Guldi.

Econ Alum Awarded “Professor of the Year” at Simmons College

Zinnia Mukherjee, an ’09 PhD graduate of the Department of Economics, received the Professor of the Year award at the Simmons College Senior Faculty Banquet in April.

This award, voted upon each year by the entire graduating class of Simmons College, recognizes outstanding work “in teaching, advising, and providing support and guidance to students.”

PhD Student Dominic Albino Published in Cognitive Science

Dominic Albino, a fourth-year graduate student in the department, and co-authors Seth Frey and Paul Williams have had their paper, “Synergistic Information Processing Encrypts Strategic Reasoning in Poker,” accepted for publication in the journal Cognitive Science.

To win at poker, players must exploit public signals from opponents, but using those signals usually makes the player’s own strategy vulnerable. The paper uses 1.75 million hands of online poker data to show that winning players successfully encrypt their strategy, using their own cards like the private key in public key cryptography. By doing so, they are able to solve the problem of exploiting others while remaining protected themselves and turn uncertainty, usually considered a liability, into an advantage.

A copy of the paper may be found on Dominic Albino’s ResearchGate page.

2018 Spring Awards Banquet

Uconn sealOn March 29, the department convened for an awards banquet that recognized the best among undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty. This year’s award recipients are:

Omicron Delta Epsilon inductees:

Ryan Christopher Dodd
Liam Dorris
Matthew Gorman
Rebecca Hill
Shannon Lozier
Madeline Memoli
Alexander Rojas
Ryan Verano
Mingrui Zhou


Undergraduate Awards

Louis D. Traurig Scholarship

John Cizeski
Tyler DiBrino
Rebecca Hill
Zachary Lobman

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize

Steven Hashemi

Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship

Matthew Edson
Harry Godfrey-Fogg
Colin Mortimer
Magda Soto-Enciso

Ross Mayer Scholarship

Matthew DeLeon

Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship

Alexander Rojas

Economics Department General Scholarship

Michelle Grieco

Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship

Adam Vancisin
Mary F. Vlamis
Zihan Wang

Charles Triano Scholarship

Jenifer Repaci

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship

Timothy Brown


Graduate Awards

W. Harrison Carter Award

Michael DiNardi
Patralekha Ukil

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship

Kevin Wood

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship

Huarui Jing
Chuang Li
Wensu Li
Shilpa Sethia
Rui Sun
Jinning Wang

Economics Department General Scholarship

Samantha Minieri

Best Third Year Paper Award

Mark McInerney
Zhonghui Zhang


Faculty Awards

Grillo Family Research Award

Stephen L. Ross

Grillo Family Teaching Award

Derek Johnson

Employee Appreciation Awards

Rosanne Fitzgerald – 20 years
Olivier Morand – 20 years
C. Paul Hallwood – 30 years

 

Congratulations to everyone!

 

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.”

Graduate Students Presenting Their Work at Conferences

Graduate students working on immigration issues with Professor Delia Furtado have been traveling quite a bit in the past few months.  Samantha Minieri was in Chicago presenting her paper, “Norms and Parental Leave: Do Home Country Policies Affect Immigrants,” at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA).

Tao Song has presented his job market paper, “Honey, Robots Shrunk My Wage! Native-Immigrant Wage Gaps and Skill Biased Technological Change,” at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)’s Workshop on Spatial Dimensions of the Labour Market in Mannheim, Germany; the Society of Labor Economists’ annual meeting in Raleigh, NC; and the Western Economics Association International (WEAI) Annual meeting in San Diego, CA.

Also at the Western meetings, Tian Lou presented her paper, “Ethnic Segregation, Education, and Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes,​” and Haiyang Kong presented his paper, “What is the Impact of Industrial Structure on Immigrants’ English Language Fluency?”