PhD Graduate Matthew Ross in The Guardian

Matt Ross, one of our Ph.D. graduates, was interviewed by The Guardian about the new study of racial profiling in police stops in the State of California, as well as about his own research with UConn faculty member Steve Ross and another Ph.D. graduate Jesse Kalinowski:

Former PhD student accepts Professorship

Anupam Nanda has accepted a Professorship at the University of Manchester, UK.  He will start in November this year.

Anupam completed his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Connecticut in 2006. Anupam has been at the University of Reading and has developed a significant scholarly reputation for his research in real estate markets. Professor Stephen Ross was his major advisor.

Professors Harmon, Smirnova, and PhD Candidate Conant participate at Conference on Teaching and Research in Economic Education

Professors Harmon, Smirnova, and PhD Candidate Conant participated in the Ninth Annual AEA Conference on Teaching and Research in Economic Education (CTREE), in St. Louis, Missouri, May 2019.

Professors Oskar Harmon and Natalia Smirnova organized and moderated the panel “The College Fed Challenge: Discussion of Participating in an Existing Competition or Organizing a Competition in your Federal Reserve District”. The panelists were the faculty organizers of the regional Fed Challenge competitions in 4 of the 5 Fed Districts that sponsor a Fed Challenge competition, and the organizer of the finals round at the Fed Board of Governors in Washington DC. The discussion focused on two themes. One was a comparison of the similarities and differences in the structure of the competitions across regions and the effect on team outcomes in the national finals. Second was strategies to the geographic challenges and the difficulties facing the non-eastern states 8 reserve districts, only one of which competes (Chicago) relative to the 4 east coast districts, all of which compete.

Paul Conant and Oskar Harmon presented their paper “Teaching of Sports Economics by Reacting to the Past”. They presented a real-world scenario (RWS) assignment that is an adaptation of the “reacting to the past” teaching style. In this style students learn by taking on roles, informed by articles from the period of the event. They participate in a competitive game using the communication skills of speaking and writing, and analytical skills of critical thinking and problem solving. The specific RWS discussed in this paper will consist of students answering the historical event question: Should college athletes be allowed to unionize? The Case of Northwestern 2014. Students are assigned roles which can force them to combat their preconceived notion about the issue and help students consider different perspectives on the issue. We hope to merge the sociopolitical world with neoclassical economic learning in order to help students understand the nuance of pertinent world issues.

Natalia Smirnova also assumed an active role at the conference. She was a discussant of two papers. One paper presented the use of Excel for teaching students a Health Economics addiction model; and the second paper analyzed the reasons for female students’ attrition from the first Economics course they took and not becoming Economics majors at UC Berkley. Both papers were well received and generated debates among sessions’ participants.

Professor Smirnova extended her stay in St. Louis to explore Team-Based Learning (TBL) techniques. The TBL workshop was sponsored by the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) initiative. Professor Smirnova is encouraged to bring new techniques into her classroom.

Professor Ross in the AEA Papers and Proceedings

Professor Ross’s work with former students Jesse Kalinowski (Quinnipiac) and Matt Ross (NYU) was published in the 2019 American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings.

In this paper, they document that police change where they patrol and the types of infractions that they monitor when darkness falls.  This behavior has important implications for attempts to test for racial profiling in traffic stops where often stops at night when race cannot be observed are used as a benchmark to determining whether police disproportionately stop minority motorists during the day (non-gated link to working paper below).

2019 Spring Awards Banquet

Uconn sealOn April 18, 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:

Kader Akpinar
Gianna DeMasi
Ryan Gilland
Michelle Grieco
Andrew Hendrickson Jr.
Christopher Holden
Andrew Humphrey
Marisa Infante
Yuansun Jiang
Megan Llewellyn
Colin MacDougald
Adam Patterson
William Poundstone
James Rice
Jeffery Sanawong
David Stanco
Brianna Sullivan
Mollie Swanton
Mary Vlamis
Nicholas Wehrle

Undergraduate Awards

Economics Department General Scholarship

Michael Goccia
Mathilda Hill
James Rice
Sharon Spaulding
Qingya Yang

Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship

Tiffany D’Andrea
Zichen Shu
Zian Zhang
Harrison Zraly

Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship

Arianna Dines
Sueing Ngov
Sheng Tian

Louis D. Traurig Scholarship

Fizza Alam
Dea Ballij
Marisa Infante
Ajshe Zulfi

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize

Harry Godfrey-Fogg

Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship

Michelle Grieco

Charles Triano Scholarship

Gianna DeMasi

Dr. Joseph W. McAnneny Jr. Scholarship

Elizabeth Miller
Alexander Mostaghami
John Peterson
Mary Vlamis

Ross Mayer Scholarship

John Cizeski
Tyler DiBrino

Graduate Awards

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship

Mark McInerney

W. Harrison Carter Award

Lindsey Buck
Huarui Jing

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship

Wei Zheng

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship

Dingxian Cao
Jingyun Chen
Zhenhao Gong
Chuang Li
Chun Li
Heli Zu
Jinning Wang

Economics Department General Scholarship

Treena Goswami
Shilpa Sethia
Rui Sun
Kevin Wood
Haoxiang Xu

Best Third Year Paper Award

Umesh Ghimire

Roklen Graduate Research Scholarship

Xizi Li

Eleanor Bloom Trust Fund

Eniola Fasola

Graduate School Pre-Doctoral Fellowship

Xuejian Gong
Miranda Mendiola Valdez
Ziyun Wu
Hao Cui
Anup Tiwari
Ruohan Huang
Yizhi Zhu
Abdulmohsen Almuhaisen

Faculty Awards

Grillo Family Research Award

Jackie Zhao

Grillo Family Teaching Award

David Simon

Employee Appreciation Awards

Steven Lanza – 25 years
Richard Langlois – 35 years
Subhash Ray – 35 years

Congratulations to everyone!


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

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.