On Thursday, October 3, 2019, a group of students from Dr. Smirnova’s “Money and Banking” class at Stamford visited the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The program included a visit to the Money Museum as well as to the Gold Vault.
In the Museum, students learned about the history of New York Fed, and saw old-time photographs and film footage of how the Fed looked and operated during the first half of the 20th century. The exhibit also includes the original trading board, the money cart that is used to transport currency, and the scale that is used to weigh the gold bars.
The highlight of the trip was the visit to the Gold Vault. Students learned that New York Fed holds many tons of gold bricks belonging to foreign countries. The vault is located on the bedrock of Manhattan, several hundred feet below subway level. The size of the vault is half of the American football field, and it goes on forever if you are standing at the entrance. We were able to see one compartment’s gold very close and almost touch it. The gold bricks are different shapes (trapezoid and rectangle) depending on where the brick was cast.
There was an opportunity to ask questions and discover more nuances about the Fed, about monetary policy implementation, and about the gold. Overall, a lot of learning and discovery occurred during the trip. We thank the Department of Economics for sponsoring it! The picture shows the group in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Taking pictures inside is prohibited, so we could not take a picture with the gold! 😊
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 Nishith Prakash has received an appointment as a fellow with the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at Harvard Kennedy School.
The Women and Public Policy Program of Harvard Kennedy School closes gender gaps in economic opportunity, political participation, health and education by creating knowledge, training leaders, and informing public policy and organizational practices.
Our research provides evidence-based insights on the role of gender in shaping economic, political, and social opportunities available to individuals. We identify successful interventions and measure their impact on women, men, and society, then share recommendations on what policies, organizational practices, and leadership techniques help close involuntary gaps.
We train today’s leaders and prepare future leaders to create a more gender equal world, while providing women with skills and tools to successfully navigate existing systems. We draw on Harvard University’s unparalleled faculty expertise and its global reach to impact the thinking of those who make decisions across sectors.
No other organization in the world builds on behavioral insights to create evidence-based organizational designs that can promote women’s empowerment, overcome gender bias, and provide equal opportunities for women and men, like the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School. And no other entity provides assistance to organizations with the goal of consulting, learning and teaching at the same time, benefiting from the talent pool of Harvard faculty, students and fellows.
Congratulations to Economics faculty members Michele Baggio and Kai (Jackie) Zhao, who have received promotion to tenured Associate Professor, and to Steven Lanza, promoted to Associate Professor in Residence!
The UConn Board of Trustees approved the promotions, effective August 23rd, at the Board meeting on Wednesday, April 24th.
Kanda Naknoi is a visiting scholar at the Department of Economics at UC Davis.
During the visit she will work on the dynamics of investment in emerging economies after the Global Financial Crisis. She will also attend seminars and will make a presentation. Her visit will end in mid June.
High Dimensional Econometrics and Identification, by Professor Chihwa Kao and co-author Long Liu, will be coming out in May.
From the Publisher:
In many applications of econometrics and economics, a large proportion of the questions of interest are identification. An economist may be interested in uncovering the true signal when the data could be very noisy, such as time-series spurious regression and weak instruments problems, to name a few. In this book, High Dimensional Econometrics and Identification, we illustrate the true signal and, hence, identification can be recovered even with noisy data in high-dimensional data, e.g., large panels. High-dimensional data in econometrics is the rule rather than the exception. One of the tools to analyze large, high-dimensional data is the panel data model.
High Dimensional Econometrics and Identification grew out of research work on the identification and high-dimensional econometrics that we have collaborated on over the years, and it aims to provide an up-to-date presentation of the issues of identification and high-dimensional econometrics, as well as insights into the use of these results in empirical studies. This book is designed for high-level graduate courses in econometrics and statistics, as well as used as a reference for researchers.
- Panel Data Model with Stationary and Nonstationary Regressors and Error Terms
- Panel Time Trend Model with Stationary and Nonstationary Error Terms
- Estimation of Change Points in Stationary and Nonstationary Regressors and Error Term
- Weak Instruments in Panel Data Models
- Incidental Parameters Problem in Panel Data Models
Readership: Graduate and researchers in the field of econometrics and economics.
The Department of Economics will be sponsoring a session at the 33rd New England Statistics Symposium (NESS) on May 15–17, 2019.
High Dimensional Econometrics
The technological innovations in information processing and the increased storage capability have made possible to collect very large data sets in various fields of economics and finance.
This session puts together 3 papers that present state-of-the-art techniques to deal with high dimensional issues in econometrics.
List of invited speakers:
(1) Fa Wang, Cass Business School, Fa.Wang@city.ac.uk, “Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference for High Dimensional Nonlinear Factor Models with Application to Factor-augmented Regressions”
(2) Yuan Liao, Rutgers Economics, email@example.com, “Inference for Heterogeneous Effects Using Low Rank Estimation”
(3) Min Seong Kim, UConn Economics, firstname.lastname@example.org, “Policy Analysis Using Panel and Multilevel Models with Group Interactive Fixed Effects”
Discussant: Jungbin Hwang, UConn Economics, email@example.com
Session Chair: Chihwa Kao, UConn Economics, firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about the conference may be found online at https://symposium.nestat.org/
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
Graduate students Shiyi Chen, Edlira Cocoli, Treena Goswami, Xin Liang, and Patralekha Ukil presented papers at the Annual Conference of the Eastern Economics Association in New York, Feb. 28–Mar. 3. Paper titles are listed below. If you see them in the hallways, be sure to ask them about their research.
Shiyi Chen: Affirmative Action and Interracial Marriage
Edlira Cocoli: The Impact of Promise Programs on Student Enrollment: A Nationwide Analysis of Enrollment Impact by Gender, Race and Program Type
Treena Goswami: High Skilled Immigrant Inflows and More Managerial Natives?
Xin Liang: Early Retirement, Pension System and the High Saving Rate in China, University of Connecticut
Patralekha Ukil: Parental Economic Shocks and Infant Health
Have a look at a tweet about Patralekha’s presentation here, and you can see the full EEA program here.
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.