Announcements

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 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/

 

UConn Economics Ranked Among Top 50 Programs

The Department of Economics at UConn was recently ranked among the top 50 economics programs in the United States based on total research productivity of its faculty.  The ranking, produced by Academic Analytics, considered a number of factors such as articles published by department members and their visibility as well as grants received.  Comparably ranked departments include Boston College, the University of Arizona, and the University of Colorado.

Professor Miceli Publishes Law and Economics: Private and Public

Law and Economics: Private and Public, a coursebook by Professor Thomas Miceli and co-authors, is now available. From the publisher:

This accessible volume integrates wide-ranging economic methodologies with a vast array of legal subjects. Coverage includes the first-year law school curriculum along with institutions and doctrines comprising the core foundation of upper level legal study. Dedicated chapters introduce neoclassical economics, interest group theory, social choice, and game theory, and the book intersperses alternative methodological insights.

The analysis synthesizes these methodologies with modern and classic case law, other legal materials, and policy discussions inspired by current events. Ideal for a law school seminar or capstone course, this unique volume is also perfectly suited for business school courses on legal methods and public policy. Professors will find a rich array of materials adaptable to varying pedagogical styles and substantive areas of emphasis. Students exploring these materials will emerge with a deeper understanding of law and economics and a greater appreciation of our lawmaking institutions.

https://faculty.westacademic.com/Book/Detail?id=18210&q=stearns

Professor David Simon Receives AEJ Best Paper Award

The 2018 American Economic Journal Best Paper Award for AEJ: Economic Policy has been awarded to Professor David Simon and co-authors for their paper  “Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health

AEJ: Economic Policy 

In “Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health,” authors Hilary HoynesDoug Miller, and David Simon evaluate the impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on infant health outcomes. The EITC provides a tax credit to lower income working families, and the authors demonstrate that it increases average birth weights and decreases the incidence of low birth weights — especially among the newborns of African American mothers. The authors argue that the health benefits of nonhealth programs, such as the EITC, should be taken into account when discussing the U.S. social safety net. (AEJ: Economic Policy Vol. 7, No. 1, February 2015)

Professor Miceli’s Contemporary Issues in Law and Economics

Routledge has just published Contemporary Issues in Law and Economics by Thomas J. Miceli.

Law and economics is the field of study devoted to understanding laws and legal institutions using the tools of economic theory. This growing subject has become a mainstream area of study in both law schools and economics departments and this book explores the “law and economics” approach to some of the most interesting questions, issues, and topics in law, order, and justice.

Contemporary Issues in Law and Economics considers what economists call the “positive” analysis of the law – that is, using economic theory to explain the nature of the law as it actually exists. As part of this approach the author examines questions such as, what is the economic basis for the predominance of negligence rules in tort law? And, what is the explanation for the illegality of blackmail? Furthermore, another set of questions arises where the law seems to depart from the prescriptions of economic theory, and these issues are also examined in this volume. For example, the deeply rooted norm of proportionality between punishments and crimes, and the use of escalating penalties for repeat offenders, are both explored.

With self-contained chapters written in a non-technical style, this book offers a rigorous discussion of the above themes while remaining accessible to those without formal legal or economic training. It offers the ideal introduction to the field of law and economics while also providing a basis for students in more advanced courses.

https://www.routledge.com/Contemporary-Issues-in-Law-and-Economics/Miceli/p/book/9781138099760

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.

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.”