Faculty

Business Appraiser Shares Methodology in Financial Economics Class

Mr. Becket presents in the Financial Economics class at Stamford on September 15, 2022

Mr. Peter Becket, a proprietor of Becket Business Appraisals, LLC visited the ECON 3413 Financial Economics class at Stamford on September 15, 2022. In this course, students learn company valuation techniques and apply those to a selected publicly traded company.

Mr. Becket has been an appraiser of privately owned businesses for over 40 years. So, his presentation gave students a real-world view of how he goes about valuing businesses that are not publicly traded.

Peter’s very engaging and interactive presentation showed how financial statements analysis and discounted future cash flow methodology are used in evaluating financial prospects of a closely held companies. Students learnt many nuances of appraisal business, which are not covered in the textbook. Peter shared several publications that present data of financial ratios, for example, which could be consulted for a benchmark analysis. He also explained his proprietary methodology for company valuation. Students were able to ask questions about the business and seek Peter’s advice about their career aspirations.

Mr. Becket encouraged students to invest in their learning, join professional associations, and start their careers working for someone else before venturing on their own if they decide to start their own professional practice. His talk connected the textbook material to the real-world appraisal business.

Dr. Smirnova, who is the instructor in this class, and the students are grateful to Mr. Becket for his time and invaluable wisdom, suggestions, and encouragement. The talk was very fun, as well.

Tao Song, PhD 2017, Featured on Sewanee’s Faculty Spotlight

Five Sewanee: University of the South professors were asked to share their thoughts on teaching in the Information Age, and our own Tao Song, PhD ’17, was one of them. See his reflections on how the explorer mentality guides his teaching.

In addition to his devotion to teaching at Sewanee, Tao remains committed to research. Together with Professor Delia Furtado, he recently published a chapter on interethnic marriages in the Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics.

Economics at the Major Fair at the Stamford Campus

Photo (left to right): Economics Seniors Miriam Salazar-Rey, James McQuade, and Gerson Jacinto at the Economics Major table on September 15, 2022.

On September 15, 2022, there was a buzz around the Rich Concourse at the Stamford campus. Various academic fields, representing majors and minors offered at UConn Stamford, were showcased. The Economics Department was represented by students majoring in Economics with Professor Smirnova in attendance as well.

The Economics table was one of the most visited through the two-hour period. Economics seniors Miriam Salazar-Rey, James McQuade, and Gerson Jacinto enthusiastically shared information about the academic course of study, about various economics paths within the profession, and about the College Fed Challenge competition, a popular extra-curricular activity at Stamford.

Students also shared various career readiness events that they have attended on campus and competencies that they have developed in Dr. Smirnova’s classes. Business community leaders’ visits, career panels, Career Development Center professionals’ presentations, and other events – all of these, in students’ view, contribute to the satisfaction with the Economics major at Stamford.

MSQE Alumni Networking Panel September 7, 2022

Tyler Terbrusch (MSQE December 2018) and John Rolfe (MSQE December 2019) participated in a virtual MSQE Alumni Networking Panel on September 7, 2022.

Tyler currently works at McLagan Data & Analytics, as a Consultant.  John currently works at Spreetail as a Senior Demand Planner.  They spoke highly of their MSQE training in Python, R, and Economic Theory, and gave several examples of how they use these skills in their current positions.  They recommended applying early and often for summer internships.

The panel was moderated by Professor Harmon.

Professor Harmon has 2nd Most Cited Article in the Journal of Economic Education

Professor Oskar Harmon’s paper “Are Online Exams an Invitation to Cheat?”, co-authored with Dr. Lambrinos, is the 2nd most cited article of all time in the Journal of Economic Education, considering all articles published in the journal.

The article may be found online here.

The abstract is below:

Title: Are Online Exams an Invitation to Cheat?

Abstract: In this study, the authors use data from two online courses in principles of economics to estimate a model that predicts exam scores from independent variables of student characteristics. In one course, the final exam was proctored, and in the other course, the final exam was not proctored. In both courses, the first three exams were unproctored. If no cheating took place, the authors expected the prediction model to have the same explanatory power for all exams, and, conversely, if cheating occurred in the unproctored exam, the explanatory power would be lower. Their findings are that both across and within class, variations in the R-squared statistic suggest that cheating was taking place when the exams were not proctored.

Professor Prakash named Associate Editor with Journal of Development Economics

Professor Nishith Prakash has been named an Associate Editor with the Journal of Development Economics, which publishes “original research papers relating to all aspects of economic development – from immediate policy concerns to structural problems of underdevelopment.”

Information about the Journal, and about the Editorial Board, may be found online at:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-development-economics/about

Anastassiya Karaban’s Research Funded by the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research on Women and Girls of Color

Third-year PhD student Anastassiya Karaban has received funding in support of her research. Her project, done in collaboration with Professor Jorge Agüero, is entitled “Female Education, Empowerment and Bargaining over Babies in Sub-Saharan Africa”.

The funding is through the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research on Women and Girls of Color through Africana Studies at UConn:

“In November 2015, the White House Council on Women and Girls announced a new initiative on women and girls of color – the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research on Women and Girls of Color—during a summit co-hosted by the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University. The Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research on Women and Girls of Color, which the University of Connecticut joined in 2015, consists of more than fifty colleges, universities and non-profit organizations committed to studying and addressing the educational, health and social services disparities faced by women and girls of color. Housed within the Africana Studies Institute, UConn’s Collaborative aligns with Africana’s goals to prioritize research and collaboration that target health disparities and injustice and the health and well-being of populations both racialized and gendered.”

https://africana.uconn.edu/collaborative-call-for-proposals-2022/

 

Professor Zhao published in Review of Economic Dynamics

Professor Zhao’s paper “The Evolution of Health over the Life Cycle” has been published in the Review of Economic Dynamics.

In this paper, Professor Zhao and his coauthors construct a unified objective measure of health status: the frailty index. Using this index, they propose and estimate a stochastic process for health dynamics over the life cycle accounting for mortality bias. Their health measure and dynamic process can be used to study the evolution of health over the life cycle and its economic implications.

Building on this work, Professor Zhao and his coauthors are currently working on a project that explores the evolution of health inequality over the life cycle and its implication for lifetime earnings inequality.

Professor Agüero has a Top 10 Most Cited Paper in World Development

Professor Jorge Agüero’s paper “COVID-19 and The Rise of Intimate Partner Violence” is now a Top 10 most cited paper in World Development, considering all publications since 2018.

The paper may be found online at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105217

The abstract is below:

Title: COVID-19 and The Rise of Intimate Partner Violence

Abstract: Stay-at-home policies have been implemented worldwide to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, there is a growing concern that such policies could increase violence against women. We find evidence in support of this critical concern. We focus on Peru, a country that imposed a strict nationwide lockdown starting in mid-March and where nearly 60% of women already experienced violence before COVID-19. Using administrative data on phone calls to the helpline for domestic violence (Línea 100), we find that the incidence rate of the calls increased by 48 percent between April and July 2020, with effects increasing over time. The rise in calls is found across all states and it is not driven by baseline characteristics, including previous prevalence of violence against women. These findings create the need to identify policies to mitigate the negative impact of stay-at-home orders on women’s safety.