Faculty achievement

Professor Ross’s HCEO Working Paper on Friendship Effects is Top 5 Downloaded Paper

The Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group (HCEO) at the University of Chicago announced their top five downloaded working papers of 2019.

Steve Ross’s paper “The Consequences of Friendships: Evidence on the Effect of Social Relationships in School on Academic Achievement” with Jason Fletcher and Yuxiu Zhang was among that list.

In that paper, they show that female students experience substantial improvements in their academic performance when they have more friends from an advantaged economic background, i.e. friends whose mothers completed four years of college.  These effects may arise in part because girls with such friendships are also better integrated into their school environment.

https://hceconomics.uchicago.edu/research/working-paper/consequences-friendships-evidence-effect-social-relationships-school-academic

Professor Agüero Gave Keynote Address

Jorge Agüero gave a keynote address at the 8th International Congress on Education at Ibagué, Colombia.

The congress took place between September 30 to October 2nd and centered on the issue of the length of the school day. Professor Agüero’s address focused on the successes and challenges of expanding the school day in secondary schools in developing countries based on his research in both Mexico and Peru.

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 Prakash a Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School

Professor Nishith Prakash has received an appointment as a fellow with the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at Harvard Kennedy School.

About WAPPP

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.

https://wappp.hks.harvard.edu/about-wappp

 

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!

 

Economics Faculty Baggio, Lanza, and Zhao Receive Promotions

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.

Professor Prakash receives “World Bank Economic Review Excellence in Refereeing Award”

Professor Nishith Prakash has received the “World Bank Economic Review Excellence in Refereeing Award”, recognizing his service to the journal World Bank Economic Review.

About the Journal

The mission of The World Bank Economic Review is to encourage and support research in the field of development economics. We seek to publish and disseminate innovative theoretical and empirical research that identifies, analyzes, measures, and evaluates the macro and micro-economic forces that promote or impede economic development with a view towards providing the knowledge necessary for designing, implementing, and sustaining effective development policies in low and middle income countries. Our intended audience comprises a worldwide readership of economists and other social scientists in government, business, international agencies, universities, and research institutions.

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/