Faculty activities

MSQE Student Tracking Pandemic featured in UConn Today

MSQE student Yuansun (Sonny) Jiang’s COVID-19 Connecticut Data Visualization website has been featured in UConn Today: 

UConn Student Tracks Pandemic With Data

Using the skills he was learning in Prof. Oskar Harmon’s Writing and Communication for Economics and Business graduate course, Jiang began assembling the COVID-19 Connecticut Data Visualization website, where he daily charts the pandemic’s course both here in Connecticut and across the country.”

 

Read the full article at https://today.uconn.edu/2020/04/uconn-student-tracks-pandemic-data

Information about the MSQE Program may be found online at https://msqe.econ.uconn.edu/

Women in Economics Symposium

On February 27, 2020, two Economics students from the Storrs campus (Daija Brunson and Pershae Gilling) and one Economics student from the Stamford campus (Viviana Castillo) got the chance to travel to Cleveland, OH, for a Women in Economics Symposium. In the morning of the event the students got the chance to meet Research Assistants for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and ask them questions about their journey so far. A lot of insight was given by the Research Assistants and they were very helpful in providing guidance to the students about what they should do in the future.

The students also got the chance to tour the bank and they were even able to go down to the cash processing center where they could see how automation plays a big role in their daily processes.

The symposium was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and included keynote addresses from Dr. Lisa Cook, Director of the AEA Summer Program and Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Founder of Economic Education Institute. In addition, during the symposium the students got the chance to sit through different discussion panels with topics about what to do with a degree in economics, how to get a PHD, and how to navigate the workforce as a female.

During the reception they got a chance to meet other students and employees from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, including Dr. Loretta Mester, the President and CEO of the bank. Overall, the full day was filled with a lot of information and it provided the students with a lot of guidance as to what they should do in the future. The students came back feeling very energized and excited as to what the future holds for them.

 

Written by Viviana Castillo and Dr. Natalia Smirnova

Women and Girls’ Day at the Capitol 2020

On March 6, 2020, Dr. Natalia Smirnova and Dr. Tianxu Chen represented the Economics Department at the “Women and Girls’ Day at the Capitol 2020” cohosted by The Governor’s Council on Women and Girls, The Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity; and The Women’s Suffrage Commission.

The theme for the event was CELEBRATE – CONNECT – INSPIRE:

To CELEBRATE the progress made by women in honor of Women’s History Month and the 100 Year Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage.

To CONNECT the state community to resources and opportunities that are available to the public, such as:

  • Career information.
  • Health & safety services and information.
  • Women leaders in STEAM and underrepresented fields — hence Economics!
  • Resources for women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

To INSPIRE women and girls to design their own paths (providing a broad scope of role models for them to become inspired).

The intended audience for the day was female high school juniors and seniors, and women from across Connecticut. A total of 300 individuals attended, with half of them being high school aged girls. Both Dr. Smirnova and Dr. Chen were excited to share their love of economics with the attendees. The event was worthwhile for everyone!

Professor Kim presented at Yale

Professor Min Seong Kim presented his work in the econometrics seminar in the Department of Economics at Yale on March 4th. The title of his presentation was “Bootstrap Inference under Cross Sectional Dependence” (joint with Timothy Conley, Silvia Goncalves and Benoit Perron).

Professor Kim is visiting the Economics Department and the Cowles Foundation Econometrics Program at Yale as a visiting associate professor in Spring 2020.

Early College Experience Economics Workshop

The Early College Experience Economics program (https://ece.uconn.edu/) held its annual workshop this fall for 30 Connecticut high school economics teachers who are teaching UConn’s Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 1201), Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 1202) and/or Essentials of Economics (ECON 1000).

Early College Experience Workshop Presentation with Shor

Leading off the workshop was Professor Mike Shor, presenting “Patent Holdup” in which he explained the limits monopoly power conveyed by patents. The complementary relationships among patents and the price determination of purchasing or licensing of patents. He went on to explain the idea of the patent hold up.  He also provided the workshop participants with a classroom exercise in which students discover how patents are priced.

Early College Experience Workshop Presentation with Smirnova

There followed a presentation by Professor Natalia Smirnova, “Using Data in the Classroom: FRED database.” Professor Smirnova demonstrated several empirical uses of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank’s FRED database including both Macro and Micro economic examples.

Professor William Alpert presented a lunch time talk about the “Perils and Pitfalls of Prediction” highlighting the famine predictions of Paul Ehrlich for the 1980 (100’s of millions die) and the failed predictions of The Club of Rome from 1973. Professor Alpert also “predicted” the rise to more than 600 million in the number of horses in the United States if 18th Century trends had continued, assuming no alternative means of transportation.

Early College Experience Workshop Presentation with Alpert

Professor Steven Lanza then followed up with a presentation entitled “Rediscovering Lost Arts: Economic Index Numbers” in which he stressed the importance of index numbers and the biases in those numbers.  He also demonstrated how to calculate them using data that is easy to access and readily available.

Professor Nishith Prakash rendered the concluding presentation concerning a natural experiment concerning the harassment.  In India 79% of women living in cities have experienced harassment in public spaces.  Professor Prakash and his coauthors set out to determine the effect of street patrolling that targets harassment, on the type and frequency of incidents and women’s proactive responses.  They also are trying to determine the impacts of targeting perpetrators of harassment and what drives these changes — visibility, and/or quantity of a focused taskforce?

All of the presentations were well received and the workshop was among the most successful offered by the ECE Economics program.

Professors Smirnova and Harmon present at the 45th Annual Eastern Economic Association Conference in NYC

Professors Natalia Smirnova (UConn PhD 2004) and Oskar Harmon organized and participated in the panel “College Fed Challenge: Impact on Students’ Knowledge Acquisition”.

Among the panelists were faculty advisers and team captains from three  NY Federal Reserve Region teams, including the captain of the UConn Stamford team, Jonathan Herrick.

For more information about the panel discussion click here.

Early College Experience Program Workshop

The Economics Department Early College Experience Program held its annual workshop for teachers on November 1 at the Storrs Campus. The workshop was attended by 25 teachers from high schools across the state who hold the positions of instructor and preceptor of economics responsible for teaching high school students Principles of Microeconomics (Economics 1201), Principles of Macroeconomics (Economics 1202) and Essentials of Economics (Economics 1000) in their high school.

 

The teachers who attended, learned from a program they inspired by suggesting topics in the spring of 2018.  Highlights of this year’s program included Professor Nishith Prakash presenting his work entitled “Gender, Crime and Punishment”, which provided a peek at original economics research.  The teachers were excited by this work and raised numerous questions.

 

Professor Prakash’s paper was followed by a presentation by Professor Natalia Smirnova (a UConn Economics Ph.D.) entitled “Oligarchs and Ivans:  A Changing Russian Economy 1990-2020” in which Professor Smirnova provided both background and predictions for the modern Russian Economy including a look forward. 

 

Professor Oskar R. Harmon, who is doing research and teaching about sports economics, presented an exciting session entitled “Sports Economics and Principals of Economics” over lunch.  Professor Harmon was followed on the program by Mr. Paul Conant explaining the Kyoto Treaty to the teachers in a session titled “Kyoto and Beyond.”

 

ECE Economics Coordinator and Emeritus Professor of Economics Bill Alpert capped off the day with his discussion “Income Distribution: What’s the Matter?”   

After continuing discussion the workshop was adjourned.   

 

Professor Harmon Presents at Sports Conference

At the 2018 Sports and Society Conference Oskar Harmon participated in the panel “Activism in the 21th Century”.

He presented his work on the confluence of patriotism, race, and politics in the  2017 NFL season.

The conference was hosted by the College of Mount Saint Vincent, NY on October 26, 2018.

The conference program is available at:

http://issuu.com/cmsvpubs/docs/sport_and_society_conference_2018?e=2331114/65248589

 

Professor Naknoi presents at the City University of Hong Kong

Professor Kanda Naknoi presented her work at the Department of Economics and Finance seminar at the City University of Hong Kong on September 20th. The title of her presentation was “Exchange Rate Pass-Through and Market Structure in Multi-Country World”.

The paper for her presentation can be found at: http://www.cb.cityu.edu.hk/ef/research/seminars/economics/past