Faculty activities

Professor Zhao Presents His Research at the St. Louis Fed

Kai ZhaoProfessor Zhao presented his research on the impact of health insurance policies on aggregate labor supply as part of the 2016 Seminar Series at the St. Louis Fed, on May 4, 2016.

In his research, he investigates whether or not the different health insurance policies in the United States and Europe can explain the fact that Americans work more hours than Europeans.

For more information, see the St. Louis Fed website.

Professor Harmon Participates in Voting Rights Panel

Voting Rights PanelProf. Harmon was a panelist at an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The panel addressed voter disenfranchisement including current/past court challenges to the Voting Rights Act, and stricter voting requirements, following passage of this landmark legislation.

The panel was moderated by Professor Beth Ginsberg (UConn Political Science).  The panelists were US Congressman Jim Hines; Scot X. Esdaile – CT NAACP State Chair; Professor Harmon; Khalilah L. Brown – Dean Quinnipiac University; Rev. Tommie Jackson – Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church; Michael Pollard – Chief of Staff for Stamford Mayor David Martin; Jasmine Pierre – Future 5 of NAACP; and Peggy Reeves – CT Secretary of State Election Affairs.

The event (April 11) was attended by approximately 75 students and community members.  It was held in the main concourse of the Stamford Campus.  It was organized by the staff of Congressman Jim Hines; Terrence Cheng, Director of the Stamford Campus; Jack Bryant, President NAACP Stamford Chapter; and Professors Ginsberg and Harmon as part of their Spring 2016 Service Learning Courses.

Kenneth Couch Presents Research at Michigan, Northeastern, and SUNY-Albany

couchDuring the spring semester, Professor Kenneth Couch has made research presentations at the University of Michigan, Northeastern University, and SUNY-Albany.

Professor Couch has published a number of recent articles on the topic of Life Course Events and summarized that research in his presentations at Northeastern and SUNY-Albany.  At Michigan, Professor Couch and his co-author presented their research regarding the impact of Social Security earnings statements on individual retirement timing as part of the Michigan Retirement Research Consortium (MRRC) annual meeting.   The MRRC annual meeting is an invitation only conference for leading and emerging scholars working on issues related to the Social Security retirement benefit system.

Professor Shor Presents to Corporate Presidents

shorProfessor Shor spoke to an audience of 100 CEOs and corporate presidents last week as part of the YPO-WPO Passion For Learning Day in Princeton, NJ.

The Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) – World Presidents’ Organization (WPO) is an international organization for heads of large corporations to network and learn.

The event featured three speakers – Professor Shor joined two professors from the Harvard Business School – who each led a two-hour educational session.

Professor Shor spoke about the practical uses of game theory in business.

Professor Naknoi Presents Paper at Vanderbilt

naknoiProfessor Naknoi presented her paper titled “Tariffs and the Expansion of the American Pig Iron Industry, 1870-1940” in the International Economics Seminar at Vanderbilt University on April 8, 2016.

Her study examines the benefit of the protection of the American pig iron industry. She illustrates that the protection was critical for the industry before 1890.

See the details of her study at:


Professors Harmon and Lanza at the Eastern Economic Association Conference

Professors Oskar Harmon and Steven Lanza presented a paper “Factors Contributing to Differences in State Economic Outcomes over the Great Recession” at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Eastern Economic Association in Washington DC, Feb 26, 2016.

Eastern Economic Association BannerThe paper employs a Cox Proportional Hazard model to analyze duration of state recession and recovery spells during the Great Recession.

60th Anniversary of the Early College Experience Program

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Early College Experience (ECE) program at the University of Connecticut.

ECE is a concurrent enrollment program that allows motivated high school students to take UConn courses at their high schools for both high school and college credit. Every course taken through UConn ECE is equivalent to the same course at the University of Connecticut. High school instructors who have been certified through the University of Connecticut serve as adjunct faculty members and teach UConn ECE courses.

Since about 29% of UConn ECE students continue on to the University of Connecticut, the Research & Development team is able to track their progress. UConn ECE students are more likely to graduate on time and to hold higher first and second semester GPA’s than those students who did not participate in the program.

The Department of Economics has participated in the ECE program since the early 1990s with a small number of instructors (two in 2006). Today that number has grown to 35 certified Economics instructors offering all of the principals classes to students in 25 high schools across the state. The Economics ECE coordinator is Professor William Alpert.

Professor Langlois Provides Testimony to the UK House of Lords

langloisProfessor Richard Langlois was recently asked by a staffer of the UK House of Lords to contribute written testimony on an inquiry into “online platforms and the EU Digital Single Market.”

They wanted to hear about the concept of dynamic competition, and provided a set of questions to answer.

The testimony has now been published on Parliament’s website.

Professor Naknoi Presents Paper at ASSA

naknoiProfessor Naknoi presented her paper titled “Exchange Rate Pass-Through and Market Structure in a Multi-Country World” in the ASSA Meeting/Econometric Society Meeting in San Francisco on January 4, 2016.

Her model proposes a theory that exporters take into account competing exporters’ currency appreciation in their price setting. In addition, her study provides evidence supporting her theory using data on prices of Canada’s exports to the U.S.

Information about her session is online at:


Professor Ross Gives Opening Address at Dallas Federal Reserve Conference

rossProfessor Ross gave the opening address at the Dallas Federal Reserve conference on “Intent vs. Impact: Evaluating Individual- and Community-Based Programs” on November 16th and 17th.

He summarized much of his research on race, neighborhood and mortgage lending over the last few years. Professor Ross argued that systematic unexplained racial differences in high cost lending and foreclosure exist and that those differences are associated with the concentration of minority borrowers and loans from low income and minority neighborhoods at high cost/high risk lenders. However, Professor Ross also argued that lending to vulnerable, low income and minority borrowers had little to do with severity of the foreclosure crisis itself given that the majority of foreclosure differences were explained by risk factors rather than income or neighborhood, and the dollar volume of foreclosures nationally was primarily driven by middle and upper income borrowers living in suburban neighborhoods. His presentation slides can be found at


and substantial amount of the research discussed is contained in Bayer, Ferreira and Ross (NBER Working Papers #19020 and #20762).