Xiupeng Wang to MIT Post-Doc

Xiupeng Wang successfully defended his PhD dissertation “Three Essays:  Cross-National Comparisons of Labor Market Dynamics” in June and will take a position as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the Initiative on the Digital Economy in the Sloan School of Management headed by Professor Erik Brynjolfsson.  The Economics Department congratulates Xiupeng on his success!

In his dissertation, Wang examined patterns of employment and wage dynamics that occur in response to technological innovation across multiple countries.  A key finding of his work is that those in middle skill jobs with relatively stronger skills systematically move to more cognitively oriented jobs with better pay when technology is introduced.  In contrast those in middle skill jobs with relatively weaker skills among workers in that category move to worse jobs characterized by manual work and worse pay when technology is introduced.  His research also shows that countries with higher levels of unionization tend to have fewer workers who move into lower paid jobs as technology is introduced.   Wang’s thesis committee consisted of Professors Ken Couch and Delia Furtado of UConn and Professor Richard Freeman of Harvard University.


Economic Demography Workshop a Success

Professor Furtado chaired the organizing committee for this year’s Economic Demography Workshop (EDW) held this past April in Denver, Colorado.

For over twenty years, economists have gathered in the afternoon before the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA) to present and discuss their work on demographic issues. This year’s agenda consisted of panels on occupational licensing, gender and human capital, and immigration policy. Papers presented in previous years have since been published in top journals, and Professor Furtado believes that this year’s papers are headed in the same direction.

Two Faculty Members Receive Journal of Human Resources Acceptances in the Same Month

Professor Simon and Professor Furtado both had papers accepted at the Journal of Human Resources in the fall semester.

Professor Simon’s paper, “The Effects of Aggregate and Gender-Specific Labor Demand Shocks on Child Health,” coauthored with Marianne Page and Jessamyn Schaller, considers the relationship between local labor market conditions and child health. The paper shows that local (state level) labor market recessions that primarily affect women increase maternal time spent at home and improve child health, whereas recessions that affect men have the opposite effects. These patterns suggest that both maternal time and family income are important inputs to child health.

Professor Furtado’s paper, “Settling for Academia? H-1B Visas and the Career Choices of International Students in the United States,” coauthored with Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, examines whether international students respond to U.S. immigration policy when making career decisions. The authors find that international students who require H-1B visas to work in the United States became more likely to pursue careers in academia -a sector not subject to H-1B visa caps- after the H-1B visa cap was lowered in 2004.

The Journal of Human Resources is a leading journal in applied microeconomics. According to the 2016 ISI Journal Citation Reports, the journal has an impact factor of 4.047. The journal’s website reports an acceptance rate of 4 percent.


Graduate Students Presenting Their Work at Conferences

Graduate students working on immigration issues with Professor Delia Furtado have been traveling quite a bit in the past few months.  Samantha Minieri was in Chicago presenting her paper, “Norms and Parental Leave: Do Home Country Policies Affect Immigrants,” at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA).

Tao Song has presented his job market paper, “Honey, Robots Shrunk My Wage! Native-Immigrant Wage Gaps and Skill Biased Technological Change,” at the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)’s Workshop on Spatial Dimensions of the Labour Market in Mannheim, Germany; the Society of Labor Economists’ annual meeting in Raleigh, NC; and the Western Economics Association International (WEAI) Annual meeting in San Diego, CA.

Also at the Western meetings, Tian Lou presented her paper, “Ethnic Segregation, Education, and Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes,​” and Haiyang Kong presented his paper, “What is the Impact of Industrial Structure on Immigrants’ English Language Fluency?”

Two Economics Undergraduate Students Selected as 2017 University Scholars

Congratulations to Economics students Rebecca Hill and Lucas Silva Lopes, who are among the twenty-three University of Connecticut undergraduates who have been selected as the 2017 University Scholars:

Rebecca Hill
Major: English/Economics
Project Title: The Western Madwoman: A Feminist History and Economic Study in Novel Form
Committee: Ellen Litman, English (chair), Veronica Makowsky, English & Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Delia Furtado, Economics

Lucas Silva Lopes
Major: Political Science/Economics
Project Title: Presidential Interruptions and Interim Presidents: How Do Latin American Countries Re-Equilibrate Both Politically and Macroeconomically After a Presidential Interruption?
Committee: Matthew Singer, Political Science (chair), Veronica Herrera, Political Science, Derek Johnson, Economics

“The University Scholar Program is one of the most prestigious programs for undergraduates at the University of Connecticut. Available to students from all of the University’s schools and colleges, the University Scholar Program allows students to design and pursue an in-depth research or creative project and to craft an individualized plan of study that supports their intellectual interests during their final three semesters. Each student is mentored by an advisory committee of three faculty.

No more than 30 University Scholars are selected each year. Admission is based on an application submitted during the first semester of a student’s junior year. Applications are reviewed by an interdisciplinary faculty committee that looks for innovative projects and academically rigorous course selection. Graduation as a University Scholar recognizes a student’s exceptional engagement in research and/or creative endeavors.”



Professors Alpert, Lanza, Furtado, and Shor Present to Early College Experience Instructors

In a recent workshop for nineteen University of Connecticut Early College Experience Instructors, Professors Mike Shor, Steve Lanza, Delia Furtado and Bill Alpert presented the principles instructors with current economic thinking concerning game theory, the law and economics, effects of immigration on the domestic labor market, and monetary/macroeconomics for principles level students.

The Early College Experience (ECE) program 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. Students benefit by taking college courses in a setting that is both familiar and conducive to learning. High school instructors who have been certified through the University of Connecticut serve as adjunct faculty members and teach UConn ECE courses.

Professor Furtado offers a well-received presentation concerning her own research on female immigrants and immigration issues generally in the United States today

Established in 1955, UConn Early College Experience is the nation’s longest running concurrent enrollment program and is accredited by The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships. In the last decade, the Economics Program has grown from two instructors in two Connecticut high schools to almost 40 instructors in 30 Connecticut high schools offering the Principles of Economics classes and Economics 1000.

For more information see:  http://ece.uconn.edu/

Economics Faculty Recognized for Excellence in Teaching

The Provost’s office at the University of Connecticut regularly recognizes faculty members with excellent teaching evaluations commending them as achieving “excellence in teaching”.

A number of faculty members in the economics department have received this recognition in the past year:  Professors Talia Bar, Ken Couch, Delia Furtado, Paul Hallwood, Olivier Morand, Susan Randolph, Kathy Segerson, Mikhael Shor, Owen Svalestad, and Jackie Zhao.

Congratulations to these economics faculty for their important contributions to the educational mission of UConn!

Zheng Xu Defends Dissertation, Stays at Harvard

ZhengDefenseOn August 28th, Zheng Xu defended his dissertation, “Developing in the Era of Globalization: The Case of China” written under the supervision of major advisor Professor Delia Furtado and associate advisors, Professor Nishith Prakash, Professor Kathleen Segerson, and Professor Richard Freeman from Harvard University.

Zheng’s dissertation studies how globalization has reshaped China in terms of the labor market, environment, and media. The first chapter examines how rising demand for Chinese exports affects Chinese labor markets. Particular emphasis is given to how the massive internal migration in China shapes the labor market consequences of trade. The second chapter studies whether party-newspapers in China are less likely to report local pollution events and whether the difference distorts households’ self-protective behaviors against potential health risks. The third chapter uses the list of environmental goods endorsed by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to test whether export production improves air quality in China through adoption of green inputs.

Since September of 2013, Zheng has been a research fellow in the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. In 2014, he received a CLAS Graduate Fellowship which helped support his time at Harvard. Zheng has already started a new position as postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities.

Congratulations, Zheng!

Professor Delia Furtado wins Refereeing Prize

banner_economicWhile researchers typically have a horror story or two about unreasonable referees, most will agree that the peer review process is essential for producing good research. Unfortunately, the hard work of referees often goes unacknowledged due to the anonymous nature of their work. The Economic Journal has taken steps to thank the referees who have contributed “beyond the call of duty” with its annual referee prize. Professor Delia Furtado was awarded a prize for her referee work for the journal in 2012. More details here.    

Congratulations, Delia!

**For those new to the “peer review process,” please see a graphic depiction here.