Spring 2022 Awards

Uconn sealWhile the department is not able to celebrate with an awards banquet this year, we still are able to recognize the best among undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty!

This year’s award recipients are:

Undergraduate Awards

Economics Department General Scholarship

Shuo Han
Samuel Jackson
Tamara Shelley
Grace Smith
Khoa Tran
Yinuo Xiang
Ziyun Zhou

Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship

Nidhi Nair
SeSe Nguyen

Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship

Nadine Fernando
Prasad Gosavi
Pin Lyi
Choyang Wang

Louis D. Traurig Scholarship

Adem Aksoy
Allen Cazeau
Jeremy Salyer
Benjamin Scudder

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize

Erin McKeehan

Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship

Shuyi Bian

Charles Triano Scholarship

John Doran
Beatrix Jordan

Dr. Joseph W. McAnneny Jr. Scholarship

Erik Choi
Ryan Durrel
Gregory Elmokian
Kevin Gabree
Prabhas KC
Joshua Waxman
Justin Wu

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship

Annaliesa Wood

Ross Mayer Scholarship

Cole Ensinger
Jordan Leonardi

Graduate Awards

W. Harrison Carter Award

Ruohan Huang
Ziyun Wu

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship

Lindsey Buck

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship

Matthew Brown
Shangyue Jiang
Keuncheol Lee
Kunze Li
Lulin Li
Ghania Shuaib
Sirui Qiu
Zhengxuan Wu

Economics Department General Scholarship

Anastassiya Karaban

Best Third Year Paper Award

Jiaqi Wang

Graduate School Pre-Doctoral Fellowship

Sirui Qiu
Zhengxuan Wu
Heshan Zhang

CLAS Summer Fellowship

Erdal Asker
Matthew Brown
Jingyun Chen
Jinsoon Cho
Zhenhao Gong
Shangyue Jiang
Keuncheol Lee
Lulin Li
Yizhi Zhu

Faculty Awards

Grillo Family Research Award

Delia Furtado
Subhash Ray

Grillo Family Teaching Award

Mike Shor


Congratulations to everyone!

Professor Ray publishes in Journal of Productivity Analysis

Professor Ray has recently published a paper “Nonparametric measurement of potential gains from mergers: an additive decomposition and application to Indian bank mergers” coauthored with his recent PhD student Shilpa Sethia in Journal of Productivity Analysis. JPA is considered to be the top ranked journal in the field of Production Economics. As reported by William Greene, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, the 2020 impact factor of JPA (2.61) exceeded several highly respected field journals like Journal of Econometrics (2.388) or Journal of Applied Econometrics (2.424).

His coauthor, Shilpa Sethia, who is a 2019 Econ PhD from UCONN, is currently employed as a Senior Economic Analyst at National Grid in Waltham, MA.

The online version of the paper can be accessed at: https://rdcu.be/cEXL2

Professor Ray publishes in Empirical Economics

Professor Subhash Ray published his recent paper “Unrestricted geometric distance functions and the Geometric Young productivity index: an analysis of Indian manufacturing” coauthored with Arnab Deb (Associate Professor, International Management Institute New Delhi) and Kankana Mukherjee (Associate Professor, Babson College) in Empirical Economics.

At this point, the paper is available online at https://doi.org/10.1007/s00181-020-01925-0.

Both of his coauthors are his former PhD students: Arnab Deb (PhD UConn 2012) and Kankana Mukherjee (PhD UConn 1997).

Professor Subhash Ray Publishes in European Journal of Operational Research

Professor Subhash Ray’s paper THE TRANSFORMATION FUNCTION, TECHNICAL EFFICIENCY, AND THE CCR RATIO is forthcoming in a special issue of European Journal of Operational Research commemorating the introduction of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) into the Operations Research/Management Science literature forty years back by Charnes, Cooper, and Rhodes (CCR). European Journal of Operational Research is a highly rated peer reviewed journal with an impact factor of 3.426 and a 5-year impact factor 0f 3.96.

DEA is a nonparametric method of evaluating productive efficiency without assuming any explicit production, cost, or profit function. It is particularly useful for benchmarking the performance of non-commercial organizations like schools, hospitals, police departments, etc.

Professor Ray has been an active researcher in this area for decades and is internationally recognized for his book Data Envelopment Analysis written from the viewpoint of neoclassical production economics. Published in 2004 by Cambridge University Press, it continues to be a major reference/textbook for serious researchers. In 2016 he received the W.W. Cooper Lifetime Contribution Award from the International DEA Society (iDEAs).

Professor Ray wins Lifetime Contribution Award

Cooper Award 2016The International Data Envelopment Society (iDEAs) selected Professor Subhash Ray as this year’s winner of the William W. Cooper Lifetime Contribution Award in the field of Data Envelopment Analysis at the DEA2016 Conference recently held in Wuhan, China.

Professor William Cooper and his lifelong collaborator Abraham Charnes, along with their graduate student Eduardo Rhodes, developed Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) in 1978 as a nonparametric method of measuring efficiency that is especially useful for evaluating performance of non-profit organizations and government departments through benchmarking.

In 1979, while still a PhD student, Professor Ray started working on DEA and applied the newly developed method in a UNDP project to measure efficiency of primary health care centers in Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Over the past decades Professor Ray’s methodological and empirical contributions to the DEA literature have been published in leading Economics and Operations Research/Management Science journals including American Economic Review and Management Science.

His book Data Envelopment Analysis: Theory and Techniques for Economics and Operations Research published by Cambridge University Press in 2004 still continues to be a popular reference book for researchers in the field. He is a Senior Editor of The DEA Journal.

Professor Ray offers a series of Workshops on Data Envelopment Analysis in India

In what may be described as an academic marathon, Professor Subhash Ray offered back-to-back workshops on the nonparametric method of performance evaluation known as Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) in three different institutions in India during January 2-9, 2012.

He started off at Indian Institute of Management, Ranchi (the youngest member of the prestigious IIM family) where he taught the basics of DEA for the MBA students.

From there he moved on to the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, and held a workshop there for two days.

The final leg of his tour took him to Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central bank of the country, in Mumbai (known previously as Bombay). There he delivered an invited lecture at the Head Office of RBI on the measurement of productivity in banks, and offered an assessment of the impact of liberalization in the Indian banking industry comparing the performance of public sector, private, and foreign commercial banks. Apart from the lecture, he offered two days of hands-on instruction on how to measure efficiency to a group of young officers at the Economics and Statistics Division of RBI.

Professor Ray started teaching DEA in India in 2001 when he visited the Indian Institutes of Management in Calcutta and Ahmadabadas a Fulbright lecturer. Over the subsequent years he has held workshops all over the country at many leading universities and research institutions. Right before his latest visit to India, he was invited by two different academic institutions in India in November 2011 to deliver a keynote address at an international conference on economic and business analysis at Dayalbagh Educational Institute in Agra, and to present a paper on the impact of liberalization on Indian banking at a conference held by the department of WTO studies at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in Delhi.

Alumna Yanna Wu reports on life after UConn

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke could unfortunately not make it to the “Life after UConn” event organized by the Association of Graduate Students in Economics last Friday. Instead, Yanna Wu spoke.

Dr. Wu graduated with a Ph.D. in economics from UConn in 2004, under the supervision of Prof. Ray. Right after that, she joined PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. in their New York office. She currently is a manager in the transfer-pricing group, which is a part of the tax practice, providing tax and economic consulting services for multinational enterprises on their inter-company pricing arrangements. Transfer pricing is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses accounting, tax, economics, finance, and law. Her main responsibilities include project solicitation and management.

Dr. Wu covered the following topics: (i) the current job market for new Ph.D. graduates in economics; (ii) potential job opportunities; (iii) differences between working in academia and in industry; (iv) how graduate students can prepare for the job market; and (v) her experience. After the lecture, Dr. Wu answered questions from graduate students.

Korean professor visits department for the term

Dr. Sangmok Kang of Pusan National University in South Korea is currently visiting the Department for collaborative research with Professor Subhash Ray in the area of productivity and efficiency analysis. Dr. Kang is a a Professor of Economics back in his university in Korea and served as the Director of the Institute of Management and Economics there. In the past he has been a visiting scholar at Oregon State University, Purdue University, and University of Chicago. His principal areas of research are energy, the environment, and international trade policies. His applied research is focused on Korea and China. He has published a number of papers in well known journals including Journal of Productivity Analysis, Energy Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics, and Environment and Development Economics.

Fall 2010 issue of The Connecticut Economy examines key election issues

Flagging economic growth and concerns about high unemployment have created a sense of urgency for mid-term election candidates as well as voters. The Fall 2010 issue of The Connecticut Economy: A University of Connecticut Quarterly Review analyzes several topics high on voters’ to-do lists, including job growth, tackling the state’s budget problems, reducing transportation bottlenecks, and increasing the competitiveness of Connecticut manufacturers.

The two major-party gubernatorial candidates, businessman Tom Foley (R) and Stamford mayor Dan Malloy (D), outline their goals for the economy in the issue’s “Forward Look” feature. Both candidates also addressed attendees at the September 8th press release event at the UConn Stamford campus, as part of the morning-long Fairfield County Economic Summit & Outlook symposium co-sponsored by CBIA, the Stamford Chamber of Commerce and the University of Connecticut.

Connecticut lawmakers managed to meet the constitutionally required “balanced budgets” for the current biennium (FY 2009/10 and FY 2010/11), yet the state still faces persistent structural deficits of about $3 billion per year, plus a roughly equal amount of unfunded liabilities for pension and retiree health insurance benefits promised to state employees. Noting, “This is not a problem we can simply wish away,” co-editor Arthur Wright sees this challenge as “Job One” for all state candidates.

With more than half of the state’s 1.6 million jobs concentrated in the Hartford and Bridgeport-Stamford market areas, commutes to work in these regions are often difficult and costly. Exploring how to make the journey to work more cost efficient – essential to stronger job growth in the state – Edward Deak, a professor of economics at Fairfield University, suggests several innovative traffic management solutions.

In election season, claims resurface that Connecticut is unfriendly to business. But co-editor Dennis Heffley and two colleagues, Professor Subhash Ray and Assistant Professor in Residence Lei Chen, challenge the state’s high-cost reputation in a study of manufacturing competitiveness that measures “overall unit costs” (labor, materials and energy, capital, and other costs such as temporary staff, data processing, advertising, and taxes and license fees). Using data from the 2007 Economic Census, the authors show that “high average wages do not necessarily imply high production costs.” Despite having the 4th highest wages for manufacturing production workers, Connecticut’s cost of producing a dollar’s worth of manufacturing output is 43rd highest among the 50 states. Only Oregon, North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, New York, Wyoming, and New Mexico have a lower overall unit cost.

Analyzing voter turnout in 2006 – the last time Connecticut elected both a governor and a U.S. senator – Scott Condren, an economics major and Quarterly summer intern, examines the determinants of the earlier voter turnout (educational attainment, party affiliation, socioeconomic conditions, income, marital status, population density, and age) and discusses why the relative importance of some factors might change this year. He concludes that “…lessons from 2006 may not apply for 2010.” The centerfold of the current issue also maps the voter turnout percentage from the 2006 election and gives each town’s party registration breakdown.

Connecticut has not posted any significant nonfarm job gains in two decades. But when the self-employed are included in the count, the state’s job growth story changes. Steven Lanza, the Quarterly’s executive editor, finds that since the mid-1990s the ranks of the state’s self-employed have grown by 27,000 jobs annually. That’s a job growth rate of 1.3% per year, only slightly below the comparable U.S. average of 1.7%. Lanza also examines regional differences and public policy implications that result from “Connecticut’s recent growth in jobs due almost entirely to a swelling in the ranks of the self-employed.”

Other features of the fall issue include tables, charts, and commentary on regional labor market activity within the state and a forecast that stubborn unemployment rates will keep the state’s economy weak for some time, although the impact on Connecticut’s real gross domestic product may be less severe – 4.3 % by the current forecast compared with 5.5% previously predicted.

For free access to this and other issues of The Connecticut, dating back to 1993, visit: http://cteconomy.uconn.edu/.

From Detroit to Singur

“As land gets transferred from agriculture to industry, many people (like share croppers and landless workers) will lose their livelihood. It would be morally reprehensible to drive a Nano or a Cadillac on the dirt roads wet with the tears of the dispossessed. Economic rehabilitation of these displaced workers remains the first priority of any responsible government.”

An article by Professor Subhash Ray recently appeared in the November 17, 2009 issue of the highly esteemed biweekly literary magazine, Desh, published in Bengali from Calcutta. His paper draws upon the parallel between the experiences of General Motors in Poletown, MI in the 1980s and the recent events relating to Tata Motors and the agricultural land in Singur, West Bengal, to raise a number of questions about government taking of land for private development. A brief review of the history of land acquisition through eminent domain in the US serves as the background for a discussion of the different important questions like the problem of strategic holdouts and fair compensation. The essay ends with an emphasis on the moral obligation of the government, especially in India, for proper rehabilitation of the displaced when exercise of Eminent Domain powers becomes unavoidable.

His paper has attracted a lot of attention and has been highly acclaimed by scholars interested in the question of land acquisition for economic development. An English version of the paper is available as a University of Connecticut Economics working paper. The original article in Bengali is available on request from the author.