Congratulations to Profs. Segerson and Ross for their selection to a four-year membership to the American Association for the Advancement of Science(AAAS). Profs. Segerson and Ross were nominated by the faculty and selected by an ad hoc university committee.
Professor Ross‘s work on mortgage lending was featured in the Washington Post’s Storyline Blog.
Read it here.
Professor Ross’s work finds large differences in the price of credit paid by African-Americans and Hispanics compared to white borrowers that cannot be explained by traditional underwriting variables. These differences primarily arise due to differences in loan pricing across lenders, rather differential treatment of whites and minority borrowers at the same lender. Further, these differences are concentrated among borrowers from locations that have high poverty rates and relatively lower education borrowers
An article on the American Melting Pot in Slate Magazine on October 31st discusses one of Professor Ross‘s recent working papers. In this paper, Professors Ananat, Fu and Ross find that African-Americans benefit less in terms of earnings for working in locations with lots of economic activity. Exposure to economic activity allows workers and firms to learn from each other and raises productivity and thus wages. However, these spillovers appear to accrue along racial lines so that African-Americans do not benefit from a vibrant work location when most of the individuals working in that location are white.
Prof. Steve Ross‘s essay with Jason Fletcher on “Minority mortgage market experiences leading up to and during the financial crisis” was published on Friday (Aug 22) in Vox: Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists. In this essay, Professor Ross describes his research on the incidence of high cost loans, delinquency and foreclosure among minority borrowers. He finds large racial differences in all dimensions, but much of the racial differences in the incidence of high cost loans is explained by the identity of the lender and concentrated among lower education, potentially less financially sophisticated borrowers. On the other hand, racial differences in delinquency and foreclosure are concentrated primarily among borrowers who are faced with higher unemployment risk, rather than traditional factors related to subprime lending.
Professor Stephen L. Ross‘s essay with Jason Fletcher on “Understanding the Mechanisms underlying Peer Group Effects: The Role of Friendships in Determining Adolescent Outcomes” was published on Sunday (Nov 3) in Vox: Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists. In this essay, Professor Ross describes the potential importance of social interactions between children as an underlying mechanism behind peer effects, and discusses Professor Fletcher and his work that shows how smoking and drinking of friends can affect substance abuse and how having friends with more educated parents can contribute to positive attitudes leading to higher grades among girls.
Professor Stephen Ross attended the advisory council meeting for the 2010 Housing Discrimination Study at the Urban Institute on Nov 16th. The 2010 Housing Discrimination Study is a nationwide effort to measure the level of racial and ethnic discrimination in U.S. metropolitan areas using pairs of testers sent to the same real estate or rental agency. Professor Ross was the research director for the 2000 Housing Discrimination Study and has been a key advisor on the new study since its inception. For more details on the 2010 study, see http://www.huduser.org/portal/about/trans_init.html.
Xiaofang Dong, who visited our department for a year and a half to work with Professor Stephen Ross on agglomeration economies, recently accepted a faculty position at Xiamen University in China. Xiamen University was ranked 6th this year among research institutions in China. Xiaofang recently completed her dissertation on Entreprenuership, Firm life cycle and Agglomeration Economics at the Southwest University of Finance and Economics, China.
Prof. Steve Ross is travelling to London for spring break. He will present “Workplace Agglomeration and Social Network Segregation: Labor Market Returns by Race” at the London School of Economics and “Estimating the effects of friendship networks on health behaviors of adolescents” at the University College London. He will also take a quick side trip to the Netherlands to present at the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economics Policy Analysis.
Professor Ross receives NIH funding to study the effect of friendship networks on the health behavior of adolescents. Professor Ross with Professors Fletcher at Yale University and Cohen-Cole at the University of Maryland were awarded a major R21 grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Under this award, they will develop and implement new approaches to identify the causal effect of the friendships that a student forms in school on key health related behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, weight gain and sexual relations. In the proposed research, the authors will attempt to isolate the causal effect of friends from confounding factors, such as students sorting into specific friendships based on their unobservables or choosing friends who exhibit similar behaviors by exploiting across grade differences in the environment experienced by students whose families selected into the same school, but who happened to have children of slightly different ages. One aim of their study will be to compare students who made very similar friendships as other students in the same school, but due to their grade were exposed to friends who exhibited different levels of smoking or drinking. In another aim, their study will the examine differences in friendship network structure between adjacent grades and the impact of those differences on health behaviors.
The panel discussion held on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 was featured in articles on UConn Today and in the Daily Campus. Professors Carstensen, Lanza, Minkler, Ross, and Wright led a discussion (moderated by Department Head Metin Cosgel) about the state of the U.S. economy and possible improvements.