Prof. Ross elected to North American Regional Science Council

Professor Stephen Ross was elected to the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC) as a Councillor at Large for a three year term beginning in 2011. The North American Regional Science Council promotes the scholarly exchange of ideas and knowledge that apply to urban and regional phenomena in North America and across the globe. Most significantly, the council organizes the North American Regional Science Association meeting, a large, international and interdisciplinary conference attended by Regional Scientists, Geographers, Economists, Planners, and many other disciplines. The annual meeting of the Urban Economic Association is also part of the North American meetings.

Prof. Ross and Zimmermann to present at NBER Summer Institute

Every Summer, a select group of economists assembles over the span of four week for the NBER Summer Institute, presenting their latest research. The program is principally composed by affiliates of the NBER, but outsiders are also given the opportunity to attend, discuss and present. Two department faculty will be in attendance this year at the invitation-only event.

On July 23, Prof. Christian Zimmermann will be presenting “Unemployment Accounts versus Unemployment Insurance: A Quantitative Evaluation” (joint with Stéphane Pallage) in the Aggregate Implications of Microeconomic Consumption Behavior Workshop. On July 27, Prof. Stephen Ross will be presenting “Estimating the Effects of Friendship Networks on Health Behaviors of Adolescents” (joint with Jason Fletcher) in the Health Economics Workshop.

Prof. Ross to publish in the Review of Economics and Statistics

Prof. Stephen Ross with his co-authors Eric Brunner (BA alumnus) and Ebonya Washington had their paper “Economics and Policy Preferences: Causal Evidence of the Impact of Economic Conditions on Support for Redistribution and Other Ballot Proposals” accepted recently at the Review of Economics and Statistics, one of the leading journals in the profession.

In this paper, they analyze voting data on California ballot propositions between 1990 and 2004 classifying these propositions based on their political leaning (Democrat vs. Republican) and based on the type of proposition (fiscal vs. social). They find strong evidence that positive economic shocks lead to declines in support for redistributive policies using an exogenous proxy for economic shocks based on changes in national employment composition and the composition of worker industry at the neighborhood level. Further, they find that voters behave as if the voters have a preference for consistency in political preferences so that economic shocks have a smaller but similar impact on voting on non-economic ballot issues.

Phd Alumnus joins University of Reading

Anupam Nanda, 2006 PhD alumnus in Economics, has joined the faculty of Real Estate and Planning, Henley Business School at University of Reading (United Kingdom), one of the world’s leading centers for real estate education and research. His doctoral dissertation was advised by Prof. Stephen Ross, Prof. John Clapp, and Prof. Dennis Heffley. Previously, he worked with Deloitte , Market Intelligence group in Mumbai, and the Economics group of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in Washington DC. His research papers have appeared in Journal of Urban Economics and The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics. Anupam’s research interests are in real estate economics, empirical finance as well as urban economics and local public finance. He is currently working on the minimum services mandate for the real estate brokers.

Prof. Ross wins CLAS research award

This spring the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences awarded its first ever Excellence in Research awards in the four divisions of the college. Professor Ross (IDEAS) of the Economics Department won the award in the Social Sciences for his research on a broad array of topics in Urban Economics including mortgage and housing discrimination, school segregation, and the impact of concentrated povery on labor market outcomes.

For more details about this award, see the CLAS announcement.

Prof. Ross speaks on NPR

Professor Ross (IDEAS) has just been featured on the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network as he spoke about the regulation overhaul announced by President Obama. He strongly supported the proposal to increase the oversight and regulation of large “Too Big to Fail” non-bank financial institutions and to make the Federal Reserve responsible for regulating these institutions arguing that the Federal Reserve employs some of the best economists in the country. Ross has worked extensively on mortgage markets.

Article by Prof. Ross among most cited in Journal of Urban Economics

Professor Ross (IDEAS) has just won the Journal of Urban Economics Highly Cited Author Award 2004-2008 for his article Redlining, The Community Reinvestment Act, and Private Mortgage Insurance (with Geoffrey Tootell) for being one of the 10 most cited articles between 2004 and 2008 in this journal. The paper finds that lenders respond to the Community Reinvestment Act by favoring borrowers who obtain Private Mortgage Insurance in low income neighborhoods. In past research, this paper had masked differencing in lending across neighborhood and suggests that previous research has underestimated the importance of neighborhood in mortgage lending decisions. The paper has been of interest and cited by researchers across many fields including Economics, Finance, Real Estate, Geography, and Public Policy.

CLAS faculty snapshot features Prof. Ross

Stephen Ross (IDEAS) studies urban economics and how economic forces affect the lives of people in disadvantaged groups. One area he has studied closely is discrimination in mortgage lending. Another, which he began to track several years ago, is the subprime mortgage market. He saw a significant increase in risk in lending practices from 2004 to 2005 and 2006, when evidence mounted that risky loans were likely to lead to foreclosures.

Listen to the podcast of this snapshot.

Spring awards banquet honors students and faculty

On April 17, 2009, the Economics Department convened for its annual awards banquet to honor undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty. This year’s award recipients were:

Undergraduate students
Omicron Delta Epsilon inductees
Lucia Caldari
Anthony Craparo, Jr.
Michael Gurdjian
Eric Roy

Louis D. Traurig Scholarship
John Doyle
Mark Guastaferri
Daniel Marcoux
Michelle Prairie
Eric Roy
Liza Zenkin

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize
Lucia Caldari
Poojitha Kondabolu

Rockwwod Q. P. Chin Scholarship
Vishal Kewalramani
Matthew Sangphet
Michael Shell

Economics Department Scholarship
Vishal Kewalramani
Matthew Sangphet
Michael Shell

Audrey Beck Scholarship
Joseph Antelmi

Graduate students
Audrey Beck Scholarship
Gulgun Bayaz

W. Harrison Carter Award
Matthiew Burnside
Leshui He
Troy Helming

Abraham Ribicoff Award
Patrick Flaherty

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship
Lei Chen

Grillo Research Award
Kenneth Couch (IDEAS)
Stephen Ross (IDEAS)

Grillo Teaching and Service Award
Thomas Miceli

In addition, the following undergraduate students have been inducted in Phi Beta Kappa, the undergraduate national honor society:
Yi-Jun Chen
Ryan Esplin
Matthew Fitzpatrick
Philip Gorecki
Poojitha Kondabolu
Benjamin Linhard
Daniel Marcoux
Bryan Murphy
Shannon Patrick
Michelle Prairie
William Watson

Congratulations to all recipients!

Prof. Ross presents his research on mortgage lending discrimination at the Cleveland Fed

Professor Ross presented his research on mortgage lending discrimination as part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s conference on the Community Reinvestment Act on Feb 6, 2009. Professor Ross discussed the lessons learned from his research concerning the Boston Fed study and a major paired testing study of mortgage lending discrimination conducted by the Urban Institute. Professor Ross also discussed his experiences working as a consultant on a Fair Lending case for the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Professor Ross emphasized that a much of the discrimination in the mortgage market occurs because of the discretion available to individual loan officers or mortgage brokers, and discrimination is often non-existent at lenders that have good command and control systems. He recommended that fair lending investigations focus on lenders’ entire business model as opposed to just their fair lending monitoring systems.

For more see the Cleveland Fed website.