A High Ranking for the M.A. Program in Economics

econ50The M.A. program in Economics at the University of Connecticut has been ranked #38 of the 157 programs evaluated in the Financial Engineer’s 2015 Master of Economics Rankings.

A variety of factors are used to evaluate each program, including acceptance rates, the employment prospects for new graduates, and starting salaries and bonuses.  The results are considered “”the most comprehensive rankings for graduate financial economics programs in the United States.”


The Department mourns the loss of Prof. Kimenyi

Photo credit: BMI Murithi and Nation Media Group

kimenyi-picThe Department mourns the loss of one of its own. Prof. Kimenyi was a former member of the Department before leaving to join the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. According to BMI Muriithi of the Daily Nation, he passed away on Saturday, June 6, at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, after a long illness. BMI Muriithi’s article in Daily Nation is available here.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his wife, Irene, and his three sons. Condolences and sympathy can be sent to:  Irene Wangui Kimenyi , 2011 Wheaton Haven Court, Silver Springs, MD 20902.


The following is a note of memorium written by Prof. Richard Langlois:

A note in memorium of Mwangi S. (Samson) Kimenyi
from his friends and former colleagues at the University of Connecticut

We in the Department of Economics at the University of Connecticut were truly grieved to hear of Samson’s passing.

Samson came to us in 1991 and left to form KIPPRA in 1999, and was thereafter only sporadically in residence in Storrs. But he was with us for almost the entire decade of the nineties. We had hired him away from the University of Mississippi and awarded him the rank of Associate Professor less than five years after his Ph.D., which is an extraordinary rate of advancement. What attracted us to Samson was his astounding rate of publication, on a variety of topics. Among these publications was work on poverty in the United States, which focused on the importance of family structure – and which won the prize for best paper in the Southern Economic Journal. What we discovered after Samson had been with us a short while is that we had hired a wonderful man as well as a wonderful scholar. Those of us who came to know him well found that family was just not an intellectual interest for him but was part of his being, and we admired his devotion to his wife Irene and his three boys, who largely grew up here in Mansfield.

The problem with hiring a superstar, however, is that the world beckons. As Samson’s interests moved in the direction of African development, and as he became increasingly well known in that field, he was tapped to form KIPPRA and then called to the Brookings Institution. But we always considered Samson to have remained a member of our faculty in spirit. Many of us remember his visit part-way through the KIPPRA experience, which was memorable for a seminar in which he shared with us some of his accomplishments and challenges in Kenya.

In a way, we at UConn had already learned to miss Samson. Knowing that the parting is now final is a tragedy to us. But we will always remember his tenure here; and the spirit of his intellectual achievements and his warm personality will always remain part of our department legacy. We wish his family comfort in their time of grief.


Professor Shor publishes in Operations Research Letters

505567Professor Mikhael Shor has had his paper, “How collaborative forecasting can reduce forecast accuracy,” accepted by Operations Research Letters.

The brief article compares an independent supplier and retailer who each forecast consumer demand with a jointly-profit-maximizing supplier and retailer who share their forecasts of consumer demand. The move from non-collaborative to collaborative forecasting can have the unexpected impact of decreasing demand forecast accuracy while still increasing profit. Therefore, collaborating firms should maintain a focus on profits, not forecast accuracy, as the appropriate measure of success.

Profs. Harmon, Alpert, coauthors have paper accepted

Profs. Harmon, Alpert, coauthors Archita Banik (UConn, Ph.D., 2013), and James Lambrinos have an article “Class Absence, Instructor Lecture Notes, Intellectual Styles, and Learning Outcomes” recently accepted for publication in the Atlantic Economic Journal. 11293

Professor Couch Receives Evaluation Grant

couch (1)Ken Couch will lead a team of UConn researchers in evaluating pilot educational programs for welfare recipients in Connecticut.  The two-year evaluation grant, totaling more than $300,000, includes funding for two graduate students to participate in assessing the programs as a randomized study.  The educational programs follow the well-known Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-Best) format developed in Washington state.  Professor Couch has conducted other research for the state regarding the functioning of the TANF program and participated in a working group that recommended piloting of the I-Best programs.

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Professor Nishith Prakash awarded Faculty Large Grant

prak[1]Professor Nishith Prakash was recently awarded a Faculty Large Grant by the Office of the Vice President for Research for his proposal entitled Affirmative Action, Public Service Delivery and Well-Being in India. Below please find the abstract for this project.

The world’s biggest and arguably most aggressive form of affirmative action policy in employment exists in India, where government jobs are explicitly reserved for historically disadvantaged minority groups. In this research project, we aim to study the impact of employment quotas for “Other Backward Classes” (OBCs) mandated by the Mandal Commission on public service delivery and well-being. The Mandal Commission reserved approximately 27% of government jobs for OBCs. The specific outcomes we examine include implementation of government sponsored schemes, provision of public infrastructure, mobility, and education, health and employment outcomes. We are not aware of any existing study that rigorously quantifies the effects of any aspect of the Mandal Commission.

Fall 2012 Issue of The Connecticut Economy

Cover of The Connecticut Economy, Fall EditionThe Fall 2012 issue of The Connecticut Economy offers a variety of perspectives on industries and forces that make Connecticut unique. It looks at Connecticut as a home to corporate headquarters and identifies sectors giving Fairfield County a competitive edge in the current recovery. Plus it examines health care trends in Connecticut and beyond. On the back page, Christopher Bruhl of the Business Council of Fairfield County examines the role innovation plays in stimulating the economies of that region and of the state.  The issue also forecasts a long road ahead to recover the jobs Connecticut lost in the last recession.

To read the full text of this edition as well as past issues, please visit the Connecticut Economy’s Webpage.