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On April 17, the department convened for an awards banquet that recognized the best among undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty. This year’s award recipients are:

Omicron Delta Epsilon inductees:
Kaylyn Caliri
John Giannone
Sam Katz
Meiling Kry
Paul Morris
Freida Parsons
Pooja Patel
Muhammad Razzaq

Undergraduate Awards
Louis D. Traurig Scholarship
Xueqi Ban
Dillon Pierce Bushby
Xia Hua
Monica Mula
Kenneth Perez
Johnny Hua Pham
Shravan Rao
Emily Seyle

Ross Mayer Scholarship
Salman Sherwani
Farha Choudhury

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize
Kateri Ciccaglione

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship
Robert Roche

Economics Department General Scholarship
Robert Roche
Lilian Cheung

Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship
Paul Morris

Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship
Michael Cinque
Zachary Mitchell

Graduate Awards
W. Harrison Carter Award
Rebecca Germino

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship
Huanan Xu

Economics Department Graduate Fellowship
Jesse Kalinowski
Chao Zheng
Tao Song
Aaron Cooke

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship
Rong Zhou
Zheng Xu
Peijingran Yu
Bryce Casavant
Yishu Zhou
Chao Zheng
Tao Song

Farrell Oral History Project
Sadullah Yildirim

 

Faculty Awards
Grillo Family Research Award
Talia Bar

Grillo Family Teaching Award
Richard Suen

Congratulations to everyone!

aea2Professors William Alpert and Oskar Harmon, and PhD candidates Robert Szarka and Paul Tomolonis presented “An Interactive Graphing Activity” in the AEA Committee on Economic Education Poster Session at the annual ASSA 2014 Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Their presentation demonstrated several problem sets where students use the drawing tool within Google Drive to create economic diagrams. Relying on the concept of learning-by-doing, these online activities give students the opportunity to practice drawing economic diagrams representing the core principles in their microeconomics textbook. That is, the act of drawing the diagram will reinforce student understanding of the economic concept. Working with Adam Nemeroff (Instructional Designer in the Uconn Institute of Teaching and Learning), the authors anticipate that using Google drawings in principles of economics courses at Uconn will promote the use of other products in Goggle Apps @ Uconn, build skills for upper division course work, and encourage collaborations across disciplines.

For a preview of the presentation click here.

journalProfessors Oskar R. Harmon, William T. Alpert, and PhD Candidate Joseph Histen, have been published the article  “Online Discussion and Learning Outcomes” in the Journal International Advances in Economic Research, 2014.

This paper describes how the authors used Facebook as a discussion tool in the instruction of a principles level economics course and reports empirical estimates of the effect of that use on learning outcomes.  Social media as a tool for promoting classroom discussion has advantages and disadvantages.  For example, its omnipresence and flat learning curve can promote academic discourse.  However social media can promote non-academic “chatting”, and its omnipresence means the user needs more than a passing knowledge of the privacy settings to have control of their “digital identity.  For a Principles of Microeconomics taught in 2011 we collected data, with permission from our institution’s Institutional Review Board, on student use of Facebook, academic and demographic characteristics, learning style preferences and learning outcomes. Overall our empirical estimates provide cautious support for the hypothesis that active participation in the discussion board has a positive effect on exam score at a statistically significant level.  The estimates of the effect of posts related to question and answer dialogue show a positive impact on the cumulative final exam score at a 5% level of statistical significance.  This result is consistent with the view that using Facebook in academic instruction can be an effective tool for assisting the average student to resolve questions about the course material and for promoting peer-to-peer learning.

Archita Banik defended her dissertation on Monday, July 22nd 2013. Her dissertation entitled “Three Essays on Health Economics” was completed under the supervision of her major advisor Dennis Heffley and associate advisors Thomas Miceli and Nishith Prakash.

Archita’s dissertation analyzes an incentive-based health insurance plan in the context of developing countries and also examines the importance of different socioeconomic factors and presence of microcredit in determining ever-married women’s health in the context of India. The first essay of her dissertation is a theoretical analysis where she analyzes an individual’s behavior with misperceived health risk under incentive-based health insurance plan vs. a conventional plan. The other two essays are empirical studies in the context of India where she shows that age, education, marital status, and presence of microcredit are important factors in determining ever-married women’s health in India.

Archita is heading to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where she will join as a tenure-track assistant professor of economics starting from Fall.

Congratulations, Archita!

sealOn May 28th, Matt Schurin defended his dissertation entitled, “Three Essays on Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Fluctuations.”  His major advisor is Christian Zimmermann and his associate advisors are Dong Jin Lee and Richard Suen.

Matt’s dissertation analyzes the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy and examines what optimal policy should be in response to macroeconomic fluctuations.  The first dissertation chapter explores what the government’s fiscal policy should be when banks hold significant amounts of public debt and the government can default on its debt obligations.  The second dissertation chapter analyzes the effects of fiscal austerity using a two-sector small open economy model that is calibrated to the Canadian economy.  Results from this model coincide with key characteristics of the Canadian economy.  The third chapter examines the impact of government debt on macroeconomic volatility in an environment where, going forward, the government is required to balance its budget.  The model in this chapter can help explain why developing countries have more volatile output and more countercyclical net exports than developed countries.

Matt is heading to McLean, VA where he will work for PricewaterhouseCoopers in their transfer pricing group.

Congratulations, Matt, on all your hard work!

On April 19, the department convened for an awards banquet to recognize the best among undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. This year’s award recipients are:

Omicron Delta Epsilon inductees:
Andrew Feisher
Allyson Rose
David Greenberg
Nicholas Hynd
Matthew LeBel
Kellyn Maher
Emily Seyle
Alison Zielinski

Undergraduate Awards
Louis D. Traurig Scholarship
Diana Cooke
Natalie Cooke
Michael DiMaio
Sritheja Gulukota
Stephen Jablonowski
Lydia Kowinko
Yuriy Loukachev
Benjamin Simmons-Telep

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize
Stephen Jablonowski

Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship
Joel Sinofsky
Yuqi Xing

Ross Mayer Scholarship
Michele Carroll
Yuriy Loukachev

Economics Department General Scholarship
Antonio Russo

Julia & Harold Fenton and Yolanda & Augustine Sineti Scholarship
Diana Cooke

Kathryn A. Cassidy Economics Scholarship
Benjamin Simmons-Telep

Graduate Awards
W. Harrison Carter Award
Jesse Kalinowski

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship
Paul Tomolonis

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship

Bryce Casavant

Economics Department General Scholarship (for 2013: Recognition for Excellence as a Teaching Assistant)

Rebecca Germino
Eric Gibbons
Matthew Joseph Histen
Tao Song

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship
Bryce Casavant
Elizabeth Kaletski
Zheng Xu
Peijingran Yu
Rong Zhou
Yishu Zhou

Faculty Awards
Grillo Family Research Award
Kenneth Couch

Grillo Family Teaching Award
Susan Randolph

Congratulations to everyone!

Economics Ph.D. alumnus Al-Mursi Al-Sayed Hegazy has been named the next Egyptian Finance Minister. Prior to his appointment, Hegazy was a professor at Alexandria University, specializing in Islamic Finance. He was sworn into office on January 6.

Hegazy defended his dissertation titled “The Contribution of Oil to the Economic Development of Kuwait (1962-1981): a Macroeconomic Approach,” under the advisement of Professor William Lott, in January 1985.

Read the UConn Today article about Hegazy here.

On August 10, 2012, Sanglim Lee defended his dissertation entitled “Expected Currency Excess Returns and Debt in the Business Cycle,” under the supervision of Professor Christian Zimmermann.

In the first chapter of his dissertation, Sanglim shows that the risk premium is an important factor in explaining deviations from Uncovered Interest Parity (UIP) in 20 developed and 18 developing countries. In the second chapter, he further examines the UIP condition with a two-country International Real Business Cycle model and shows that the business cycle risk driven by total factor productivity can account for deviations from UIP. The third chapter examines the effects of fiscal austerity on the Canadian economy using a two-sector small open economy model. The model’s simulation results indicate that the effect of fiscal austerity on the economy depends crucially on the relationship between public-debt levels and country-risk premiums.

Starting on October 8th, Sanglim works as a research fellow at the Korea Energy Economics Institute in South Korea.

On April 11, Economics Ph.D. candidate Leshui He presented a paper at the Universitas 21 Doctoral Conference organized in Hartford by the UConn School of Business. UConn recently joined Universitas 21, which is a consortium of top universities in 13 countries. The doctoral conference brought to UConn graduate students and faculty from many member universities, providing Ph.D. students with comments on their work and an opportunity to meet and network with their counterparts from around the world. Leshui’s dissertation advisor, Professor Richard Langlois, who is a member of UConn’s Study Abroad Advisory Committee, served as discussant for a number of papers at the conference.

A few days later, on April 14, Leshui presented the same paper — titled “Subeconomy Meets Property Rights: A Theory of the Firm” — at the annual doctoral colloquium of the Consortium for Competitiveness and Cooperation (CCC), held this year at the Robert H. Smith School of Business of the University of Maryland.

On April 12, the department convened for an awards banquet that recognized the best among undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty. This year’s award recipients are:

Omicron Delta Epsilon inductees:
Kurtis Adei
Alex Amarante
Lyla Eljizi
Elizabeth Fesenmeyer
Clifford Garnet
John Giardina
Levi Jackson
Nicholas Leonetti
Michael Littman
Brett Mauro
Andrew Moynihan
Loi Nham
Shivani Panchal
Marcos Quispe
Thomas Samuels
Vidya Sridhar
Jennifer Stansfield
Matthew Travalini
Suo Wang
Daniel White
Mallika Winsor

Undergraduate Awards
Louis D. Traurig Scholarship
William Kimball
Colleen Phelan
Paige Rhymer
Vidya Sridhar

Ross Mayer Scholarship
Nicholas Leonetti
Garrett Rapsilber

Paul N. Taylor Memorial Prize
Kevin Landry
Antonio Spinelli

Rockwood Q. P. Chin Scholarship
Lydia Kowinko
Yuqi Xing

Graduate Awards
W. Harrison Carter Award
Paul Tomolonis

Albert E. Waugh Scholarship
Matthew Schurin

Abraham Ribicoff Graduate Fellowship
Elizabeth Kaletski

Economics Department General Scholarship (for 2012: Recognition for Excellence as a Teaching Assistant)
Eric Gibbons
Sara Kauffman
Matthew Joseph Histen

Timothy A. and Beverly C. Holt Economics Fellowship
Matthew Schurin
Rong Zhou
Zheng Xu
Peijingran Yu
Bryce Casavant

Faculty Awards
Grillo Family Research Award
Mikhael Shor

Grillo Family Teaching Award
William Alpert
Oskar Harmon

Congratulations to everyone!

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