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Professor Kai (Jackie) Zhao has had his paper “Social Security and the Rise in Health Spending” accepted for publication in the Journal of Monetary Economics.
In a quantitative model of Social Security with endogenous health, I argue that Social Security increases the aggregate health spending of the economy because it redistributes resources to the elderly whose marginal propensity to spend on health is high. I show by using computational experiments that the expansion of US Social Security can account for over a third of the dramatic rise in US health spending from 1950 to 2000. In addition, Social Security has a spill-over effect on Medicare. As Social Security increases health spending, it also increases the payments from Medicare, thus raising its financial burden.
Congratulations, Professor Zhao!
Professors 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.
The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) has chosen Ken Couch, a Professor in the Department of Economics at UConn, as the next Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM). JPAM is the Association’s flagship journal and is ranked as a ‘top 3’ outlet in the field of Public Administration. In the field of economics, the journal is ranked similar to prestigious outlets such as the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics. Professor Couch will serve a five-year term as Editor-in-Chief beginning July 1st of 2014. The announcement from APPAM is located here: http://www.appam.org/kenneth-couch-selected-as-next-editor-in-chief-for-the-journal-of-policy-analysis-and-management/
Prof. Delia Furtado will spend her sabbatical visiting Boston University this semester. During this break from teaching, she plans to continue her immigration research while surrounded by top labor economists. Former (and current) students and colleagues who find themselves in Boston are encouraged to visit! See her webpage for contact information.
At the end of the Fall 2013 semester, Professor William Alpert presented an all day workshop for Early College Experience (ECE) Economics adjuncts and preceptors. The ECE program in Economics has grown from one class taught by one instructor to three classes at 8 state public and private high schools with about 800 Connecticut students completing the classes each year.
The UConn Early College Experience (ECE) is a concurrent enrollment program that allows motivated high school students to take UConn courses at their high schools for both high school and college credit. Every course taken through UConn ECE is equivalent to the same course at the University of Connecticut. Students benefit by taking college courses in a warm setting that is both familiar and conducive to learning.
High school instructors who have been certified through the University of Connecticut serve as adjunct faculty members or preceptors and teach UConn classes.
For more information see: http://ece.uconn.edu/
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.
On September 18, Professor Richard Langlois met with the six students in this fall’s Business and Economics track of the UConn-in-London Program. The students spend seven weeks taking two economics and business courses, then spend seven weeks on in internships with a London-based business. (From left to right are Andrew Pierson, Curtis McLellan, Michael Jones, Ding Zhang, Nicole Nonnenmacher, and Ross Bauer.)
While in England, Professor Langlois also met with officials of the UConn London program; gave a talk at the University of Wolverhampton; and presented a paper at the Workshop on Institutions and Economic Change in Hitchin, Herts.
Routledge is publishing Professor Paul Hallwood‘s book, Economics of the Oceans, due out in February 2014.
On the Contents page Hallwood writes:
On the surface of the blue-green planet people have fought over the green bits for ages. However, because they didn’t seem worth fighting over, they hardly bothered with the blue bits. Strange as it might seem, the green bits are mainly well tended while the blue bits are in awful disrepair. Why is this? Let’s see if we can find out.
He then attempts to answer this question in 23 chapters using the tools of environmental economics, natural resource economics, and law and economics.
Professor Jorge Agüero has been awarded a small grant from the Inter American Development Bank (based in Washington, D.C.) for his project “Long-Term Effect of Climate Change on Health: Evidence from Heat Waves in Mexico.
I use random year-to-year variation in temperature to estimate the long-term effects of climate change on health outcomes in Mexico. Using temperature data at the district level and three rounds of nationally representative household surveys, I match an individual’s health as an adult with the history of heat waves in each stage of her life cycle until adulthood. This provides a sample of over 75,000 individuals born between 1960 and 1990. The richness of the data allows me to contribute to the existing literature in several ways. First, I use temperature data within states, which permits a more precise estimation of the effect of climate change. Second, I estimate the long-term effects by examining whether exposure to extreme temperatures early in life affects adult health. Third, the model permits the comparison of exposure early in life vis-à-vis later periods, allowing me to identify the critical health periods with respect to temperature. Finally, the project will explore heterogeneous effects by gender, location, poverty level of the area, and access to resources. The results of this investigation will provide academics and policy makers with the most comprehensive analysis about the long-term effects of climate change on health outcomes in the region.
More info to come as the project moves forward.
Congratulations, Professor Agüero.