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Current Ph.D. student Marina-Selini Katsaiti (IDEAS) and recent graduates Philip Shaw (IDEAS) and Marius Jurgilas (IDEAS), all advised by Christian Zimmermann (IDEAS), will publish a paper entitled “Corruption and Growth Under Weak Identification” in the journal Economic Inquiry. This paper reviews the recent literature in econometrics that focuses on identification and statistical inference when a researcher has weakly correlated instruments variables. In light of this recent theoretical work in econometrics, it analyses a highly influential article in economics and finds that the original results of this article are misleading. It then updates the original analysis and shows that there is no relationship between corruption and economic growth or investment, which is contrary to the results of the original article. The paper also suggests that the problem of weak instruments in the corruption literature may not be isolated to a single article but instead the entire empirical literature that tries to find a causal link between corruption and economic growth or investment. The paper contributes also to the literature by demonstrating how researchers can “deal” with the problem of weak identification.


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.

Prof. Langlois (IDEAS), who has been at UConn since 1983, studies the economics of organization – that is, why entities such as business firms are organized in a particular way. In the late 19th century, mass production of goods and the vertical integration of companies radically transformed the economy. In the late 20th century, independent suppliers and market coordination were more effective than large, vertically integrated corporations. Langlois argues that the type of organization that succeeds depends on the conditions of the economy at the time.

Listen to the podcast of this snapshot.

Economics and political science double major Michael Mitchell is reporting during the 2008-09 academic year about his life on campus on the UConn Admissions blog. Lately, he has been blogging about his internship in Washington DC working for Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut’s 4th congressional district.

During the recent winter break, UConn Economics professor, Subhash Ray (IDEAS), conducted a series of workshops in different parts of India. Professor Ray’s special area of expertise is Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), a nonparametric mathematical technique designed to evaluate the productivity and efficiency of both private and public enterprises. DEA addresses fundamental questions about how well decision-making units transform scarce inputs into valuable outputs, and even provides useful guidance on how to improve performance.

Professor Ray is one of the world’s leading experts on DEA, and his book (Data Envelopment Analysis: Theory and Techniques for Economics and Operations Research), published in 2004 by Cambridge University Press, has been heralded by other researchers in the field.

His tour included a 3-day workshop on Performance Measurement held at Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The January 2-4 workshop included three extended lectures on DEA, supplemented by hands-on, computer-based tutorials. Professor Ray was joined by Professor Subal Kumbhakar of Binghamton University (SUNY), who lectured on an alternative method of efficiency measurement known as Stochastic Frontier Analysis. Workshop attendees included corporate users of DEA as well as academic researchers.

Immediately after the Mumbai workshop, Professor Ray delivered a keynote address and two lectures on DEA at an international conference on efficiency evaluation (January 5-7), hosted by the Delhi School of Economics. Professor Ray also was asked to serve as an international member of the conference organizing committee.

On January 11-13, Professor Ray again was joined by Professor Kumbhakar to conduct a teaching workshop on efficiency analysis at the Madras School of Economics in Chennai (formerly Madras).

Through these workshops, and similar events over the years, Professor Ray has trained a cadre of young scholars who have contributed to productivity research and the further development of DEA.