You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2009.

The UConn Department of Economics pursues an active seminar program to allow outsiders to present their latest research as well as local faculty and students to run their latest output by their colleagues. For this Fall term, the preliminary program has been posted. Among the regular activities are:

  • the seminars, typically given by faculty from outside the university, are given Fridays at 3:30pm and run for 90 minutes;
  • the brownbags are scheduled for Mondays at noon this term and run for 45-60 minutes. Usually, local faculty and students present their work in an informal setting. Bring your lunch;
  • the macro workshop is set for most Tuesdays at 12:20pm, with presentation on macroeconomics, broadly defined and sometimes on very preliminary research. Bring your lunch, and non-macroeconomists are also welcome;
  • Other, irregular activities are also listed on the seminar page.


Each year the Department of Economics attracts a large number of outstanding students with diverse talents and interests. Among the current crop is Philip Gorecki, one of a handful of UConn students selected each year as University Scholars. Students in the Scholars Program are encouraged to tailor a plan of study that meets their personal interests and career goals. Frequently the plans involve more than one field of study–Phil’s is an excellent example, and quite a unique one at that.

In addition to his B.A. in Economics, Gorecki will graduate with a B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology. This might seem like just an odd mix of interests, but the two majors offer the ideal background and training for his University Scholars research project, titled “Microarray Biosignatures of Disease: Their Assessment and Economic Impact.”

Like his curriculum, Phil’s study has two major components. The first phase will examine the development of early diagnostic tools utilizing Grating Coupled Surface Plasmon Resonance Imaging (GCSPRI) to determine the molecular and cellular biosignatures associated with agricultural disease. [And you thought only economists used complex terms.]

After exploring these new methods for early detection of disease among farm animals, Phase 2 of the study will estimate the economic value of the new diagnostic tools, using models based on the costs of the 1997 outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in Taiwan and the 2001 outbreak in the United Kingdom.

We wish Phil all the best with his study, and until the profession launches a new journal in bioeconomics, we look forward to seeing Phil’s work in both the MCB journals and the economics journals.

This year (July 1, 2008-2009), 8 of the Department’s Ph.D. students defended their dissertations. Despite the grim economy and rather thin academic job market, each of the students has secured a position. The placements include 6 full-time tenure-track positions, and 2 visiting faculty appointments. The average time to completion for this group was below the 5 years that has become a target in most PhD programs.

  • Rasha Ahmed (defended 7/2/08), Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Trinity College, Hartford, CT.
  • James Boudreau (defended 5/1/09), Assistant Professor, Department of Economics & Finance, University of Texas, Pan American, Edinburg, TX. (blog post)
  • Biplab Ghosh (defended 5/6/09), Assistant Professor, Department of Economics & Management, Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, MN. (blog post)
  • Nicholas Jolly (defended 11/12/08), Economist, Office of Research, Connecticut Department of Labor, Wethersfield, CT; Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI.
  • Philip Shaw (defended 8/4/08), Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. (blog post)
  • Natalya Shelkova (defended 5/21/09), Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Guilford College, Greensboro, NC. (blog post)
  • Nicholas Shunda (defended 8/1/08), Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Redlands, Redlands, CA. (blog post)
  • Brian Volz (defended 4/28/09), Assistant Professor in Residence, Department of Economics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. blog post)

Another recent Ph.D. student, Tsvetanka Karagyozova (defended 10/8/07), is also moving from a two-year post-doc position at the University of British Columbia to a full-time tenure-track position at Lawrence University, Appleton, WI. (blog post)

And a final bit of good news comes from Rimvydas Baltaduonis (defended Spring 2007). After serving as a post-doctoral fellow under the tutelage of 2002 Nobel laureate Vernon Smith, first at George Mason University and then at Chapman University’s Economic Science Institute, Rim has accepted a position at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. (blog post)

The Department is proud of the progress the graduate program has made, and we offer each of these students, like their predecessors, our very best wishes for a long, fruitful and satisfying career.

Professor Thomas Miceli has recently published the second edition of his popular law and economics textbook, The Economic Approach to Law (2009, Stanford University Press). He has also just completed the manuscript for a book on eminent domain, tentatively titled “Private Property, Public Use: The Economic Theory of Eminent Domain.” Professor Miceli is a nationally recognized authority on eminent domain, and this book is the culmination of nearly twenty years of his research on this controversial topic. He has previously collaborated with Professor Kathleen Segerson to publish two books and numerous articles on eminent domain and the closely related issue of regulatory takings.

Professor Richard Langlois’s (IDEAS) 2007 book The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy recently received a flattering review on EH.Net, the premier website in economic history and the history of economic thought. The author of the review, Arthur Diamond, Jr. (IDEAS), the Lucas Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska, praised the book’s “erudition in issues addressed, methods respected, and fields of research perused. To pull so much together, so well, is impressive. Equally impressive are Langlois’ credentials as a Schumpeter scholar: he was invited to deliver the Graz Schumpeter Lectures, which serve as the basis for the current succinct monograph. And in 2006, the manuscript was named a co-winner of the Schumpeter Prize from the International Schumpeter Society. Hopefully the accolades will be enough to … bring the book the wide readership that it deserves.”

EH.Net operates the Economic History Services web site and several electronic mailing lists to provide resources and promote communication among scholars in economic history and related fields. It is supported by the Economic History Association and other affiliated organizations: the Business History Conference, the Cliometric Society, the Economic History Society, and the History of Economics Society. Its book reviews are distributed by email to a large number of economic historians, historians of economic thought, and interested readers of all sorts, thus reaching a wider audience than traditional book reviews in scholarly journals.

After completing his Ph.D. in 1991 under the supervision of Prof. Francis Ahking (IDEAS), Kenneth Daniels (IDEAS) joined the Department of Finance at Virginia Commonwealth University. A specialist in financial services and community development, Ken has published his research in the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, The Journal of Corporate Finance, The Financial Review, and a rich variety of other professional journals. His most recent contribution is a co-authored paper titled “An Empirical Analysis of the Determinants and Pricing of Corporate Bond Clawbacks” in the Journal of Corporate Finance. For his earlier work on derivatives, he received the Sydney Futures Exchange Prize; the Eastern Finance Association offered similar recognition for a paper on investments.

Throughout his career, Ken has combined his academic research with various forms of public service. He serves as a Board Member of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Treasury Board, a group that oversees the state’s public banking deposits and debt and manages several state investment portfolios. He also is a Board Member of the Virginia Community Development Corporation and the Virginia Community Capital Corporation, the only non-profit bank holding corporation in the U.S.

Rangan Gupta (IDEAS) is a 2005 graduate, advised by Prof. Zimmermann (IDEAS) whose career is off to a flying start. A tenured professor at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and a very prolific author, he is now listed among the 100 top young economists on RePEc. As of this writing, he is listed at rank 97 for those with 10 years or less in their career. With four more years of eligibility, his ranking is sure to improve even more.

Working papers are the most popular way for economists to follow the frontiers of research. These preprints are released often several years before they appear in print in journals, and some working paper series become quite prestigious. The Economics Department also has a working paper series, which now encompasses over 400 works.

Our series is indexed in RePEc and Econlit, and is one of the largest contributors to UConn’s open access digital repository, DigitalCommons@UConn. Through RePEc alone, the series gets over 1000 unique downloads a month, the most popular one having been downloaded over 2000 times.

This fall our alumnus, Tsvetanka Karagyozova, will join Lawrence University in Appleton, WI as an Assistant Professor of Economics. A liberal-arts institution charted in 1847, Lawrence was among the first colleges in the United States to be founded coeducational.

Tsvety defended her thesis in 2007 under the guidance of Prof. Christian Zimmermann (IDEAS) and spent the last two years as a post-doctoral teaching fellow at the University of British Columbia. Tsvety’s research interests are in the field of financial economics, and more specifically in asset pricing and the economics of insurance. She is interested in how financial markets operate in the presence of informational asymmetries and in new models of individual decision-making in economics.