Dania Francis Awarded 2018 Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dania Francis, assistant professor of economics and Afro-American studies, has been selected to receive a National Academy of Education / Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, which was created to encourage outstanding scholars at the postdoctoral level to pursue critical education research projects. 

The $70,000 awards support non-residential postdoctoral proposals that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education.

UMass Economics in the News

Gerald Friedman has written an opinion piece about the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, in which a child-support specialist at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, who is not a union member, is disputing the obligation to pay an agency fee for the collective bargaining services provided by the union. The argument made by Janus is that everything done by the union is a form of political speech and, therefore, that the requirement that he contribute is a form of compelled speech and a violation of his rights under the First Amendment. Friedman states that women, African-Americans and Latinos are much more likely to work in the public sector, which means that the Janus case is particularly important to these workers. (Dollars & Sense, 6/25/18)

As a bill to raise the Massachusetts minimum wage to $15 awaits final approval, some business owners are concerned about the costs associated with the higher pay levels. Cited in the report is a study of 137 minimum wage increases by Arindrajit Dube, economics, which found that the number of jobs didn’t decrease following pay hikes. (Globe, 6/21/18)